Libertarian Johnson Doesn't Change Presidential Outcome So Far
Friday, July 08, 2016
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton still run neck-and-neck with Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson added to the ballot.
Trump earns support from 40% of Likely U.S. Voters, while Clinton draws 38%, according to the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey. Nine percent (9%) support Johnson, but nearly as many (8%) prefer some other candidate. Four percent (4%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Last month, likely Democratic nominee Clinton picked up 38% of the vote in the three-way race. Trump, the presumptive Republican standard-bearer, drew 37%, while Johnson got eight percent (8%) support.
Trump also holds a two-point edge over Clinton in our latest weekly White House Watch survey which does not include Johnson. But 18% still like some other candidate or are undecided.
Among voters who prefer some other candidate on a ballot that only includes Clinton and Trump, 35% now choose Johnson in the three-way matchup, up seven points from the previous survey. Fifty percent (50%) still favor a candidate not named in the survey, but that's down from 66% last month.
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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on July 5, 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.
In late April, 24% of voters said they will stay home or vote third party if Clinton and Trump are the major party presidential candidates.
Both Trump and Clinton are still struggling to significantly expand their voter bases, though Trump now performs better than Clinton among voters not affiliated with either major political party on both the two-way and three-way ballots.
Among unaffiliated voters, 41% back Trump; 24% back Clinton, and 16% prefer Johnson. Last month, Clinton led Trump 37% to 29% among unaffiliated voters, while Johnson picked up 11% support.
Johnson, a one-time Republican governor of New Mexico who is perhaps best known for his support of legalizing marijuana, earns seven percent (7%) of the GOP vote and six percent (6%) of Democrats. These findings are little changed from the previous survey.
Seventy-two percent (72%) of GOP voters back Trump in a three-way race, while 74% of Democrats support Clinton. Just five percent (5%) of Democrats still prefer some other candidate, down from 15% last month when Bernie Sanders was still running an active campaign against Clinton.
Voters under 40 still give Clinton a sizable lead in a three-way matchup, while Trump leads by double digits among older voters. Fifteen percent (15%) of younger voters like Johnson, compared to just six percent (6%) of middle aged voters and four percent (4%) of senior citizens.
Johnson earns roughly the same level of support from men (9%) and women (10%).
Forty-four percent (44%) of Democrats say they would vote for Sanders if he was on the ballot this November. An identical 44% say they would not.
While there’s been voter anger toward both parties this primary season, Republican voters are far more likely than Democrats to say their party leaders are out of touch with the voter base.
This week’s presidential matchup surveys were taken Tuesday evening following FBI Director James Comey's announcement that his agency would not seek any indictments of Clinton despite her "extremely careless" handling of classified information while serving as secretary of State. Most voters disagree with Comey’s decision.
But while 44% say it would be good for the United States to have a truly competitive third party, just 36% believe it’s at least somewhat likely that a third-party candidate could win the presidency in the next 10 years.
Events in recent weeks, however, suggest that Trump is already running a third-party candidacy agains the leadership of both major political parties.
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