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Nearly half of voters would consider backing third

Sep 18, 2023

Close to half of American voters would consider backing a third-party candidate if President Biden and former President Trump head toward a rematch in 2024, according to a new poll.

A NewsNation/DDHQ poll released Tuesday found 49 percent of respondents said it was somewhat or very likely that they would consider voting for a third-party candidate in 2024 if Trump and Biden were their parties’ nominees.

Among the candidates whom respondents said they would be most likely to vote for as a third party candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) received 21 percent, former Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) received 10 percent and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) received 7 percent, among others.

Another 43 percent said they would choose someone else as a third-party candidate.

Asked recently whether she would consider a third-party bid, Cheney, a vocal opponent of Trump, declined to rule it out. However, she has also repeatedly said she will do whatever it takes to prevent the former president from being elected again, suggesting she would likely pass on a White House bid if the former president was likely to prevail in the GOP primary.

Manchin has also not ruled out a third-party bid. Sanders, meanwhile, has said he is backing Biden in 2024.

The poll comes as Biden faces high levels of disapproval in national surveys. In Tuesday's poll, 53 percent of voters said they disapproved of how Biden handled his job. Another 47 percent said they approved.

Trump doesn't fare better in many national polls, though he still maintains high levels of support among GOP voters, making a rematch with Biden likely. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sen. Tim Scott (S.C.) officially entered the GOP primary race several weeks ago, while several more contenders are expected to throw their hats in the ring this week.

The substantial number of voters who don't want Trump or Biden as the nominees has raised questions about the possibility of a third-party challenger.

The NewsNation/DDHQ poll was conducted May 25-26 with 1,000 voters polled. The margin of error was roughly plus or minus 3 percent.

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