It’s time to start including another name in polls and campaign coverage

mount

Twice in the last week I’ve had to personally update candidate comparison articles or memes that left out perhaps the most important name on the ballot. It’s time the professional media did their job up front instead.

As we’ve discussed, a Trump-Clinton election will likely be a historic low in terms of turnout and enthusiasm. It also opens a unique opportunity for another party candidate to make inroads in the national political landscape. So why are people ignoring that there are other candidates available?

You may have seen this candidate issue flow chart on social media in the last couple weeks.

flow

I noticed that it was missing something, so I updated it.

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Similarly, Vox’s income tax calculator showing how each candidate’s plans will affect your wallet only has four results.

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LOL @ “mostly on the rich”.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t update Vox’s calculator algorithm myself to reflect Gary Johnson’s tax plan. But it would be easy to do. You’d have a negative bar at the top of the chart showing the total estimated tax paid, and say “Pay $[X] less, (Tax rate: 0.0%)”.

Johnson’s plan is more radical than the others. He wants to repeal the income tax completely and replace it with a consumption tax, which would be prebated for lower-income citizens. You’d pay nothing out of your paycheck, and only pay an additional national sales tax on certain goods and services.

It’s time for the media to start including Gary Johnson and other third-party names in polls and their proposals in candidate comparisons.

In the first hypothetical multi-party general election matchup, Monmouth found Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton with 42%, Republican frontrunner Donald Trump with 34%, and Libertarian frontrunner Gary Johnson at 11%. Another 11% weren’t sure.

poll

Worth noting: Without Johnson mentioned, Clinton got 6% more, and Trump 4% more support, suggesting he’s not just a #NeverTrump Republican protest candidate.

In 2012 as the Libertarian nominee, the former two-term New Mexico governor got over 1 million votes, a record for the party, but just under 1% of the total popular vote. If he keeps polling in double digits (pollsters would have to actually start mentioning his name first), there’s no telling where the 2016 campaign could go, especially since 76% of the same poll didn’t have an opinion of him yet. Imagine if he got into the general election debates.

First, he’ll have to get his name out there as a viable candidate. The media taking him and his ideas seriously is the first step.


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