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The Lid: Measuring the Gary Johnson Effect

The next round of national polling will be crucial for the beleaguered Libertarian candidate.
Image: Governor Gary Johnson
Presidential Candidate Governor Gary Johnson attends the SiriusXM Libertarian Presidential Forum at the National Constitution Center on Sept. 12, 2016 in Philadelphia.Bill McCay / Getty Images for SiriusXM

Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos… Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson is doubling down on his foreign policy slip last night, tweeting “It's been almost 24 hours...and I still can't come up with a foreign leader I look up to.” It was a bold tweet that could have only been made bolder if Johnson had added “#SorryNotSorry.”

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‘16 from 30,000: Gary Johnson hasn’t had a great few weeks. First, earlier this month, he helplessly asked an interviewer “What is Aleppo?” Then he failed to make the debate stage, missing a crucial chance to make his case in front of 80+ million viewers. And then last night, he again whiffed on a foreign policy question, stumbling through his inability to name a foreign leader he admires. Today, he doubled down, tweeting that he still can’t think of one.

The increasing press coverage of Johnson’s impact on the race may have created the impression that he is gaining ground, but national polls actually show that his position (somewhere in the high single digits/low teens) has been very stable all summer. That’s why the next set of credible national polls -- coming this weekend or early next week - will be crucially informative for him, as well as for the other two campaigns from whom he’s siphoning voters. In our latest NBC/WSJ poll, Johnson’s support was at nine percent, but that share nearly doubled among millennials. If Johnson has weathered the last few weeks without taking a hit, it’ll be tough news for Clinton as she continues to try to pull young voters back into their traditional solid spot in the Democratic bloc.


Donald Trump’s taxes are a gift that keeps giving to the Clinton campaign, NBC’s Leigh Ann Caldwell writes.

Conservative newspaper editorial boards are breaking long-standing traditions and endorsing Democrat Hillary Clinton, Libertarian Gary Johnson, or no one at all, one of us writes.

Women were not impressed with Donald Trump’s debate performance, according to the new NBC News|SurveyMoney poll.

Trump is quietly shouting about Bill Clinton’s past, NBC’s Benjy Sarlin and Alex Seitz-Wald report.

And from First Read: The candidate now lashing out is the one who lost debate.


"You have 40 days until the election. You have 40 days to make every dream you ever dreamed for your country come true."

  • Donald Trump in New Hampshire


Mike Pence holds a rally in his home state of Indiana.

Trump holds a rally in Michigan.