ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - When 2011 came to a close, so did Gary Johnson's time as a Republican presidential candidate.
He dropped out to seek the Libertarian Party's nomination.
Nine months later, the former two-term New Mexico governor appears to be in third place in the presidential race but not a serious threat to win the White House.
New Mexico polls that have specifically asked about Johnson have pegged his support in the state he was once the top executive of at somewhere between 4 and 7 percent. A Reason-Rupe poll taken last month found approximately 6 percent of voters nationwide support Johnson.
To bolster that support, Johnson spent Tuesday campaigning in Albuquerque, hosting a fundraiser at The County Line Grill and a student rally on the University of New Mexico campus. Johnson graduated from UNM in 1975 with a degree in political science and went on to found a construction company that became one of he state's largest.
Even with 28 days to go, Johnson's still has his sites set on an upset win.
"Come October 15th or thereabouts, if things aren't happening, then maybe I can start talking about something lesser, but at this point I still hold hope something's going to happen," Johnson said.
Because of Johnson's Republican roots, there's some thought that he could steal votes away from Republican candidate Mitt Romney in key battleground states.
In a Sunday interview on CNN, Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus dismissed that idea.
"I think people understand that they're not going to throw their vote away when we have an election here that's about the future of America," Priebus said.
"A wasted vote is voting for someone you don't believe in; that's a wasted vote," Johnson said. "You vote for the person you believe in, and that's how you change things in this country."
Even if Johnson ends up with only marginal support in November, he could make history for the Libertarian Party. Although there's been a Libertarian candidate on the ballot every presidential election since 1972, there was only one year when that Party's candidate has grabbed more than 1 percent of the vote.
That happened in 1980 when Ed Clark received 921,128 votes, 1.06 percent overall.
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