If it's in the News, it's in our Polls. Public opinion polling since 2003.


GOP Primary Voters Express Interest in Third-Party Option

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.

(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 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.

Want to read more?

Become a Rasmussen Reader to read the article

Have an account?

Log In

Become a Reader


Rasmussen Reports is a media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion information.

We conduct public opinion polls on a variety of topics to inform our audience on events in the news and other topics of interest. To ensure editorial control and independence, we pay for the polls ourselves and generate revenue through the sale of subscriptions, sponsorships, and advertising. Nightly polling on politics, business and lifestyle topics provides the content to update the Rasmussen Reports web site many times each day. If it's in the news, it's in our polls. Additionally, the data drives a daily update newsletter and various media outlets across the country.

Some information, including the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll and commentaries are available for free to the general public. Subscriptions are available for $4.95 a month or 34.95 a year that provide subscribers with exclusive access to more than 20 stories per week on upcoming elections, consumer confidence, and issues that affect us all. For those who are really into the numbers, Platinum Members can review demographic crosstabs and a full history of our data.

To learn more about our methodology, click here.