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The Decline Of Third Party Candidates' Popularity: Johnson, Stein Losing Votes To Clinton

The Decline Of Third Party Candidates' Popularity: Johnson, Stein Losing Votes To Clinton

A few months ago, one out of 10 Americans indicated they wanted Libertarian Gary Johnson as president. However, support for him and Jill Stein — Green Party, the other big third party candidate, has been tumbling over the past few weeks as disenchanted Independent voters turn to Hillary Clinton as their last hope.

Same as in the first debate, and in spite of their considerable popularity, Johnson and Stein were not invited to the second presidential debate held last weekend. While this is, in fact, not customary, the high levels of disapproval of both Clinton and Donald Trump have led many to demand the inclusion of third party candidates in the debates.

Related Link: Trump: "The Shackles Are Off"

But, as these runners-up are pushed into the background, their support in polls is also declining. According to FiveThirtyEight’s aggregate national polls data, Johnson can count on the support of just 6.4 percent of voters at the time. RealClearPolitics has estimated this figure stands at 6.5 percent. Meanwhile, the latter said, Stein is averaging 2.3 percent of the national popular vote, down from a high of 4.8 percent in June.

As several surveys have shown, most of the support for these third party candidates came from millennial voters. However, a recent Quinnipiac University poll showed a shift among this demographic, which has increasingly started to back Clinton.

As per the poll, Johnson’s support among millennials fell from 29 percent in mid-September to only 11 percent as of last Friday. In this line, Stein’s backing among this demographic slipped from 15 percent to 9 percent.

While some have argued the politicians have brought this upon themselves — i.e., Johnson’s “Aleppo Moments” — a Christian Science Monitor article stated they did not. In fact, the piece noted, Johnson hit his maximum support level right after the “Aleppo Moment.” So, we’re left to assume this is all on Trump and Clinton.

In fact, the Quinnipiac, which came after the first debate and Trump’s controversial statements about women, poll seems to confirm this, as it shows Clinton’s support among Millennials rose from 31 percent to 48 percent in just a few weeks.

“But while these factors [Trump’s mishaps and Clinton’s stance on college affordability] may have contributed to the shift away from third-party support, political scientists say that a decline in support for third-party candidates is keeping with the trends of past elections. Lawrence Jacobs, a professor of political science at the University of Minnesota, told the Monitor in July that support for Stein and Johnson would likely wane as the election draws closer,” another CSM article read.

"[T]here's a tendency to see the third party threat as larger in the beginning of a general election cycle than it turns out to be," he concluded.

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Disclosure: Javier Hasse holds no interest in any of the securities or entities mentioned above.

Posted-In: Donald Trump Gary Johnson Hillary ClintonNews Politics Top Stories Media General Best of Benzinga


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