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The Third Party Factor

Updated: 2 hours ago

Who has more to fear: Biden or Trump?

In recent weeks, poll-watchers have observed a consistent pattern developing in the race for the White House: Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and the minor party candidates have been routinely taking more support from President Biden than from Donald Trump. However, the latest poll from Michigan is revealing the opposite trend.

The Marketing Resource Group, a regular Wolverine State pollster, was in the field April 8-11 testing the presidential race. Their survey of 600 Michigan likely general election voters finds Mr. Trump leading President Biden by six points, 42-36 percent, on a head-to-head ballot test question.

However, when Mr. Kennedy and the minor party candidates are added, the Trump margin is cut in half, with the former president leading Biden by just three points, 37-34 percent, with Mr. Kennedy attracting 13 percent, and the remaining candidates taking an aggregate three more percentage points. When taking into account those who say they will vote for someone else, are undecided, or refused to answer the question, we see an additional 13 percent falling away from the two major party candidates.

Is Michigan an outlier? Perhaps not, as a new poll from Wisconsin indicates.

From April 3-10, Marquette University tested the Badger State electorate as it does every quarter, polling 814 Wisconsin registered voters. While we see former President Trump leading 48-45 percent within the sample’s likely voters, his edge drops to 41-40 percent when minor candidates are factored in, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. garnering 13 percent support, and Green Party nominee Jill Stein and Independent Cornel West cumulatively attracting five percentage points.

Therefore, as we see reflected in the recently released Michigan poll, in Wisconsin the Independent and minor party candidates are beginning to take more from the Trump coalition than the commensurate Biden vote base.

The implications are clear: Mr. Kennedy and the minor party candidates will be an important factor in the 2024 election. How they break come election day may well decide some, if not all, of the key swing states that will determine the ultimate final outcome.

Dems Dispirited

The Marquette survey also revealed some troubling signs for Democrats in Wisconsin.

It is clear, for example, that the voter enthusiasm question cuts decisively against them. Only 66 percent of Democratic respondents said they were either very (43 percent) or somewhat (23 percent) enthusiastic about voting in November. This contrasts with 82 percent of Republican respondents saying they are very (60 percent) or somewhat (22 percent) enthusiastic about casting their ballots in the general election.

Likewise, the race to represent Wisconsin in the Senate is proving uncomfortably close for Democrats. Although Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin is currently leading Republican challenger Eric Hovde 52-47 percent, the five-point break is actually good news for the GOP. Republicans initially had trouble securing a candidate, and Hovde, a businessman, is already proving to be a close competitor. The numbers are even more encouraging for Hovde when we see that approximately 56 percent of survey respondents express unfamiliarity with his candidacy. This compares with just under 11 percent who are unfamiliar with Sen. Baldwin.

Flip-Flop Poll

In other campaign news, on April 10-11 the Tyson Group conducted an online survey of 600 Arizona likely general election voters and found a partisan flip-flop result.

While former President Trump captured a 39-33 percent lead over President Biden with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. (I) drawing 12 percent support, the U.S. Senate result was the mirror image.

In that race, now without incumbent Kyrsten Sinema (I), US Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Phoenix) scored a 39-34 percent preference vote over Republican Kari Lake. In this race, too, the lead minor party candidate, businesswoman Sarah Williams, drew a significant vote share (10 percent).

While the poll is good news for former President Trump in a critical swing state that both sides will exert the maximum effort to win, it is bad news for GOP chances of expanding what could be a small Republican Senate majority in the next Congress.

Recount Required

Anchored by Silicon Valley, California's open 16th Congressional District is the site of an oddity in the Golden State's top-two "jungle" primary system, in which voters can cast their ballot for any candidate, irrespective of party, after which the first- and second-place finishers advance to the general election.

The official primary vote count produced a tie between the second- and third-place finishers, meaning three individuals will move forward to the general election, instead of just two. Fearing that again counting the votes could alter the outcome, neither tied candidate, San Mateo County Supervisor Joe Simitian (D) or Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell), called for a recount.

Early this week, however, an individual placed a $12,000 deposit to begin the machine recount. Jonathan Padilla is a 2020 Joe Biden convention delegate, according to the Daily Kos Elections site, who used to work for former San Jose Mayor Sam Riccardo (D), the man who secured the first ballot qualifying position for the 16th District general election. The entire recount will cost an estimated $84,000, so it is unclear if Padilla will continue with the payments. If the recount does progress, however, it would not be surprising to see the final count change by a handful of votes, thus one of the two tied candidates could still be eliminated.

Jim Ellis is a 35-year veteran of politics at the state and national levels. He has served ss executive director for two national political action committees, as well as a consultant to the three national Republican Party organizations in DC, the National Federation of Independent Business, and various national conservative groups.

Born and raised in Sacramento, California, he earned a B. A. in Political Science from the University of California at Davis in 1979. Jim raised his daughter, Jacqueline, alone after his wife died following a tragic car accident. He helped establish the Joan Ellis Victims Assistance Network in Rochester, NH. Jim also is a member of the Northern Virginia Football Officials Association, which officiates high school games throughout the region.

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The American Solidarity Party is the only truly pro-life party.

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The problem is how many consecutive Democrat Presidents would spell doom for this country.? I'm fine with someone voting third party, but parties like the American Solidarity party, because of their platform, would never take away Democrat votes. The thought of another 4 years of Biden makes me sick.

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