Hillary Clinton has been extending her lead over Donald Trump in national presidential polls, but there could be a new option growing in popularity with voters struggling between both two unpopular candidates —- the prospect of a giant meteor hitting the earth instead.
In a new presidential poll released on Thursday, Public Policy Polling decided to ask registered voters whether they might prefer Doomsday to the idea of President Clinton or President Trump. A surprising percentage of people said yes.
The poll found that Hillary Clinton had the support of 43 percent of voters to 38 percent for Donald Trump. The meteor had the support of 13 percent.
To put in perspective just how many people are willing to risk apocalyptic annihilation, the meteor had higher support than either Libertarian Gary Johnson or Green Party candidate Jill Stein. If the meteor were to somehow get on the ballot in all 50 states (which is unlikely given that the meteor would have needed to gather signatures a long time ago to meet all the deadlines), it would hypothetically end with the highest votes of any third-party candidate since Ross Perot.
As People magazine noted, the giant meteor actually had a lot of support online after the poll was released.
“In the wake of these surprising poll results, the “Sweet Meteor O’Death” celebrated its big win on Twitter (where its bio reads, “Ready to Make an Impact, Tough on Putin & Iran, I’ll probably destroy all Earthly life”), thanking its “human supporters” for the kind words and for considering changing its plans in order to put an end to human life.”
It’s not entirely uncommon for pollsters to add a gag question or two to keep some interest during the long election season, and PPP is the biggest culprit. During the Republican primary this year, the outlet asked Florida voters if they thought Texas Senator Ted Cruz might actually be the mysterious Zodiac Killer.
The results were surprising.
“Finally we find that 38% of Florida voters think it’s possible that Ted Cruz is the Zodiac Killer. 10% say he for sure is, and another 28% say that they are just not sure. Cruz is exonerated from being a toddler serial killer by 62% of the Sunshine State populace.”
Many voters — especially those against Cruz — picked up on the meme, hammering the Senator, who has a reputation for being a bit creepy.
With the giant meteor unlikely to play a role in November, the actual presidential polls have been dominated by Hillary Clinton for more than a month now. She was able to erase the lead Trump had briefly gained after ending the Republican primary with a big win in Indiana and built a nearly six-point lead amid a series of controversies from Donald Trump.
Clinton’s lead now stands at close to seven points according to the poll aggregator, Pollster, and when the numbers are seen on a state-by-state basis, the margin is even larger. FiveThirtyEight, the site that predicted every state correct in 2008 and only one wrong in 2012, released its first election projection of the year, showing that Clinton has a roughly 80 percent chance of winning in November.
The analysis also found that Hillary Clinton is opening battlegrounds even in some traditionally Republican states, holding a slim lead in North Carolina and only narrowly trailing Donald Trump in Georgia and Arizona. If those numbers hold up, she could be on the way to an electoral college victory even larger than Barack Obama’s margins in 2008 or 2012.
But both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump could still have more trouble in the polls ahead — the giant meteor has nowhere to go but up.
[Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]