A new survey conducted by Public Policy Polling has found that 37% of Americans and 51% of Independents are open to supporting a third party candidate for President in 2012. And there is good reason to believe these numbers significantly underestimate the level of support for an alternative to the Democrats and Republicans. . . . Of those who are open to a third party alternative to President Obama and his eventual Republican challenger, 48% express support for a centrist candidate who is more conservative than Democrats and more liberal than Republicans, while 30% want a candidate who is more conservative than Republicans and 16% want a candidate who is more liberal than the Democrats. . . . These numbers translate roughly to an 18-19% base-level support for a centrist, third party candidate among the electorate at large. . . .Read the rest.
A look at the poll’s crosstabs shows that Independents are, unsurprisingly, most open to a third party candidate for President in 2012. 51% of Independents expressed openness to the idea, compared to 44% of Republicans and only 24% of Democrats. Given that Independents and Republicans are much more open to the idea of a third party candidate for President than Democrats are, there is good reason to believe that the Public Policy Polling survey significantly underestimates the level of support for an alternative to the deadlock of Democratic-Republican party politics. . . .
From this week's column at CAIVN: