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Pressure for Third-Party Candidate Comes From Those Who Want Less Federal Spending

Some people think there is room for a radical centrist presidential candidate who would hold views somewhere between the views of President Obama and whoever the Republicans nominate to oppose him.

However, a solid plurality of voters nationwide say that if there’s a third-party candidate, they’d like to see someone who proposes less government spending than both the president and the Republican challenger. A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 44% of Likely U.S. Voters hold this view.

Only 11% would want to see a third-party candidate who proposed spending more than both the current president and the GOP nominee. Twenty-nine percent (29%) would like to see the radical centrist who proposes spending in the middle - between the two major party contenders. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Among those who think it’s a good time to consider a third-party candidate, the numbers are even more dramatic. Most (55%) of those longing for a third option are hoping for someone who would propose spending less than both the Republican and Democratic nominees. 

Voters see little chance of a third-party candidate being elected president next year, but 53% believe it’s at least somewhat likely that a third-party candidate could win the presidency in the next 10 to 12 years

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on September 8-9, 2011 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 byPulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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