Clinton’s third-party headache

Clinton’s third-party headache
Credit: AP

A raft of new polls out this week carried almost unanimously good news for Hillary Clinton, staking the Democratic presidential nominee to significant leads over Donald Trump. But there’s one potential warning sign in these polls should the race narrow: Clinton’s lead over Trump shrinks when voters are allowed to choose one of the major third-party candidates in the race.

Yet the Libertarian Party’s presidential ticket — composed of former GOP Gov. Gary Johnson of New Mexico and former GOP Gov. Bill Weld of Massachusetts — appears to draw more from voters who might otherwise be aligned with Clinton, especially younger voters.

The same is true of Green Party nominee Jill Stein — though to a lesser degree, since Stein doesn’t earn nearly the same level of support as Johnson.

Here’s why Democrats should be concerned: As Trump’s support has dwindled in recent days — leaving the GOP nominee with just his fervent supporters — some soft voters might be moving into Clinton’s camp when asked on a two-way ballot, but defecting to a third candidate when given other options.

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