Women like Juanita Broaddrick are re-emerging from the shadows to retell their stories of sexual assault at the hands of Bill Clinton — and how Democrat presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton acted as willing co-conspirator to cover them up. One might expect the allegations of rape, cover-up and victim smearing by Bill and Hillary Clinton together to result in some serious reservations on the part of women voters this election cycle. As egregious as the allegations are, however, it appears unlikely that they will damage Hillary enough to really hurt her chances at the White House. Many women voters appear quite willing to look the other way on this, and polling consistently shows her doing significantly better than Trump among women in general.
But a new ‘other woman’ emerging could turn out be the ultimate spoiler to Hillary Clinton’s White House bid. Green Party candidate Jill Stein has seen an uptick in support recently, and while she has no chance of winning the election, the support she may take from Clinton could be enough to tilt the scales.
As The Hill reports:
Surveys over the last six weeks have found a steady but noticeable jump in support for third-party candidates. The biggest beneficiary has been Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson, who has shot up from 4.5 percent to 7.2 percent in RealClearPolitics polling averages. Green Party candidate Jill Stein has also seen an uptick since June — from 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent.
The surge in support for a third-party candidate is adding a new element of unpredictability into the presidential race. Should voters opt for a third-party candidate in large numbers, it could potentially tip the scales in crucial battleground states.
“The fact that we have two major party candidates who are enormously disliked by the electorate, enormously and equally disliked, creates the opportunity for the minor party candidates to do better than they would in other presidential elections,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.
“The minor party candidates can have great influence if the final race is very close.”
So far, it’s unclear whether Trump or Clinton will benefit most from a strong third-party vote.
There are voters in each party who feel spurned by their party’s ticket — Republicans who refuse to side with Trump, and Bernie Sanders supporters who feel their candidate did not get a fair shake in the Democratic primary.
Conventional wisdom has held that votes for the Libertarian ticket would hurt Republicans, while Green Party votes would do damage to the Democrats.
That dynamic is borne out by recent polling. A CNN survey released last week found that 17 percent of Republican voters who didn’t back Trump in the primary now support Johnson, while only 4 percent of Democrats disgruntled with Clinton support him. Stein, meanwhile, took 6 percent support among voters who backed Sanders in the Democratic primaries.
Monmouth’s poll from the start of the Republican National Convention also found Johnson pulling more from conservative voters than from liberals, while the reverse held true for Stein.
But the numbers are far from cut-and-dry. Quinnipiac’s recent batch of swing state polls found that Trump’s standing in the race against Clinton improved slightly when all four candidates were included.
It certainly would seem that Jill Stein is gaining momentum. Hashtag #JillNotHill was recently trending on Twitter, and many longtime Democrat voters are declaring their switch to the Green Party in the wake of the rigged Democrat primary.
— kateloving (@kateloving) July 29, 2016
But even if Stein remains at her current level of 3.5%, she could get in the way of a Hillary Clinton victory.
Ralph Nader’s “2.5 percent in Florida was almost certainly the deciding factor” in the 2000 general election, Murray noted.
And, sorry Hillz, your whole argument about voting for the “first” woman president ain’t gonna convert Stein voters.
— michael Abate (@HughesPrepper1) July 20, 2016
Buurrrnnn. Or should we say, BERN…
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]