Fifty-five percent (55%) of voters nationwide would be at least somewhat likely to vote for a third-party presidential candidate in 2020. That figure includes 17% who would be Very Likely to do so.
A ScottRasmussen.com national survey also found that 51% believe it would be good for America to have a serious third-party candidate. Only 18% believe it would be bad.
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz had an op-ed in USA Today suggesting that “A third-party centrist candidate like me could win the presidency in 2020.” Forty percent (40%) believe it is at least somewhat likely such a candidate could win. That includes 10% who say it’s Very Likely.
However, Schultz himself is virtually unknown. Just 17% of voters have a favorable opinion of him and 17% an unfavorable view. The rest either have never heard of him or have no opinion.
Given a choice between Donald Trump, a centrist Democrat, and a third-party candidate, 39% would vote for the centrist Democrat, 32% for President Trump, and 29% for the third-party option.
The results are similar when asked about a progressive Democrat. In that match-up, the Democrat gets 40%, Trump 33% and the third party candidate 27%.
In both options, 23% of Republicans would vote for the third-party candidate. Among women, just 27% would support the president.
Among suburban women, a key demographic group, the president attracts less support than the third-party candidate against either a progressive or a centrist Democrat (see crosstab results).
Earlier polling showed the president trailing a Generic Democrat by six percentage points. That’s little different than the 7-point deficit in this poll relative to either a progressive or a centrist Democrat.
If a third party candidate were to run, most Republicans would like someone with a strong business background and no political experience. Most Democrats would prefer the opposite–a strong political background with no business experience. Independent voters are divided.
The mission of ScottRasmussen.com is to enhance the public dialogue through data-driven analysis that explores the underlying currents of public opinion (read About Us).
The national survey of 1,003 Registered Voters was conducted January 29-30, 2019 by ScottRasmussen.com and HarrisX, a polling company specializing in online surveys (see Methodology). Results for the full sample have a +/- 3.1 percentage point Margin of Error with a 95% level of confidence.
Neither Scott Rasmussen nor ScottRasmussen.com has any relationship with Rasmussen Reports® (see About Us).