NEW YORK — Gary Johnson was never supposed to be a problem for Hillary Clinton.
The low-profile Libertarian’s presence on the ballot would serve as an easy out for #NeverTrump Republicans, Democrats aligned with the nominee have long figured, and that could only hurt Donald Trump.
But as national and battleground polls tighten and Democrats’ hand-wringing grows more urgent, operatives both within and allied with Clinton’s political operation who are looking around to explain Trump’s new polling strength are growing increasingly wary of the former New Mexico governor. His appeal with young and libertarian-leaning liberals, they worry, could create a growing headache for them in western states like Nevada, Colorado, and Arizona — if not yet reason to believe he could hand the states to Trump.
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