Poll Finds 16% Would Consider Backing Joe Manchin on a Third-Party Ticket

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(Bloomberg) -- A new poll finds just 16% of registered voters would consider supporting a fusion third-party ticket with West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin for president, highlighting the uphill path for the Democrat if he were to enter the 2024 race.

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The Monmouth University poll released Thursday highlights dissatisfaction among a significant bloc of American voters at the prospect of a rematch between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, but support dropping for a third-party bid when voters are presented with specific potential alternatives.

Three in ten registered voters say they would be open to a third-party fusion ticket with a Democrat and a Republican. However, when asked if they would back a ticket with Manchin and former Republican Utah Governor Jon Huntsman as vice president, only 2% of voters said they would definitely vote for that option and 14% indicating they probably would.

The survey found 44% would definitely not back the ticket, with 31% saying they probably would not. If Manchin and Huntsman were flipped to put the Republican at the top of the ticket, the poll found similar levels of support.

The group No Labels has actively floated the prospect of a third-party bid and on Monday held a forum with both Manchin and Huntsman in New Hampshire. Manchin has declined to rule out a third-party run.

“The more concrete you make an alternative to the major party candidates, the less attractive it becomes,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute. “A third-party nominee needs to capture voters’ imagination to be successful. It is not clear that such a charismatic figure exists right now.”

A Quinnipiac University Poll released Wednesday found that almost half of US voters — 47% —would consider voting for a third-party candidate, a worrying sign for both Biden and Trump, who are barreling toward a rematch next year.

Earlier: Half of Voters Open to Third Party, Worrisome Sign For Biden

Biden isn’t facing a serious challenge for the Democratic nomination, and polls show Trump as the clear frontrunner in the GOP primary.

The Quinnipiac poll found Biden probably has the most to lose from a third party, because voters who dislike both of the potential major candidates tend to be Democrats or Democratic-leaning independents.

The Monmouth poll of 840 registered voters was conducted July 12-17. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 points.

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