A new poll from Monmouth University should bring some relief to the Biden campaign – and to media circles in Washington DC.
University pollsters questioned the impact a prominent third party would have on the presidential nomination on a 2020 duel between Mr. Biden and his rival, Donald Trump, who is growing more likely by the day to become the Republican nominee. The results were objectively good news for the president: Voters still support him over the twice-impeached former president when a prominent third-party candidate is brought into the equation.
And even better news for Mr. Biden: when voters are asked to consider a scenario in which voting for a third-party candidate would particularly jeopardize Mr. Biden’s victory, a slim majority say they would vote for the former president.
“The expectation that a third party could tip the scales for Biden could lead to stiffer competition than seeing the spoiler effect helping Trump.” Again, these are hypotheses. “It is impossible to predict the impact of a third party challenge until there is an actual campaign in which media portrayal will play an important role,” said Patrick Murray, director of polling firm Monmouth.
“[W]”If you take a closer look, there doesn’t seem to be enough defectors to make this a viable option,” he added, adding that a third-party bid actually has a chance of winning in 2024.
Notably, the poll only included the names of potential candidates for a so-called “merger” ticket, consisting of a Democrat and a Republican, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, as specific options that voters should consider third-party candidates.
Others are actually running, including Green Party candidate Dr. Cornel West, and two candidates are running under the Democratic nomination — Marianne Williamson and Robert F. Kennedy Jr., though the party doesn’t give them an opportunity to debate the incumbent president.
Mr. Kennedy in particular has not ruled out the possibility of running as a third party should his main bid fail.