Politics

Libertarian Gary Johnson Beats Clinton Among Independents

| by Ray Brown
Gary JohnsonGary Johnson

Presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton might have the backing of her party, but she's behind her opponents among independents.

According to a Fox News poll, Clinton trails presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump and Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson among people who do not identify with a political party. Trump has support from 32 percent of independents, while Johnson has 23 percent.

Clinton is at 22 percent among independents.

Clinton has had a difficult time attracting independent voters. In the Democratic primary, independent voters helped Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont beat Clinton in several states and he has consistently polled higher than Clinton among independent voters.

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According to a Wall Street Journal poll conducted in May, only 20 percent of independents viewed Clinton positively, compared with 62 percent who viewed her negatively -- a gap of 42 percentage points.

But in that same poll, Trump fared even worse.

The Republican was viewed favorably by only 19 percent of independents, while 67 percent had a negative opinion.

Johnson, meanwhile, has a lot to gain from succeeding with independents. If he manages to reach favorability among 15 percent of voters, he could be included in nationally televised debates, according to Real Clear Politics.

Currently, he is at about 12 percent, according to the Fox News poll. But he could gain as voters have expressed dissatisfaction with the two major party candidates.

"It is becoming clear at this early stage of the campaign that both Clinton and Trump are having trouble drawing more voters into their camps, particularly those not affiliated with either major party," Rasmussen said in a press release according to U.S. News. "This is feeding interest in third-party candidates like Johnson, who was chosen last weekend as the Libertarian Party's presidential standard-bearer." 

Sources: Real Clear Politics, Wall Street Journal, U.S. News / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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