Election 2016

Sign Voters Are Not So Stupid: Supporting Slipping for Donald Trump & Hillary Clinton

Growth for third-party choices and among undecideds.


David Deeble

Public Policy Polling (PPP), a group associated with the Democratic Party, has released a new national poll that unintentionally may show the wisdom of the crowd. The big takeaway from talking to 800-plus likely voters between April 26 and April 28th is comforting to those of us interested in more rather than fewer choices in our lives. From Dean Debnam, PPP's muckety-muck:

"The only place we're seeing any growth in support is actually for the third party candidates. More voters are turning to them as Clinton and Trump see their favorability numbers go back in the wrong direction."

To put some meat on those bones:

Hillary Clinton leads with 42% to 37% for Donald Trump, 6% for Gary Johnson, 4% for Jill Stein, and 1% for Evan McMullin, with 10% of voters still undecided. A month ago Clinton actually led 46/41 but both she and Trump's support has dropped by 4 points, with support for third party candidates increasing from 8% to 11% and the level of undecideds increasing from 5% to 10%.

Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson has been steady at 6 percent over the last couple of PPP polls, though Matt Welch notes that it consistently has his lowest numbers among national surveys.

Given that the poll appears to have oversampled Democrats—42 percent of respondents said they were Democrats, 33 percent said they were Republican, and 26 percent as independent or other—the results may portend even more trouble for Clinton. In 2012, Gallup found that 36 percent of voters indentified as Republican, 35 percent as Democratic, and 29 percent as independent. In none of the past three presidential races did Democrats crack 40 percent of likely voters in terms of party identification.

PPP finds that the slumping numbers for Trump and Clinton are due to increased dislike for each of them. Which sounds about right.

Full results here.