Poll: 31% of GOP Primary Voters Lean Toward Third Party if Palin is GOP Presidential Nominee

Third Party and Independent Daily:

From Rasmussen, via KintlaLake:

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 31% of likely primary voters say they are at least somewhat likely to consider supporting a third-party candidate for president if former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is the GOP nominee. That includes 17% who say it is Very Likely. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

If ex-Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who unsuccessfully sought the nomination in 2008, is the 2012 nominee, 24% say they are at least somewhat likely to consider a third-party candidate, with 11% who say it is Very Likely.

Twenty-eight percent (28%) are at least somewhat likely to consider a third-party option if another 2008 hopeful, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, wins the party’s presidential nomination. This finding includes 12% who say it is Very Likely.

With former House Speaker Newt Gingrich as the nominee, 27% say they’d be likely to consider a third-party contender, including 13% who say they would be Very Likely to do so.

12 thoughts on “Poll: 31% of GOP Primary Voters Lean Toward Third Party if Palin is GOP Presidential Nominee

  1. paulie Post author

    From the original at Rasmussen…

    Romney, Huckabee and Palin are in a dead heat when likely primary voters are asked whom they would vote for if the primary were held today. Gingrich is only slightly behind the first group.

    (Want a free daily e-mail update? If it’s in the news, it’s in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

    The survey of 1,000 Likely Republican Primary Voters was conducted on November 1, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

    Anywhere from 63% to 70% of likely primary voters indicate they are unlikely to consider a third-party candidate if any of the four are the party’s 2012 nominee.

    Primary voters view Palin slightly more favorably than Romney and Huckabee, but all three are clearly the best-liked of 14 top party players that Rasmussen Reports asked about. Gingrich again comes in fourth.

    Interestingly, in July 2009, Palin was second only to Romney as the presidential candidate Republican voters said they’d vote for in 2012 state primaries, but, along with Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, she also was one of two candidates they least hoped would win the party’s nomination.

    Conservatives in the party are slightly less enthusiastic about Romney than the other three. Party moderates prefer the former Massachusetts governor a bit more and Palin the least.

    Huckabee, a Baptist minister, is the most popular with evangelical Christians.

    Voters of all stripes think Hillary Clinton is more qualified to be president than Barack Obama, but most believe that both Democrats are more fit for the White House than Romney, Gingrich and Palin.

    In August, 48% of voters described Obama’s political views as extreme, while 42% placed them in the mainstream. Among five top contenders for the White House in 2012, including Huckabee and Romney, only Palin was viewed as more extreme than the president.

    A plurality (43%) of all voters believes that neither Democrats nor Republicans in Congress are the party of the American people. Nearly as many see a need for a new third party.

  2. Robert Capozzi

    This is interesting to me. I wonder if Rasmussen has conducted this or a similar poll in previous cycles, for it seems like an odd thing for them to ask. Do they do the same thing for D primary voters?

    I take the results with a grain of salt, but this seems to suggest a fair amount of discontent among Rs with their choices. I’d like to see WHY they have this level of discontent, and whether the discontent is similar for each of the front-runners.

    If there really is an opportunity for a third major party to arise, I’m curious what form it would need to take to quench people’s hunger for a real choice. I’d like to think that a moderate liberty party could fill the bill, but I’m concerned that a populist, anti-immigrant, anti-trade, soak-the-rich approach might be even more viable.

  3. Single Winner Districts = Neanderthal Attractor

    Well the media certainly does want control if there is a third party or independent in the mix in 2012. Especially Bloomberg.com.

    So my question is, what candidate is the establishment media network going to help mess up any coherent coalition?

    Join the Frees,
    opposite gender #1!

    “Why do you THINK they called it Google?”

  4. anonymous

    So the winner of this Palin-Huckabee-Romney debacle will be the one that faces Ron Paul in the real primary, right? I guess the establishment has to choose who to get behind early for this one. Sort of a pre-primary i guess.

  5. Single Winner Districts = Neanderthal Attractor

    #5

    If you’re responding to my post at #4, all I’ve got to say is, MP Ron Paul [Republican] is not a female.

    Join the Frees,
    opposite gender #1!

    “Why do you THINK they called it Google?”

    Nightingale/Ogle [Constitution/Free Parliamentary] in 2012!
    (I’d run with MMP Palin [Republican] or MP Ruwart [Libertarian] as #1 too. Especially Dr. Mary J. Ruwart, I am totally in love with her and her book _Healing Our World in an Age of Aggression_. She is a genius.

    GoNott MP Don Grundmann [Constitution] for US Senate in 2012!

    One of his campaign committees;
    http://www.usparliament.org

  6. Timothy Yung

    Whatever. Polls always seem to overestimate who votes for third parties. People say they will jump end up not jumping especially conservatives like James Dobson.

  7. Charlie Earl

    @TY #7,
    Correctomundo! The discontented among the two old parties always lose their testicular fortitude when ‘crunch time” arrives. All talk, all speculation and no action. R & D’s drink the same Kool-Aid. Only the flavors are slightly different.

  8. paulie Post author

    That has historically been the case, but it’s possible that it could change in 2012. Americans Elect is planning to get on the ballot in all states, and they may either be pushing for a “centrist” ticket or one chosen by mass participation a la “American Idle,” which may or may not yield the same result.

    Suppose the Republican primary battle drags on
    into the late primaries, like the Democrats did in 2008. If Palin ends up as the nominee, it’s entirely possible that an Americans Elect effort with a moderate candidate, a big media push behind it, and perhaps a billionaire on the ticket (Bloomberg? Trump?) and/or a lot of money being raised due to heavy publicity, could end up making it a three way race and being included in debates.

    Or, suppose that Romney wins the Republican primaries and Palin supporters decide to take over the Americans Elect process (assuming it’s not set up in a way to preclude that).

    Once a ticket like that has a lot of money and media attention and polls in such a way as to get into the debates, there is no telling what could happen.

  9. Robert Capozzi

    pc, let me clarify:

    me: whether the discontent is similar for each of the front-runners.

    pc: That’s in the post.

    comment: Let me rephrase: …whether the qualitative discontent is similar for each of the front-runners. The spread of quantitative discontent of 31-24% between Palin and Huckabee I don’t consider to be all that significant. I’d like to know whether the discontent with all 3 is similar or different.

    For ex., I could imagine that Palin discontent might be among more moderate Rs, whereas Romney discontent might be with evangelicals or those bigoted against Mormons. Alternatively, it could be that a big chunk of R primary voters are just discontented with their party as a whole. This latter example could give us a sense of the L opportunity…I emphasize COULD.

  10. paulie Post author

    The only info I have is the numbers above – “likely” and “very Likely.” Presumably “very likely” indicates strength of sentiment. If you want more, go to the Rasmussen link and see what they have.

  11. Robert Capozzi

    pc, I did. Sorry, I’m not making myself clear. I want to know what the motive is BEHIND the likely or very likely stand that these respondent’s views.

    If we knew that, we might be able to reach them more effectively.

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