A new poll out this morning from Joel Searby at the firm Data Targeting shows a viable path for a third-party candidate. Bill Kristol is celebrating somewhere.
The survey of 997 likely voters shows an independent candidate garnering 21 percent of the vote.
A whopping 58 percent of those surveyed — a relatively balanced group of Republicans, Democrats, and those who identified as “other” — said they were dissatisfied with the current crop of candidates; 55 percent said they want another candidate on the ballot, though that says nothing about the ideological coloration they’d like that candidate to have. And finally, 65 percent said they were at least somewhat willing to support a candidate who is not Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.
A coterie of conservatives led publicly by Kristol have for a couple of months now been working overtime to field a third-party candidate who could motivate conservatives to get out to the polls. The names still being bandied about include Nebraska senator Ben Sasse, who seems dead set against a run; Mitt Romney, who is only a bit likelier than Sasse to get to yes; and former Oklahoma senator Tom Coburn, who sources say is maybe, just maybe, open to pulling the trigger.
Searby’s poll will certainly be used to convince one of them to jump in the race.