The Economist/YouGov released a new national poll today, and the top line is about what you’d expect – Hillary by 5 over Trump, regardless of whether the third party candidates are named or not. I think that’s probably a pretty good indication of where the race is right now, although I would expect Trump to get a minor bump from the FBI press conference yesterday and perhaps another one from the VP announcement next week.
Here’s what’s interesting. There’s been a lot of discussion about the support Gary Johnson is getting in the polls, which is way more than any Libertarian candidate has gotten in the past. Also, Green Party candidate Jill Stein is getting a lot of buzz, but not as much as Johnson. What people seem to disagree on is whether these candidates are pulling more, in the aggregate, from Trump or Clinton?
Respondents in both cases are WAY more invested in voting against Donald Trump than they are in voting against Hillary Clinton. So, a lot more people are voting for both third party candidates due to hatred of Hillary than hatred of Trump.
What this suggests is that both Johnson and Stein are pulling support from Hillary. Which suggests that the lingering resentment from the Democratic primary is even more prevalent and electorally significant than that from the Republican primary.
Of course, there’s another possible interpretation. It could be that the Stein voters are mostly Bernie Bros, who are ideological leftists who hate Hillary as a supposed corporatist. Meanwhile, the Johnson voters who are voting against Hillary could be disaffected Republicans whose primary voting factor is voting against Clinton… it’s impossible to tell for certain. But it does indicate that resistance to Hillary is almost as powerful and widespread as resistance to Trump.
Which is pretty remarkable in and of itself.