Every four years the American public becomes fascinated with political polling and the presidential horse race. In fact, national match-ups between the two major party contenders are largely meaningless. That's because America conducts 50 individual state elections on November 5, 2012 with Electoral College votes being awarded to the candidate who carries each state. The candidate who gets 270 electoral votes is elected regardless of the final tally of the popular vote. From a purely academic point of view, any pollster who excludes Libertarian Party Candidate and Former New Mexico Governor, Gary Johnson, is making a methodological mistake. Putting aside the question of how many votes Johnson will get, it is safe to assume he will get some votes. Thus, not including him is unscientific and for a pollster, malpractice. Public Policy Polling (PPP), a democratic leaning polling outfit , has fairly consistently included the former two-term New Mexico Governor in their state and national polling. A PPP Poll taken December 12, 2011, right after Governor Johnson seized a windfall of publicity regarding his switch to the Libertarian Party and his pursuit of their 2012 Presidential Nomination, showed Johnson at 9% in subsequent national polls dipping to 7%, and then 6%, well within the poll's margin of error. The PPP polling in swing states is far more revealing. Johnson polls 15% in his native New Mexico, 7% in Texas, 8% in North Carolina 9% in Arizona and 7% in Nevada. The internal numbers in New Hampshire are most telling. Johnson is getting 17% of voters between 18-30 and 13% of those voters who describe themselves as "very conservative". Johnson gets 7% overall among Granite state voters. Then inexplicably, PPP polled Florida on June 5th and did not include Johnson in their head-to-head matchup, only days after including Johnson in a Wisconsin poll, which showed Johnson at 6%. Coincidentally, a Rupe-Reason poll taken in the exact same time frame in Wisconsin showed Johnson at the same 6%. Reading these early tea leaves, it is clear that Johnson has not only the potential, particularly after Ron Paul is out of the race, to score 10% or better nationally while having a major impact on more then a handful of swing states that are up for grabs. Johnson could be the difference in New Hampshire, Nevada, North Carolina and New Mexico-all toss-up states. The idea that Johnson takes all of his votes from Republican Mitt Romney is a canard. For every 6 votes Johnson takes from Romney, polls show he takes 3 from Obama. Should the Johnson campaign continue to stress his opposition to the war in Afghanistan, his opposition to The Patriot Act, his support of legalized marijuana and his opposition to the war on drugs the percentage of vote that Johnson takes from Obama could increase. At the same time, Johnson's superior credibility on fiscal issues and voters skepticism about the authenticity of the Republican commitment to cutting spending and debt means Johnson will continue to draw a slightly disproportionate number of voters from the Republican Nominee. I doubt Senator Rand Paul's endorsement of Romney means much . Ron Paul voters are motivated and activated by issues and Paulites know Romney shares none of theirs. They have correctly figured out Romney is a Big Government Republican. Gallup, Rasmussen, Quinnipiac, and the others would be wise to begin including Johnson who is likely to be on the ballot in all 50 states in their polling. In 2000, Pollsters who did not include Ralph Nader in their Florida polling confidently predicted victory in the Sunshine State for George W. Bush by a comfortable margin. They were sorry.