Voters consider third-party candidates in race for White House
BILLINGS, Mont. - Hillary Clinton continues to lead in the polls over Donald Trump. The CNN Poll of Polls, which uses the results of six major polls conducted after the party conventions, shows Clinton with an average of 49 percent support to Trump's 39 percent.
But several polls show both candidates remain unpopular among voters. So what does that mean for third-party candidates running for the presidency?
KULR-8 Political Analyst Lee Banville said, if conservatives become deeply frustrated with Trump and really start to see him as a non-viable candidate, and he continues to lose ground to Hillary Clinton, people frustrated with the Republican Party accepting Trump as the nominee may look to the Libertarian Party. That party is headed by Gary Johnson, the former Republican governor of New Mexico, and William Weld, a moderate Republican and the former governor of Massachusetts.
"These two guys are trying to make the case that really they are the sort of core of the Republican Party that used to be, the sort of conservative, limited government but responsible sort of governance that many people have criticized Donald Trump for sort of abandoning," Banville said. "So if people start to buy into that, if they actually see that Donald Trump isn't going to be the winner and therefore vote for Johnson and Weld as really a vote to argue that the party should change, then we actually may see a lot of people start to move in that direction."
Banville said for third-party candidates, 15 is the magic number. Johnson, Weld and Green Party candidate Jill Stein must get 15 percent support in a legitimate political poll before they can participate in the presidential debates.
"But if this race, which is...likely tightens between Clinton and Trump, then I think a lot of people will be worried about this thing called the 'wasted vote' concern, which is, if you vote for Johnson are you really actually just voting for Clinton because you're taking a vote away from Donald Trump. And if people start to feel that way, then what we've seen as pretty substantial support, 10 percent for Johnson in some polls, could evaporate very quickly."