Forty-four percent of registered voters say they are willing to consider supporting an independent or third party presidential candidate if President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump are the party’s top two nominees in 2024, and the group includes more Democrats than Republicans, according to the new NBC News poll.
The majority of all registered voters, 53%, say they would not consider voting for another candidate in a Biden-Trump showdown next year.
It’s not uncommon in recent election cycles for around 4 in 10 voters to say they’re open to a third option, though by Election Day the proportion ultimately deviating from both parties has been small.
But there have been two close presidential elections. A significant portion of voters turned to third-party candidates during Trump’s victory in 2016 compared to when he lost in 2020. And some Democrats they are urgently warning about a possible third-party effort by 2024 funded by No Labels, the bipartisan political organization.
Republican pollster Bill McInturff, whose firm, Public Opinion Strategies, runs the NBC News poll along with a Democratic firm, Hart Research Associates, said the increased interest of left-wing voters in the idea of a third-party candidate underscores why there has been such strong Democratic concern about No Labels this year.
“From the perspective of the Republican Party, this is the lower water mark to consider a third party, and it is a high water mark for the Democrats,” he said, before mentioning a possible candidate who has not ruled out a run under the motto No labels: the democrat senator. Joe Manchin of West Virginia.
«I don’t think Manchin is your typical third-party candidate for a disgruntled Democrat, but it still tells you why they’re very nervous about a third party in this race.»
Among Democrats, 45% say they would consider endorsing an independent or third party presidential candidate, compared to 52% who would not. By comparison, 34% of Republicans would consider endorsing another candidate, while 63% would not.
Most of a handful of Democratic-leaning groups seem more open to another option if Biden and Trump win their nominations.
A majority of Hispanic voters (58%), young voters ages 18-34 (57%), Democrats who endorsed progressive Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders in the 2020 Democratic primary (55%), and black voters (52%) ) say We are open to considering an independent or third-party presidential candidate in a Biden-Trump rematch.
Even among Republicans who say they primarily support the GOP over Trump, 47% would consider an independent or third party candidate, while 50% said they would not.
While most voters are still not open to considering such an offer, historical NBC polls show the public has been more open to an independent or third-party year in the Trump era.
When asked a similar question in January 2008 (with then-Democratic Senator Barack Obama and Republican Senator John McCain as candidates on the ticket), only 38% said they would consider another option, while 56% said they would not. .
In April 2012, a confrontation between then-President Obama and Republican Mitt Romney, then the former Governor of Massachusetts and now a US Senator from Utah, led to 40% saying they would consider another candidate and 58% saying no.
But in March 2016, faced with the prospect of Trump running against Democrat Hillary Clinton, the former Secretary of State, 46% said they would consider another candidate and 51% said they would not.
No Labels has bristled at the idea that their effort, which is currently spending tens of millions of dollars to gain access to ballots for a possible independent «unity ballot,» will hurt Biden and the Democrats.
The group says it is responding to clear unease among the American public about the idea of another election with Biden and Trump. And No Labels has criticized the Democrats who are sounding the alarm about their effort, calling them undemocratic.
“No Labels is not and will not be a spoiler for Donald Trump in 2024,” Ben Chavis, the Democratic co-chairman of No Labels, told NBC News this month, adding that the group would end its effort if it votes on the spring show. Biden «way, way ahead» of Trump.
He NBC News poll It was held June 16-20 and included 1,000 registered voters, 831 of whom were contacted by cell phone, and has an overall margin of error of plus-minus 3.1 percentage points.
Among the 500 Republican primary voters in the poll, the margin of error is plus-minus 4.38 percentage points.