A new poll released by Rasmussen Reports says that in a match-up of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump 15% still want another candidate, while 5% are still undecided. These are big numbers for third parties, especially the Libertarian Party. 15% is the inclusion mark to get into the Presidential debates, and with such strong support for a third party candidate it is quite possible to hit that mark.
Has Hillary Clinton’s wrapping up the Democratic nomination made a difference? Have Donald Trump’s comments about the Hispanic judge presiding over the Trump University case come back to haunt him?
The latest Rasmussen Reports weekly White House Watch survey shows Clinton taking a four-point lead over Trump – 42% to 38% - among Likely U.S. Voters. Fifteen percent (15%) still prefer some other candidate, while five percent (5%) remain undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
These are interesting numbers because it shows the American people are crying out for somebody else and better representation.
The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on June 6-7, 2016 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
Sixteen percent (16%) of voters still opt for someone else or are undecided if we add the most prominent third-party candidate, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, to the mix. In a three-way race, it’s Clinton 38%, Trump, 37%, Johnson 8%.
The problem that a lot of these major polling firms have is they include Gary Johnson as an after thought. Particularly this poll in general. The quoted text above was taken from the poll today, but they link the inclusion of Johnson from a poll released on June 3rd. The analysis doesn’t match up when you say that 15%-20% want somebody else, but then you don’t include somebody else in your sampling. They include him as a “Oh yeah, if we had included the Libertarian.”
This election is dynamic and multiple other national polls are showing Gary Johnson in double digits, but it doesn’t help if they are not including him in their first round of questioning. Most of these polls we see only ask if voters support Trump or Clinton in their first question. Once that response is recorded, and after a series of other questions, they then throw in the “Oh, what if it was Trump, Clinton, or Johnson?”
The polling is suggesting the opportunity is there for a third party to really make an impact this year, but that impact won’t come unless they actually care about putting in a third party in the fist round of poll questions.