Hard to know what to think of this new CBS News National Poll. The top line result shows that in a two way race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, Hillary leads 43-37%. That’s when things get interesting. In the first set of poll questions asked, a total of 5% of respondents answered “other” and 6% said “won’t vote.” A total of 9% said “not sure.”
However, when Libertarian Gary Johnson was added to the mix, Hillary’s lead remained essentially unchanged, but Johnson showed massive levels of support – levels that would be wholly unprecedented for a Libertarian Party candidate. When Johnson is thrown into the mix, the top line result becomes Clinton 39, Trump 32, Johnson 11. What this shows is that Johnson at least right now is benefitting from equal disgust with both Clinton and Trump.
Will Johnson actually get 10 or 11% in November? Seems doubtful. My best guess is that right now, people are eager to tell pollsters how unhappy they are with the two main choices. My suspicion is that they will come home as the election gets closer. But in this crazy election year, who knows? They might not. And if Johnson really does get even close to 10%, and the LP starts getting matching funds and looking a little less crazy, that might well be a game-changing development in the American political scene.
By the way, buried in this poll is a bunch of horrible news for Trump. For one thing, Hillary leads Trump on terrorism and national security – 50-43%. She also leads him on gun policy – 46-45%. Nearly as many people think Trump did something “illegal or improper” with Trump University (45%) as think Clinton did something “illegal or improper” with her email servers (65%). By a 30-67% margin, voters do not feel that Trump is “prepared for the job of President.”
And then here are the numbers that are the death knell for the Trump campaign – on every issue that should be a weakness for Clinton, she is actually leading Trump:
Yikes. I guess that “Make America Great Again” branding program isn’t sticking so well as Trump might have hoped.