Nearly one-in-four voters say they will stay home or vote third party if Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are the major party presidential candidates.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely U.S. Voters finds Trump and Clinton tied at 38% each. But 16% say they would vote for some other candidate if the presidential election comes down to those two, while six percent (6%) would stay home. Only two percent (2%) are undecided given those options. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Still, the picture appears to be improving for both candidates. In early March, 49% of voters told us they would definitely vote against Trump if he is the presidential nominee of the Republican Party, but nearly as many (42%) said they would definitely vote against Clinton if she is the Democratic Party’s nominee.
Trump is more toxic within his own party than Clinton is in hers. If Trump is the Republican nominee, 16% of GOP voters say they would choose a third-party candidate, while five percent (5%) would stay home. Sixty-six percent (66%) would vote for Trump, but 10% would vote for Clinton instead.
If Clinton is the Democratic nominee, 11% of Democrats would vote third-party, while three percent (3%) would stay home. Seventy-five percent (75%) would support the nominee, but 11% say they would vote for Trump.
Among voters not affiliated with either major party, nearly one-third say they would opt out: 21% would choose a candidate other than Trump or Clinton, and 10% would stay home. Trump leads Clinton 38% to 27% among unaffiliated voters.
The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on April 25-26, 2016 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.
Despite speculation that Trump may have a problem with women voters, women and men are equally likely to say they would stay home or vote third party in the event of a Clinton-Trump race. Men prefer Trump by six points, while women give Clinton the edge by a similar margin.
Those under 40 are nearly twice as likely as older voters to say they would vote for some other candidate or stay home if Clinton and Trump are the major party nominees. Clinton leads among younger voters but loses to Trump among those 40 and over.
While Clinton has sizable leads over Trump among black and other minority voters, these voters are also more likely than whites to say they will stay home or vote for someone else. Trump leads among white voters.
Following Tuesday’s primaries, it’s moment of truth time for the #Never Trump crowd: Do they want four years of Clinton in the White House or a Republican president they strongly disagree with?
Most Republicans – and most voters in general – don’t consider Trump a conservative. Fifty-five percent (55%) of all voters believe Clinton in political terms is a liberal, but among Democrats, 48% view her as a moderate.
The surprising level of support for Trump and Bernie Sanders suggests voters in the two major parties are getting more extreme in their thinking than their respective party leaders. A sizable number of voters agree, though Democrats are more likely than Republicans to think their party’s voters and leaders are in sync.
Forty-four percent (44%) of voters think it would be good for the United States to have a truly competitive third party, but that’s down from 58% in 2007.