The latest Reason-Rupe poll results reveal a potential opportunity for a third-party presidential candidate. Seventy two percent of Americans say they would or might consider voting for a third-party presidential candidate, while 48 percent of Americans say they would support a presidential candidate who was “conservative on economic issues and liberal on social issues.” Eighteen percent of Americans said they would strongly support such a candidate, and this is presuming the candidate ran under the banner of a third party. Finally, 37 percent of Americans said they would consider voting for a third-party Tea Party candidate if she or he entered the race against President Barack Obama and the Republican nominee in 2012. These are significant chunks of the population willing to consider and potentially vote for a non-conventional candidate.
Several factors are likely driving this support for non-conventional presidential candidates.
First, there is overwhelming evidence that the American electorate breaks down into more than just simple liberal or conservative blocs. ABC News analyst Matthew Dowd finds that 51 percent of Americans do not fit into conventional liberal or conservative buckets. Gallup finds that at least 44 percent of Americans do not fit this mold. The Reason-Rupe poll also finds that 44 percent do not fit this conventional division. These numbers suggest that traditional Democratic or Republican presidential candidates may not represent the political views of nearly half of all American voters . . .
From a new poll by Reason-Rupe: