Sunday, July 17, 2016

Third party candidates trending upward

Third party candidates trending upward

"The growing support for third party candidates also seems centered among younger voters, which could prove harmful to Clinton's campaign. Among those voters under age 35, 46% back Clinton, 21% Trump, 20% Johnson and 10% Stein."

Good point. If young voters were forced to choose between Clinton and Trump, Clinton would have a massive edge. But if they stay away from the polls altogether or vote for third party candidates, it directly undercuts Clinton's advantage. You know that not much of that 30% for Johnson and Stein is coming from people who would otherwise have voted for Trump. If Trump were as clever and diabolical as Nixon, he would have a stalking horse organization working the campuses and encouraging young people to vote for third party candidates, but I'm guessing that Trump's ego is too mammoth to encourage people to vote against himself, even if that ultimately served his purpose. Nixon only cared about results, while Trump still worries about appearances.


  1. Not true about Johnson voters. Myself and lots of my former GOP friends are going Johnson in the hope they'll get enough to receive matching campaign funds next time. Plenty of us would prefer a funded, mature Libertarian party over the neo-con big government current GOP, and many of us recognize trump for the malignant narcissist asshat he is.

  2. We're not talking about ALL Johnson voters, only the ones in the 18-24 age group. I'm assuming that almost none of them would be Trumpies, and that almost all the third party votes from the kiddies cut directly into Hillary. Is that incorrect?

  3. All the Stein voters, maybe. All the Johnson voters, not so much.

    The 2012 exit polls nationwide don't have an 18-35 Demographic, but Obama and Romney split the 18-29 set 60%-37% and the 30-39 cohort 55%-42%. 18-29 year olds were 19% of the electorate and 30-39 17%, so a reasonable estimate is that 30-35 year olds were 9% of the electorate and the split something like 57%-40% and the composite of 18-35 at something like 59%-38%, with Johnson and Stein probably taking 1% each of the other voters.

    See here:

    OK, in the above poll, Clinton has 46% to Obama's 59% and Trump has 21% to Romney's 38%, with Johnson at 20% and Stein at 10%.

    That ALL of Stein's voters would probably pick anyone besides Trump is probably a given assumption, but let's imagine that Stein is drawing ~11% of her vote over her 2012 support from people who would otherwise support Trump because that gives us 9% of voters who would prefer Clinton and 1% who'd go for Trump if both Johnson and Stein were not in the race with 1% going to a "Generic Green".

    Now Clinton is at 55% of the 18-35 vote to Trump's 22%. If we assume that the remaining 20% of Johnson voters would cast votes that look like the the 2012 race all other things being equal, 1% would go to a "Generic Libertarian" to match Johnson's 2012 performance, leaving 19% which would split about 2% Clinton to 17% Trump or 3% Clinton to 16% Trump.

    Either way, it seems very unlikely that Johnson is stealing very many votes from Clinton at all.

    Caveats to the above analysis:

    1.) Polling has been very, VERY volatile and contradictory in the last month, so putting too much faith in any one poll is probably unwise.

    2.) Stein voters are more likely to hold their nose and pull the lever for Clinton than Johnson voters are for Trump, especially now that the Messiah, I mean Bernie, has endorsed her.

    3.) Even IF the Stein numbers in the popular vote stay very high up until election day, it may not really matter, because Stein voters will be concentrated in Blue states Trump hasn't got a prayer in to start with and will be insufficient to put those into the Red for the electoral college, while Johnson voters will be in wealthier areas of all states, and could easily be enough to nudge places like NC, GA and AZ into the Blue column in addition to the 2012 battleground states.