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GOP Primary Voters Express Interest in Third-Party Option

Monday, November 08, 2010

Roughly one-quarter to one-third of Republican primary voters say they would be inclined to consider a third-party candidate if any of the current favorites wins the GOP presidential nomination for 2012.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 31% of likely primary voters say they are at least somewhat likely to consider supporting a third-party candidate for president if former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is the GOP nominee. That includes 17% who say it is Very Likely.  (To see survey question wording, click here.)

If ex-Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who unsuccessfully sought the nomination in 2008, is the 2012 nominee, 24% say they are at least somewhat likely to consider a third-party candidate, with 11% who say it is Very Likely.

Twenty-eight percent (28%) are at least somewhat likely to consider a third-party option if another 2008 hopeful, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, wins the party’s presidential nomination. This finding includes 12% who say it is Very Likely.

With former House Speaker Newt Gingrich as the nominee, 27% say they’d be likely to consider a third-party contender, including 13% who say they would be Very Likely to do so.

Romney, Huckabee and Palin are in a dead heat when likely primary voters are asked whom they would vote for if the primary were held today.  Gingrich is only slightly behind the first group.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Republican Primary Voters was conducted on October November 1, 2010 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.


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