The highly-respected polling site FiveThirtyEight now projects Gary Johnson to earn exactly 5.0% of the popular vote on Tuesday. The highest projected share which Johnson has reached this cycle is 9.2% on July 17 and then 9.0% on September 11. In spite of historical trends which indicate that third-party candidates effectively disappear by election day, the Libertarian nominee is poised for one of the best performances of any third candidate in American history.
The ramifications of the 5% threshold are clear. If Johnson successfully reaches this portion of the popular vote, the Libertarian Party will be eligible for matching federal funds in 2020. Despite the most successful fundraising of any candidate in Libertarian history, the former New Mexico governor still lagged far behind the Republicans and Democrats. If earning 5% or better of the vote, the LP would take yet another step toward becoming a party on par with the other two.
Particularly in an election which is projected to become an easy Clinton victory, anyone who is Libertarian, libertarian-leaning, or even non-libertarian in a “safe” state should consider voting for Johnson and Weld. This could be the first step toward enabling a legitimate third party and putting a crack in the two-party-duopoly.