[quote][b]Most national polls don't ask about Mr. Badnarik, but some state surveys do. Polls done by Rasmussen Reports for Mr. Badnarik's campaign showed him with 5% of the vote in New Mexico in August and with 3% support in Nevada last month.
Newspaper polls haven't shown him doing quite as well. They often peg his support at roughly 1%, but even that number could prove decisive. In 2000, Mr. Gore carried New Mexico by 366 votes, or 0.06%.
Mr. Jacobs, who has studied third-party campaigns, said Mr. Bush's policies appear to have driven some conservative Republicans into the Libertarian camp.
"They see the president as a federalizer. You've got the debt. You've got 'No Child Left Behind.' You've got the new Medicare entitlement. You've got the Patriot Act. And you've got the war," the professor said. "It's a very different approach to government than a small government Barry Goldwater."
Mr. Jacobs said he conducted a survey in June and July in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa to examine support for third-party candidates. It showed that the vast majority of Badnarik voters described themselves as either Republicans or independents.
Mr. Jacobs also said that Libertarian candidates in 2002 appeared to have tipped statewide races against the Republicans in Oregon and South Dakota.