Data Targeting has conducted a pretty thorough national survey on the issue and the data should alarm the two existing parties.
The survey, released Wednesday morning, noted that 58 percent of respondents aren’t happy with the candidates, and that 55 percent favor an independent candidate this year.
“A shocking 91 percent of voters under the age of 29 favor having an independent candidate on the ballot,” it said. It also said 65 percent of respondents “are at least somewhat, pretty or very willing to support a candidate for president who is not Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.”
A hypothetical ballot test says an independent candidate would start with 21 percent of the vote, and even more in certain regions of the country. Trump would get 34 percent, and Clinton would get 31 percent, but the hope for some is that the independent candidate would see growing support.
A candidate needs 15% of the national vote to get on the debate stage this fall. The generic independent candidate would get 21% of the vote out of the gate. That’s not a bad set up for an independent. Of course we all need to acknowledge that a real independent candidate is different from a generic independent candidate.
That said, I know of other more in depth polling conducted in the past year that shows what a model independent candidate would look like and there are a number of candidate in a center-right coalition that would fit the mold for an independent candidacy.