Rasmussen Polling: Third parties more popular than Republicans

Rolf Lindgren just passed me this link. Yes, the title is correct but requires a bit of explanation:

Democrats currently hold a 12-point advantage over Republicans on a generic 2008 Presidential ballot. However, a third-party candidate focusing on immigration enforcement issues could fundamentally alter those political dynamics.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national opinion survey finds that 44% of Americans say they would vote for a Democrat if the Presidential Election were held today. Just 32% would vote for a Republican. Those figures are likely a reflection of unhappiness with the Bush Administration rather than a commentary on prospective candidates from either party (see crosstabs).

The survey also asked respondents how they would vote if “a third party candidate ran in 2008 and promised to build a barrier along the Mexican border and make enforcement of immigration law his top priority.”

With that option, support fell sharply for both major parties. The Democrats still come out on top with support from 31% of Americans. The third party candidate moved into a virtual tie at 30% while the GOP fell to 21%.

This looks like a great opportunity for those Libertarian Party candidates who favor greater border security.

22 Comments
  1. Sneak both in; Increase security, and *reform immigration law* while enforcing what’s there. The simplest reformation so far as I know isn’t even the demesgne of the Houses of Congress; remove the work visa caps.

    (Heh — good ol’ standby; It works for New Zealand!)

  2. Well, here’s a conundrum. I don’t personally believe in a closed border. But if a Libertarian candidate who did could win several states, should I support that candidate for the nomination for the side effects?

  3. It looks like Americans will have to deicde between a closed border and the welfare state, or an open border with free market economy.

  4. How would they vote if “a third party candidate ran in 2008 and proposed to begin withdrawing troops from Iraq on Inauguration Day and to introduce a Constitutional amendment barring wars of American aggression”?

  5. Tom Tancredo is a racist and makes my skin crawl. Never mind that he sounds libertarian on a few issues.

    I would judge a candidate much more carefully on his marquee issues, and his honesty about them, then on everything else.

    Remember “no nation-building” George W. Bush? If Jesus “changed his heart”, was it really for the better?

  6. Well, I certainly want an open border in case I want to get out.

    But the main thing is that, as much as possible, we don’t prohibit good people going through while allowing bad people through.

    The main reason a libertarian government makes sense to me is I’m tired of being punished for things other people do. I’m willing to let other people come and go if I can do the same, while expecting each of us to be responsible for our actions.

  7. Right on!

    Can you believe the people who complain about Mexico letting people out???!

  8. I’m no fan of Tancredo either, but I want to know if anyone thinks he could win the Libertarian Party nomination if he tried. Or Jim Gilchrist?

    It seems to me that the big issues in 2008 will be immigration, spending, and Iraq. A third party will have to focus strongly on one, if not two or three, to do better than 1%.

  9. Sorry, Logan:
    Third party? No thanks, Tancredo says
    “Yes, I’ve thought about it,” he said. “You get nowhere with it . . . I’d rather push the Republican Party in the direction I think it should be going.”

    Tancredo is my parents’ congressman. He’s in a safe Republican district, the south metropolitan Denver suburbs. He might face a challenger in the Republican primary this year who might have difficulty even getting on the ballot.

  10. Logan, I guess our posts crossed in cyberspace.

    Tancredo was a past president of the libertarian-leaning Independence Institute, a Colorado think tank, not to be confused with the Independent Institute.

    I don’t think he could get the LP nomination. He is so strongly identified with the immigration issue, taking a position opposed to the LP platform, that even if he sought the LP nomination, most nominating convention delegates would oppose him.

  11. I live in Denver, near his district, and keep hearing him on talk radio.

    Jon Caldera, current head of the Independence Institute, is a libertarian-leaning conservative who’s more reasonable on immigration and has an evening radio show on KOA, 850 AM.

  12. Badnarik talks border security, but he also points out that good border security would be a lot easier if we channel the decent people to easily-monitored border stations by making legal immigration less restrictive. Give ’em a background check and send ’em in. Or hold them if they don’t pass.

    Only the ones who fear a background check would have to sneak in, unmixed with the honest masses, and be tracked down by armed patrols who shoot if necessary.

    But many people apparently fear job competition worse than criminals!

  13. Worse than terrorists even.

    I’m sad to say that a serious War On Immigration might be more popular than a War On Terror.

  14. Give ‘em a background check and send ‘em in. Or hold them if they don’t pass. Only the ones who fear a background check would have to sneak in, unmixed with the honest masses, and be tracked down by armed patrols who shoot if necessary.

    LOL… and the only ones who should protest the government tapping their phones are the ones who are plotting gruesome acts against civilization. And the only people who should try to prevent the government from searching their home are those who have something to hide. And the only people who would try to sneak across the border are terrorists intent on blowing up buildings. It all makes so much sense now…

  15. Logan,

    I was struck by how similar your list of big issues for 2008 in comment #10 is to those featured by George Phillies, announced candidate for the LP nomination for president for 2008.

    Americans ultimately will not stand for the status quo. I think they are much more likely to go for an ordered approach similar to Phillies’ or Badnarik’s rather than the “open the floodgates now” approach advocated by some, although I fear for the (un?)intended consequences of any national ID card or system, advocated by some others of those wanting more control of immigration.

    Immigration is a complex issue and requires thoughtful approaches given the existing situation. Legal immigration needs to be liberalized and expedited, but consideration needs to be paid to security and other needs of our citizenry.

  16. Leroy, this is what you get if you try to accommodate easy immigration with border security.

    It may sound draconian to you, but to many people this sounds foolishly loose — So it’s hard to see how a real libertarian can get much of the “border security” votes.

    Sneaking in is dangerous and expensive. How many die of dehydration in the desert or suffocate in sealed trucks? Most people would be glad to put up with minor bureaucracy instead, but current anti-immigration law gives most Mexicans little chance of getting in legally.

  17. Figure out major issues?

    There are vast numbers of Democrats and Republicans who poll and report results. While some questions are less useful, there is a serious effort to separate questions that people care about from questions that put people to sleep. Identifying the major issues of the moment is not difficult.

    Once people are listening to you talk about their issues, they may even listen to you talk about a critical issue they had not cared about.

    My campaign is now looking at serious polling, with or without names attached, on a DRL race, a D who voted for Iraq and supports amnesty, an R who voted for the war and supports guest workers, and an L who will end the war immediately and supports border security.
    George Phillies http://www.phillies2008.org

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