New poll says 55% of public want a 3rd-party presidential candidate to run this year

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A majority of Americans don’t want a Hillary Clinton – Donald Trump presidential election matchup, and at least one-fifth of voters say they would vote for a generic third-party candidate today.

As some Republicans continue to scramble to find a third party alternative more acceptable to conservative minded voters, a poll released on Wednesday shows that 58 percent of Americans are dissatisfied with the current group of presidential candidates.

The survey, conducted by Joel Searby at the Gainesville-based firm Data Targeting, also shows that 55 percent favor an independent run for president this year, and 65 percent say that they are at least somewhat, pretty or very willing to support a candidate for president who is not Trump or Clinton.

The poll shows than a generic independent candidate today would get 21 percent of the vote running against Trump and Clinton. Ross Perot, running as a third-party independent against Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush in 1992, collected 18.9 percent of the vote, the best showing of an independent in a generation.

“A shocking 91 percent of voters under the age of 29 favor having an independent candidate on the ballot,” the survey also says.

The survey reports that both major candidates have “historically high negative name ID,’ with 56 percent having an unfavorable view of Clinton, and 55 percent having an unfavorable view of Trump.

Conservatives, upset about the fact that Trump has emerged as the presumptive GOP nominee, have been agitating for a Republican with presumably high name recognition run as a third-party independent. Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse (pictured above), former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, and lately former Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn have been the most prominent names floating about (Yahoo News reported on Wednesday that Romney has taken his name out of any such consideration).

The survey interviewed 997 likely voters between May 12 and May 15.

The problem with any serious third-party candidacy is that the deadlines to qualify in various states are starting to approach. The deadline in Texas was May 9, and deadlines for Illinois, Indiana, New Mexico and North Carolina will expire next month.

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Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.