That's the big question. Everyone says that the times are ripe for a third party candidate, but such a person that could appeal to the middle doesn't exist. Jeb Bush might be the one exception, but he wouldn't leave the GOP.
Gary Johnson, 1.1%
Less than three percent, and depends on the GOP nominee. If Romney (which I think is probable) the highest will be Green, followed by some Christianist candidate. If Santorum, it'll prolly be Third-way then Green. If Gingrich, Christianist then Green.
Gary Johnson, .5%, unless the Green Party gets a big name candidate.
Joe Lieberman, Americans Elect Party, 8%
Assuming the Green Party fails to get a big name candidate to run, Gary Johnson, 0.8%.
Gary Johnson (Libertarian) will win 0.5%
I do think it's possible that a small social conservative splinter will run a candidate against Romney from the right, but even so I doubt it would have enough traction. The right will be closed behind Romney by July.
Olympia Snowe, 4%.
Gary Johnson (Libertarian), 0.4% - I don't see any reason to think any third party candidate will do better than third party candidates have done in the last two cycles, where the high water mark is Nader's 0.56% in 2008.
Gary Johnson, somewhere around 3% - 5%.
Sarah Palin, 2%. And a lot of email addresses on her mailing list to milk for PAC money and new books over the next four years.
What's that "hey, let's pretend Duverger's Law doesn't exist" group? If they get their act together in time to entertain bored journalists during the doldrums of the campaign (like, June/July), they could get enough attention to crack the 3% barrier.However, I don't think that's going to happen.So, I'm going with Johnson, but I think that Ron Paul has really motivated libertarians out there. They're going to pack the polls for the guy espousing their ideas. That's what ALL the internets say, and the internets are a representative sample of Americans! So, Johnson will get a nice big share: 0.7%
Former Rep. Virgil Goode is the likely nominee of the Constitution Party. I can see him getting about 1% from die-hard righties that can't stomach Mitt Romney. And if those righties are in closely contested states like Goode's home state of Virginia, that's a problem for Mitt.
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At The Washington Post
At The American Prospect