Poll: Trump Rises Above Clinton When Third-Party Candidates Enter The Mix


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Phillip Stucky Political Reporter
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In a recent poll conducted by NBC news, things look great for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when up against Donald Trump, but when a third-party contender is added to the mix, Clinton’s lead evaporates.

In a national head-to-head poll published Tuesday, Clinton has a healthy five-point lead over Republican opponent Trump — similar to polls published last week by Public Policy Polling.

This new poll asks respondents about third-party candidates, explicitly asking about Gary Johnson, the Libertarian nominee, and Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate. (RELATED: Trump Slides, Clinton Gains In Newest Poll) 

When third-party challengers were added to the survey, the numbers changed from a clean 45-40 split in favor of Clinton, to 39 percent for Trump, 36 percent for Clinton, eight percent for Johnson and four percent for Stein. While eight percent of likely voters abstained from deciding.

These numbers directly conflict with previous assumptions that a third-party candidate would take more votes from Trump than Clinton. This is likely due to the Democratic party’s recent schism, with candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders denying that the primary election is over and his supporters following suit.

For Republicans, there is still a divide, and those dissidents no longer seem to back Johnson, according to this poll.

Meanwhile, Real Clear Politics has Clinton in a single-point lead against Trump at 39 to 38 percent, with 11 percent going to Johnson. Green Party candidate Jill Stein was not an option for respondents in that poll.

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