Attorney in TexasAttorney in Texas's Journal
The third-party vote is unusually big this year bigger than in any presidential election since 1992. Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson and Green Party nominee Jill Stein regularly combine for more than 10 percent of the vote in national polls. But despite those relatively strong showings, we know little about the partisan makeup of Johnsons and Steins voters; there are enough of them to be worth tracking but too few to make up a meaningful sample in most individual surveys. Which party these voters favor outside of the presidential race could affect down-ballot races for the U.S. Senate and House.
We can learn a bit more about these voters from new data that Morning Consult has shared with FiveThirtyEight; its aggregated from the firms national tracking polls from Aug. 1 through Aug. 20. Johnsons voters are very slightly more favorably disposed toward Republicans. Steins voters are overwhelmingly more favorable toward Democrats. If these voters shun the two major parties at the top of the ticket but choose between the two in down-ballot races, they could help Democrats in congressional races.
When respondents were asked which partys candidate they would back in their districts U.S. House race, only 53 percent of Johnson backers said the Republican; 46 percent said they would vote for the Democrat. (They were not offered the option of a third-party candidate.)1 Thats a bit surprising I would guess that a Libertarian candidate would draw support disproportionately from the GOP. But the small Republican edge among Johnson supporters means that, as a group, they would barely affect down-ballot races if they voted for a major-party nominee. Considering that 9 percent of all voters in the Morning Consult data said they were supporting Johnson for president, the 7-point edge in the U.S. House question means that Johnson voters are adding a little less than two-thirds of a percentage point of support to the Republican margin in the national House vote.
Stein supporters, meanwhile, overwhelmingly favor Democratic House candidates (not surprisingly). Democrats win the House ballot among Stein voters 74 percent to 25 percent. That nearly 50-point margin means that although just 4 percent of all voters are backing Stein, they add 2 percentage points to the aggregate Democratic margin in House races.
Great article. Well worth reading (and well worth executing the suggested strategy).
Each of these states has a Senate battle that will be a key in determining whether we control the Senate.
While we are in AZ, CO, FL, GA, IL, IN, IA, MO, NV, NH, NC, OH, PA and WI winning back control over the Senate, there are also key House races in these same states:
FL2, FL7, FL10, FL13, FL18, FL26,
Winning back control over the Senate and as many seats in the House as possible will greatly expand the scope of our achievable legislative goals.
If we can GOTV in AZ, CO, FL, GA, IL, IN, IA, MO, NV, NH, NC, OH, PA and WI, there will be ZERO pathways for Trump to win, and Hillary will have the Congressional support she needs to break through the gridlock on our most important goals.
Hillary has a commanding lead, and Trump is imploding.
We must not lose sight of the fact that Hillary cannot achieve our most ambitious goals unless we take the Senate and move the House, too.
PS - We also have important House battles in AK's at large seat and in CA21, CA25, CA49, KS3, ME2, MI6, MI8, MN2, MN3, NJ5, NY1, NY3, NY19, NY21, NY22, NY24, SC5, TX23, UT4 and VA5. I'm not suggesting that we de-emphasize these key races. I'm just suggesting that there are synergies we should be exploiting in the 14 states which are (1) important contests in the presidential race, (2) which also have critical Senate races, and (3) also have pivotal House races. If we GOTV in these 14 front-line battleground states, we win the election from the top of the ballot to the bottom.
I do not understand how anyone could support Trump, and at least the supporters of Stein-Baraka and Johnson-Weld share our view that Trump is a completely unacceptable candidate.
Still, I nevertheless see a lot of disparagement of Libertarian and Green Party voters here.
Based on these ten points, which I suspect we all agree upon, I would rather see us reaching out to Greens and Libertarians with regard to their down-ballot votes instead of demonizing the Greens and Libertarians:
1. Trump, Stein and Johnson are all unqualified to be president;
2. Hillary is well qualified to be president;
3. Stein and Johnson have zero chance of being elected;
4. The presidential race is a binary election, but millions will nevertheless vote for a third party;
5. There is a long history of third parties in American democracy so we may as well acknowledge that fact;
6. Control of the Senate is critical to advancing our Democratic agenda;
7. There are many down-ballot races where the Greens or the Libertarians do not even have a candidate;
8. Regardless of their presidential vote, we want down-ballot votes from Greens and Libertarians;
9. Demonizing Libertarians and Greens is not the best strategy to win their down-ballot votes; and
10.Demonizing Libertarians and Greens will not persuade them to switch their presidential preference.
Which of these ten points does anyone here disagree with?
How - exactly - does demonizing Green Party or Libertarian voters help us win the presidency or win back the control of the Senate or win any other down-ballot races?
Was Perot "bad" in 1992 or was he only "bad" in 1996?
Was Anderson "bad" in 1980?
Was T. Roosevelt "bad" in 1912?
Was Lincoln "bad" in 1860?