Independent Candidates Are Pulling Support From Trump And Biden

( – Although the United States has embraced a two-party system, that doesn’t mean third-party presidential candidates haven’t impacted elections. For instance, Ralph Nader took enough votes from Democratic nominee Al Gore during the 2000 campaign cycle to derail his campaign and hand the victory to former President George W. Bush.

Likewise, a plausible case can be made that Green Party candidate Jill Stein took enough votes from Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin to hand former President Donald Trump an Electoral College victory in 2016.

Recent polling shows that, once again, independent candidates could have a significant impact on the upcoming 2024 presidential race.

Third-Party Candidates Pull Support From Trump and Biden

A couple of recent polls revealed the potential impact of independent candidates’ entry into the 2024 presidential race. Quinnipiac University Poll released its survey on November 1. President Joe Biden received support from 47% of registered voters, and former President Donald Trump received 46% in a hypothetical general election match. In other words, they are in a statistical tie.

Predictably, Democrats and Republicans supported their respective candidates by the same margin — 94% to 4%. Independent voters split in Trump’s favor — 45% to 44%.

However, the margin between Biden and Trump widens in a matchup broadened to include Robert Kennedy Jr, son of former Attorney General Robert Kennedy. Biden received 39% support in that scenario, Trump got 36%, and Kennedy picked up a surprising 22% support.

Biden’s lead narrowed when Quinnipiac added self-professed social Democrat Cornel West to the ticket. Biden received 36% support, Trump got 35%, Kennedy took 19%, and West picked up 6%. Under this matchup, Biden and Trump returned to a statistical tie.

Biden Benefits From a Three-Way Matchup in October Survey

On October 17, Maris released the results of its joint survey on the 2024 election conducted with NPR and PBS News Hour. Once again, Biden had a narrow lead over Trump in a hypothetical 2024 race, gaining 49% to Trump’s 46%, a statistical tie within the poll’s parameters. Earlier that month, Biden enjoyed a smaller lead of 49% to Trump’s 47%.

In a two-person matchup, Trump fared better with independent voters than Biden. The former president led the current occupant of the Oval Office by six points, 49% to 43%.

However, in a three-person matchup, those numbers shifted significantly in Biden’s favor. Biden rose to a seven-point lead over Trump, gaining the support of 44% of registered voters to Trump’s 37%. Sixteen percent (16%) of the individuals surveyed supported Kennedy.

Biden and Trump sat at a statistical tie with independents, with Biden picking 33% support to Trump’s 34%. Kennedy received the support of 29% of independent voters.

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