However, one of the more interesting phenomena of the polling in this race is that it appears when Johnson alone is added into the mix, Hillary’s lead over Trump actually shrinks slightly. This seems to be because Johnson’s “base” is made up of younger people who, without him to choose from, are far more likely to support Hillary than Trump.
There are also substantive reasons for this which could further exacerbate the problems Johnson could cause for Hillary should he be seen as a legitimate candidate by making the debate stage. Johnson is famously “pro-weed,” supportive of “Black Lives Matter,” generally favors open-borders, and believes man-made Global Warming is a real and serious problem (all of which may lose him my vote and leave me to write in Condi Rice).
Should Johnson make the debate stage, he could easily become a softer version of Bernie Sanders (with whom Johnson has said he agrees on most issues), coopting much of that movement and greatly lowering Hillary floor of national support. Let’s say that Johnson’s level of backing made it to the 20% range (he needs 15% to even be accepted into the debates, which seems currently very doubtful given current standing of about 10%) after the debates.