What We Know About Third Party Candidates…

Independent (former Republican) Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan is considering a third-party presidential run as a Libertarian candidate. Though his views reflect one that is conservative, his candidacy might hurt Joe Biden more than it would President Donald Trump.

According to Monmouth University Poll, in a one-on-one election, Biden is at 50% and Trump is at 41% nationally. When the question is changed and it is a three-way race between Bide, Trump, and Amash, Biden gets 47%, Trump 40%, and Amash 5%. In this poll, Amash took more voters from the Democrat than the Republican. 

Nationally, this doesn’t make so much of a difference. If you look back on 2016 election results, however, it can give you a glimpse as to how impactful a third party candidate can be one way or another. 

President Donald Trump had won Pennsylvania by 44,292 votes, Michigan by 10,704 votes, and Wisconsin by 22,748 votes. Johnson, on the other hand, earned 46,715 votes from Pennsylvania, 172,136 votes from Michigan, and 106,674 votes from Wisconsin. 

That is 46 electoral votes in three key states that went to Trump due to a combined margin of victory of 77,744 votes. It matters greatly who the third party candidate draws off votes from. This then led President Trump to trail Hillary Clinton in national polls though she had won the popular vote by a significant margin. Holding onto states such as Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin will be one of the key factors in determining whether or not he gets reelected. 

The Monmouth University Poll also shows us that President Trump has a tight hold on Republican voters, while some democrats seem inclined to choose Amash over Biden. If Amash were to join the race, four points would come out of Biden’s support among independents. Not surprising at all. What’s surprising is that five points would then come out of his support by the Democrats. President Trump would only lose a single point among Republicans to the libertarian. This is a testament in how tight of a grip he has on his own party. Good for him.

Amash’s support as a hypothetical candidate in early polls would most likely diminish if his candidacy became real, and as many of us move closer to Election Day, we’re all inclined to gravitate towards a candidate that can actually win an election and create jobs for the American people. 

Whether or not Amash actually joins the race doesn’t really matter to President Trump, only to Biden who would apparently do much worse in the race, according to the numbers. The voters will be trusting the right candidate to repair the damage of the economy since the spread of COVID-19 and, at this point, who can we trust more than the businessman Trump himself?