Democrats panicked by third-party candidates drawing support away from Hillary Clinton are ramping up their attacks against Gary Johnson and warning that a vote for a third party is a vote for Donald Trump.
The Libertarian ticket of Johnson and Bill Weld is running surprisingly strong among young voters — a cog in the Obama coalition that Democrats need to turn out for Clinton if she’s to pull away from Trump.
Johnson and Weld hold liberal views on issues like marijuana legalization, abortion rights and non-interventionist foreign policy that have helped them gain traction among some young voters.
There are several battleground states where it appears the third-party effect is working against Clinton.
A CNN-ORC survey that showed Trump with a 1-point edge in Colorado found Johnson and Stein combining for 30 percent support among those under the age of 45.
In Monmouth University polls of Nevada, Clinton once had a 5-point lead over Trump based on her strength among independents. The latest survey found Trump moving into a 2-point lead as independents moved away from Clinton into Johnson’s column.