Third Parties

Republicans Defect Quicker Than Democrats

Independents Like Ron Paul


A new Public Policy Polling (PPP) poll shows that Republicans are much more likely than Democrats to defect to a third-party presidential candidate. All of the talk recently (here, here, here, and here) of a third-party candidate entering the race should be welcome news to President Obama's campaign staff.

Independents will play an important role if a third-party candidate decides to enter the race. Among Independent voters, Ron Paul stands out at 38 percent, the highest favorability rating among potential third-party candidates. Moreover, in a three-way match-up with President Obama and Republican Mitt Romney, Ron Paul garners 20 percent of Independent votes, the most of any potential third-party candidate.

Three-Way Match-Ups

Independents: Who Do They Favor?

Three-Way Match Up: Among Independents

Click here for full survey results.

Survey Methods

The Reason-Rupe Q3 2011 poll collected a nationally representative sample of 1200 respondents, aged 18 and older from all 50 states and the District of Columbia using live telephone interviews from August 9th-18th 2011. The margin of sampling error for this poll is ± 3 percent. The margin of error for the GOP presidential race numbers is ± 4.79%. Interviews were conducted with respondents using both landline (790) and mobile phones (410). Landline respondents were randomly selected within households based on the adult who had the most recent birthday. Sample was weighted by gender, age, ethnicity, and Census region, based on the most recent US Census data. The sampling frame included landline and mobile phone numbers generated using Random Digit Dialing (RDD) methods and randomly selected numbers from a directory-listed sample. Click here for full methodological details. NSON Opinion Strategy conducted the poll's fieldwork. View full methodology.

NEXT: Reason-Rupe Poll Finds Opportunity for Third-Party Presidential Candidate

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Except this poll–and all polls are fucking stupid–is already out of date as it does not take Rick Perry into account.

    Polls are stupid.

    1. Are you familiar with the recent governor’s race in Massachusetts? Friend of Barrack Deval Patrick used a third party dupe to win re-election. Don’t discount this strategy.

      1. Maybe the second-party “dupe” against Patrick should have quit the race.

      2. Isn’t that the what Huntsman is? A “moderate” Republican who can, after failing to gain any delegates, runs as the ‘sane’ republican. I can’t come up with any other reason why he’s running and why liberals keep praising him.

    2. “We ignore politics most of the time.”

  2. So, the American public favors Donald trump over Ron Paul in a three-way between BO and Romney?


  3. “A three way with Barrack? Reason readers respond.”

  4. This is proof positive that a great majority of the left does not give a SHIT about stopping war or ending the war on drugs, and are in fact authoritarian followers of the cult of Obama’s personality and the state.

    They won’t even give anti war guys from the left like Nader or Sanders (is he anti-war? I don’t know) a chance. Even a more-dovish-than-Obama “moderate” like Huntsman doesn’t ring any bells. Obama has abandoned the left on foreign policy and the war on drugs, and they don’t care one bit.

    This should expose the mainstream left as a bunch of state lackeys.

    1. In Eastern Europe during communism there used to be a common expression about “getting closer to socialism” as a reason for any stupid thing they wanted to do.

      And that’s all the American left cares about: getting closer to socialism. Nothing else matters, because once Big Brother’s firmly in control all our problems will magically disappear.

      1. In Soviet Russia, socialism get closer to YOU!

    2. Yes. I think it also exposes the meaninglessness of Jon Stewart’s ode to centrism and “common sense.” Only those labeled as extreme have shown any remote willingness to do anything about the warfare (and less important to Stewart, welfare) state. So when they call for common sense, bipartisanship, and centrism, it means they don’t care about the issues they say they care about or it means those are all code words for the far left.

      1. Jon Stewart of 2011 pisses all over Jon Stewart of 2010’s call for moderacy and civility. Why shouldn’t the rest of us?

      2. We have a far-right party in this country and a moderate-right party. There is no far left here except perhaps in college English departments, and while I’m not happy about what they’ve done to the study of literature, we have a long way to go before the left gets any actual political power.

        But Stewart’s calls for civility are obviously as effective as Obama’s. I say you fight fire with fire. The right has cried wolf so many times I think the fear of being called more names and labeled scary monsters is misplaced by Democrats.

        1. You lost me at “There is no far left here”

          1. That’s because you probably think anyone to the left of Michelle Bachmann is “far left.”

            1. Or because YOU think anyone just to the right of Stalin is “centrist”.

        2. no far left? Did you miss the part about “if you don’t by health insurance, you’ll pay a fine or go to jail”.. Or, the part where bureaucrats arbitrarily determine mileage standards for cars. Or where hte presence of a minnow cuts water to farm country in CA.

          1. First, nobody’s going to jail for not buying health insurance, but if a bloated talking head on cable teevee has you thinking that, it’s no wonder you’re upset.

            Obamacare was the Heritage Foundation Plan. It used to be THE plan for Republicans.

            I’m tired of the notion that every time the Republicans lurch further right it must be assumed that the other side is going equally far left. What actually happens is the other side follows them to the right.

            1. Yes. Obamacare is LOADED with tort reform. It’s measured in the millions (way more than thousands).

              And Obama’s economic plan next week is filled with stuff everyone already agrees on – it’s pretty much a Republican plan doncha know.

              The fact that the Rs will be against Obama’s ‘everyone already agrees that this is a Republican plan’ plan won’t confuse our media for a second. No, they’ll figure it out: the Republicans are playing politics!?11ty!?!

            2. First, nobody’s going to jail for not buying health insurance,

              Try not paying the fine for refusing to buy health insurance.

              1. People who don’t pay their taxes should be punished.

        3. Tony, war is the climax of everything the modern mainstream left stands for. It is the ultimate expression of state dominance and power. What’s not to love about that if you’re a good socialist?

          1. First of all, you people sound ridiculous calling people “statist” as if you offer some alternative to believing in the state that’s not pure intellectual masturbation. It also apparently absolves you of all responsibility in life for caring about what policies we follow. Like you’re above it all, because you say so.

            Perhaps war is the end result of human nature. But what prevents war in the modern world? Arguably, strong international institutions of diplomacy. You know, those institutions the right is constantly trying to tear down because of all the “statism” they represent. States are agents of war, it can’t be denied, but they are also the antidote to war within their jurisdiction. They are the repository of legitimate violence. Without strong state-like institutions among states, war is certainly possible. But it’s not the weak unconnected states in this world that are least prone to warfare. It’s the ones that cut themselves off and declare themselves to be ruled by superior ideas (such as, God told me I was king!) that are prone to warfare, or more chillingly for your purposes, prone to being bombed by the big powers. Merely replacing “God told me I was king” with “Ayn Rand told me I was king” doesn’t solve that situation.

            1. I think trade is a bigger impediment to war than any actions taken by nation-states. Arguably, the international aid industry is booming thanks to those international institutions of diplomacy and the wars they enable and encourage.

              1. International aid industry? Well, the oil “industry” is certainly not making countries less warlike.

                My point is that within a jurisdiction, it’s statehood that decreases the likelihood of warfare. You don’t see war among the US states, or even among European countries, and that was the crucible for modern warfare before stronger international unions were invented. You want less violence between peoples, then you need stronger government between them. It’s the same from countries all the way down to the streets.

                Capitalism probably plays an important role, but it’s not without its blemishes in motivating international violence.

    3. How does one give a Ralph Nader or Bernie Sanders a “chance,” assuming they would run?

      You get two choices in a presidential election, R or D. A vote for “conscience” is a vote for the party that least represents your views, as any former Ralph Nader voter should know.

      Some of us prefer the lesser of two evils to the worse of two evils.

      1. Three explorers are captured by ferocious warriors from an African tribe. When brought to the chief, he tells them:

        “You have two choices – Death, or Mololongo!”

        The explorers turn to each other, and then one says:

        “I guess I will take Mololongo!”

        He is then taken into a hut. Some noises of struggling are heard; after, he comes out, all untidy, his clothes ripped, walking strangely and saying in a very gay voice “Oh my God, I can say now that I have begun to live! Yay!” And walks away a “new man.”

        So, the chief tells the rest:

        “So, you have two choices – Death, or Mololongo!”

        One of the two explorers tells the chief: “I guess I will have Mololongo!”

        Again, he is taken into the same hut; noises of struggle are heard. After, he comes out saying in a gay voice “Oh my God! I have now started to live! Yay!” And walks away a “new man.”

        The chief asks the last explorer, a very proud and manly man:

        “So, what’s your choice – Death, or Mololongo?”

        “I will take Death, you savage!” replies the man with manly conviction.

        “All right, but first: MOLOLONGO!”

        Those are your two choices, you suckpuppet.

        1. I’ll bet you $10,000 that the next president will be a Republican or Democrat.

          You are free to wish as hard as you want for another outcome.

            1. No one ever takes my bet.

              Yet there are still those who blather on about voting for principle.

              1. Yes, and continuing to vote for R’s & D’s will convince the 2-party cartel to change.


                1. We have a winner-take-all system for the most part; the duopoly is built into the system.

                  Depending on collective willpower to overcome that is a recipe for disappointment, which is why no one ever takes me up on my modest wager.

                2. ^^THIS^^

                  Tony’s asinine mode of “thinking” ensures that the “two” party monopoly of power continues to not only remain in place, but grow.

                  1. People’s “modes of thinking” don’t change anything. It’s built into the system. What is with you guys thinking that wishing hard enough will change anything? You don’t even have fairy dust.

                    1. People’s “modes of thinking” don’t change anything.

                      Well in a larger context they obviously do. Continually. Hope for a realization of libertarian ideas rests on that principle I believe.

              2. This is why I’m just not going to vote. It’s choose your rapist. The only way to win is to refrain from giving it my stamp of legitimacy.

                1. Win what? The purity contest inside your head? That’ll feed some hungry folks for sure.

                2. I vote LP. Pointless? Probably. However, until and unless enough people avoid the 2 party cartel, it won’t change.

                  We’ve had party changes in our history. I’d say we’re due for another one…


  5. This poll is just plain weird.

    Bernie Sanders and Ralph Nader steal votes from Mitt, but not Barack?

    1. Also, this poll seems to show that independents favor Barack by pretty good margins. That doesn’t sound consistent with other polls I’ve heard about showing his support crashing among independents (TLTL).

      1. Public Policy Polling is an arm of the democratic party. Take anything they say with a big grain of salt.

    2. Re: R C Dean,

      Bernie Sanders and Ralph Nader steal votes from Mitt, but not Barack?

      Maybe they’re not so “independent” after all…

    3. I know it wasn’t rupe-rupe. It was something else but I don’t believe it was rupe-rupe

  6. The people demand alt text. Don’t make me give you the Suderman treatment.

  7. In summary, a third party candidate is just about the only way that Obama gains a second term. I always vote Libertarian, except for when it matters. This time, it matters.

    1. “This time, it matters.”

      Aw bullshit. You really think that anyone likely to be nominated by the Republicans is going to be significantly better?

      There is always some asshole saying “this time it matters”, and they are always wrong. Your vote doesn’t matter. Vote for who you think would be the best president.

      1. Or heed Lysander Spooner:

        “A man is no less a slave because he is allowed to choose a new master once in a term of years.”

    2. I hear this every election.

    3. It only really matters if the winner is noticeably better than Obama. Don’t get your hopes up.

  8. What will happen: Sarah Palin and Ron Paul will lose the nomination. Romney will squeek past Perry, thanks to Palin. Sarah and Ron, the arrogant, snivelling poor sports that they are, will both mount independent third party bids. Barack and his whole team will stick around, with a “mandate” from the voters, no less. It will be a +15 margin of victory.

    1. I think you need to get your crystal ball fixed. Paul has already said he won’t run as an independent and despite what the media would have you believe, Palin is smart enough to know that her support would collapse overnight if she was perceived as giving Obama the win by running as an independent.

      1. Ron Paul is not renewing his TX-14 seat, as he has done for decades. Only a fool would think he will win the Republican Party nomination. He will mount a third party bid if Romney wins. And Romney wins because Palin has already been campaigning for 3 years non-stop- so she’ll make it official soon, and she has jusssst enough rabid followers to sink Perry behind Romney.

        Palin is THE opportunistic attention whore cult-leader of the political right. Her support comes from fanatic idiots. They won’t reverse their support of her under any circumstances. She isn’t smart but she is as self-serving as they come. Go check out some of her many cultish websites, if you haven’t before, starting with c4p.

  9. I haven’t spoken to him, but I have it on good authority that SIV favors himself in a three-way between Palin and Bachmann.

  10. Where’s White Injun to tell me he’s challenging me to revisit my beliefs, and I am a loser because he apparently thinks I haven’t done that in response to entreaties? Like I should respond to anonotrolls and shit? Or something?

    Maybe he’s lunching with derpfy.

    Also, I got yer pole, RIGHT HERE.

    1. You’re a loser because you’ve claimed to have been an adult in the 1970s, yet you use internet/4chan slang that originated with teenagers in the early 2000s. You are like a 50 year old man in 1988 going “awesome bro! totally gnarly! that dude totally nerfed it!”. Just picture it. 50 years old. Hijacking Millenial slang and subculture. Lame-as-shit old motherfucker, that’s why you’re a loser.

      Not because you didnt respond to WhiteIndian.

  11. I like the misspelling of “Michel” Bloomberg. It makes him sound charmingly French. Not enough to forget he’s a nanny statist asshole, however.

    1. I always thought he was some sort of garden gnome that magically came to life after decades of eating the dreams of children.

      I guess that really doesn’t preclude him being French as well… In fact, it all makes sense now.

  12. And as usual, Gary Johnson doesn’t exist. It’s like he’s the chupacabra of New Mexico or something.

  13. And as usual, Gary Johnson doesn’t exist. It’s like he’s the chupacabra of New Mexico or something.

    1. Don’t worry. Somebody will eventually hit him with a car in the middle of the night.

      1. Yeah, but then all the scientists will claim he’s just a coyote with mange.

  14. of course, Dems are slower to bolt for a third party. Can anyone imagine an alternative party that called for even more govt than the left already advocates?

  15. Vote Gary Coleman in 2012!

    His campaign slogan: “Whatchoo talkin’ bout, Willis?”

    1. I think if he ran now his slogan would be “BRAAAAAAAAINNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNSSSSSSSSS…”


  16. Imagine that. Those who place “community” above individuals being less willing to consider 3rd party candidates.

    i’ve decided that I’ll be voting 3rd party no matter who it is on the ballot. It could be a candidate from the “We seriously want Soviet-style communism” party and that’s who is getting my vote.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.