A fair share of Americans are not satisfied with either major party presumptive nominee — Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump — and are screaming for a third party contender to contest against them in the general election, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll.
About 21 percent of the people who took part in the poll said that they want an alternative to Clinton and Trump, a number consistent with the highly unfavorable ratings that both presumptive nominees have as they prepare to seal the nominations at their respective party’s national conventions at the end of July.
— The Hill (@thehill) July 10, 2016
While it is unlikely that a third party, or even an independent, candidate would be able to muster enough resources to give Trump or Clinton a tough fight in autumn, the fact remains that both these candidates are not particularly popular within a major section of voters belonging to their own parties. In fact, since modern opinion polling began, Trump and Clinton fare among the worst probable presidential candidates, a fact which brings the nature of the 2016 presidential race into perspective.
Even as both candidates stand on the verge of sealing their nominations, the angst and rancor that is evident within their own ranks is testament to the division that exists among members of the two biggest political parties in America. While various anti-Trump movements within the GOP, led by FreeTheDelegates, aims to upend the real estate mogul’s expected nomination by unbinding all the delegates, a major section of Democratic delegates — mostly supporters of Bernie Sanders — aim to take the nomination fight to the floor of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia later this month.
In such a scenario, it appears that Americans would be well-disposed to voting for a candidate running on a third party ticket, although the success rate of such a presidential bid succeeding still remains a long shot.
— RoseAnn DeMoro (@RoseAnnDeMoro) March 25, 2016
These developments come as Green Party’s probable candidate, Jill Stein, disclosed in an interview with the Guardian earlier this week that she had formally invited Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders to take over her ticket.
“I’ve invited Bernie to sit down explore collaboration – everything is on the table. If he saw that you can’t have a revolutionary campaign in a counter-revolutionary party, he’d be welcomed to the Green party. He could lead the ticket and build a political movement.”
While Stein insisted that her presidential bid’s viable “near term goal” remains to reach 15 percent in national polling (which would enable Green Party’s eventual presidential candidate to stand alongside presumptive nominees Clinton and Trump in televised election debates), her emphasis on inviting Bernie Sanders to take over her ticket gives weight to the claims that the Vermont Senator is the only candidate capable of reaching the Oval Office on a third party ticket.
Considering the historical grassroots campaign that Sanders was able to build over the course of the primary season, which was funded by an unprecedented number of seven million individual donors, it is no wonder that his supporters believe that Bernie Sanders has the political momentum he would need to have a shot at the White House, should he decide to accept Jill Stein’s offer, or even run as an independent candidate.
Green party's Jill Stein invites Bernie Sanders to take over ticket https://t.co/FNEDMncjc0
— The Guardian (@guardian) July 8, 2016
The power of Bernie Sanders campaign’s momentum is not lost on Jill Stein, who concedes that his supporters, including members of the “Bernie or Bust” movement, would be disillusioned if he decides to endorse Hillary Clinton before the Democratic convention.
“If he continues to declare his full faith in the Democratic party, it will leave many of his supporters very disappointed,” she said.
“That political movement is going to go on – it isn’t going to bury itself in the graveyard alongside Hillary Clinton.”
Do you think Bernie Sanders would have a shot at winning if he were to accept Jill Stein’s offer?
[Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]