Third Parties

Election Do-Over Poll Shows Gains for Gary Johnson, Jill Stein

No sign of third-party regrets



If the people who participated in last year's election could do it all again, Donald Trump would win the popular vote this time—but he wouldn't actually get more support than before. Instead, according to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll, many Hillary Clinton voters would now stay home or back a third-party candidate.

In the actual election, Clinton bested Trump in the popular vote, 48 percent to 46 percent. In the survey, 46 percent said they voted for Clinton and 43 percent said they voted for Trump—not the same numbers, obviously, but it's a similar margin. When those same people were asked who they'd pick if they could do it again, Trump now won, 43 to 40.

You'll note that Trump hasn't gotten any more popular—he gets 43 percent either way. But Clinton has bled support: Gary Johnson now gets 5 percent of the vote (one point higher than how the respondents said they voted last year), Jill Stein gets 3 percent (another one-point bump), and another 8 percent would either vote for someone else or not vote at all. (The remainder say they have no opinion.) The pollsters note that "nonwhites are 10 points more likely than whites to say they would not support Clinton again, with more than a third of them heading to the Libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson."

It's not all bad news for the Clintonites, though. When you include people who didn't vote in 2016, Clinton comes out ahead in the do-over, 41 percent to 37 percent. (Johnson and Stein are still at 5 and 3 percent, respectively.) So some nonvoters appear to wish they hadn't sat the last election out.

But when it comes to third-party supporters, we don't seem to be seeing anything like the regretful Ralph Nader voters of 2000. If anything, this poll suggests we're witnessing the opposite.

Bonus link: "Again and again this year, Americans looked at the choices before them and said, I'd prefer something else."