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By Rory Carroll in Boulder, guardian.co.uk, Nov. 1, 2012
Libertarian maverick's message of small government and social tolerance thrills young voters and threatens president's hopes
[....] The maverick Johnson remains barely known to most ordinary Americans but is expected to take votes from Obama – and Mitt Romney – in Colorado on the back of enthusiasm for a separate vote on November 6 over whether to legalise marijuana.
Hundreds packed a university auditorium to hear him speak on Monday night. Dozens who did not fit inside lined the corridors, ears straining to catch the words. All cheered and whooped Johnson's calls for social tolerance and a radically downsized government.
"There's a lot of support for my message here. You can feel it," he told the Guardian afterwards. "Young people who are disappointed with the president are listening to what I have to say." [....]