- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 30, 2016

Roughly 13 percent of Americans think extinction via “Giant Meteor” would be preferable to electing Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump the next U.S. commander in chief.

Public Policy Polling decided to gauge just how disaffected voters are with the presumptive Democratic and Republican presidential contenders. A survey conducted June 27-28 among 853 registered voters yielded telling results, particularly among independents.

“It’s a simple reality that both of this year’s Presidential candidates are unpopular. Clinton’s favorability is 39/54, and Trump is even worse off at 35/58,’ the pollster’s report reads. “This has given rise to the ‘Giant Meteor for President’ movement, and we find that the Meteor would poll at 13 percent — far more support than the third party candidates actually on the ballot — with Clinton at 43 percent and Trump at 38 percent. The Meteor is particularly appealing to independent voters, functionally in a three-way tie at 27 percent to 35 percent for Clinton and 31 percent for Trump. Maybe that’s who the Libertarians should have nominated.”

Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson polled at 5 percent.

Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling, said a more serious reading of the electorate indicates that America’s political landscape resembles 2012 — the country is evenly divided.

“What we’re finding both nationally and in the swing states is that Hillary Clinton’s lead over Donald Trump is pretty comparable to Barack Obama’s margins over Mitt Romney last time around,” Mr. Debnam said Thursday. “The country is too polarized along party lines for this to end up being a historical landslide but Clinton is still a very clear favorite.”

PPP’s survey has the former secretary of state beating Mr. Trump 48 percent to 44 percent when an extinction-level event is not an option.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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