There is some good news and bad news for Gary Johnson in recent national polling. One shows him in double-digits again, while another shows him at just six percent—perhaps because of the appearance of another third-party candidate.
The good news came from a Fox News poll that had Johnson at 12 percent to presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s 39 percent and presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump’s 36 percent. Clinton held steady at 39 percent when compared to a May poll while Trump fell from 42 percent. Johnson, the Libertarian Party nominee, received 10 percent in the May poll.
The crosstabs show Johnson’s support largely comes from independents (23 percent, more than the 22 percent who back Clinton but less than the 32 percent who back Trump).
A SurveyUSA poll, meanwhile, showed Johnson gets just 6 percent to Clinton’s 39 percent and Trump’s 36 percent. In this poll, SurveyUSA included Jill Stein, the likely candidate for the Green Party. Stein received 4 percent.
When Bernie Sanders was included in the poll alongside Trump, Clinton and Johnson, Trump led 35 percent to 32 percent with Sanders getting 18 percent and Johnson just 4 percent.
Again, the poll found Johnson’s largest support came from independents—he received 16 percent of the independents to Trump’s 30 percent, Clinton’s 23 percent and Stein’s 4 percent.
Getting to 15 percent is a big deal. At that threshold, a candidate is inviting by the Commission on Presidential Debates to appear in nationally-televised debates. Johnson has said in the past that appearing in the debates is ate only way a candidate can win.
Johnson and Stein are involved in a lawsuit against the Commission on Presidential Debates over the exclusion of third-party candidates.
The Fox News poll polled 1,004 registered voters on both landlines and cell phones between June 5 and 8 and has a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points. The margin of error grows for subsamples.
The SurveyUSA poll of 1,408 voters took place after June 7 and included those who said they were likely to vote if Sanders was on the ballot for Democrats in November. Some said they were not likely to vote if Sanders was not on the ballot. SurveyUSA surveyed voters on landlines and on via a questionnaire on a mobile device for those without landlines. The poll has a +/- 1.1 percent margin of error.