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More Democrats Than Republicans Are Willing to Consider Third-Party Presidential Candidate

More Democrats than Republicans are willing to consider a third-party presidential candidate if President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump are the nominees, according to a new poll.

The NBC News poll found that 45 percent of Democrats say they’d consider backing a third-party or independent presidential candidate, compared to 34 percent of Republicans who said the same.

“A majority of Hispanic voters (58%), young voters ages 18 to 34 (57%), Democrats who backed progressive Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders in the 2020 Democratic primary (55%) and Black voters (52%) say they’re open to considering a third-party or independent presidential candidate in a Biden-Trump rematch,” the pollsters found. “Even among Republicans who say they primarily support the Republican Party over Trump, 47% would consider a third-party or independent candidate while 50% said they would not.”

A majority of all voters, 53 percent, said that they would not consider voting third party in another Biden versus Trump matchup.

“It’s not uncommon in recent election cycles for around 4 in 10 voters to say they’re open to a third choice — though by Election Day, the share who ultimately stray from the two parties has been small,” NBC noted. “But there have been two straight razor-close presidential elections. A significant share of voters broke for third-party candidates during Trump’s win in 2016 compared to when he lost in 2020. And some Democrats are urgently warning about a potential third-party 2024 effort bankrolled by No Labels, the bipartisan political organization.”

No Labels, a “centrist” political organization, has said that they intend to run a candidate in 2024, though they have not yet announced a name. One that has been floated as a possibility is Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

Left-wing activist Cornel West has announced his candidacy for the presidency, first saying he was running for the People’s Party, but has since switched to the Green Party.

The NBC poll was conducted by Republican pollster Bill McInturff’s firm Public Opinion Strategies along with Democratic firm Hart Research Associates.

“From the Republican Party’s perspective, this is the low watermark for considering a third party, and it’s a high watermark for Democrats,” McInturff told NBC. “I don’t think Manchin would be the typical third-party candidate for a disaffected Democrat, but it still tells you why they are very very jumpy about a third party in this race.”


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