Amash's possible Libertarian White House bid not resonating with voters: poll

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Libertarian Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan grabs just 5 percent of support in a potential general election matchup with President Trump and presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, according to a new national survey released Wednesday.

The former vice president tops the GOP incumbent in the White House by a 50-41 percent margin in a general election showdown, according to the poll from Monmouth University.


When Amash is added in as a Libertarian candidate, the race stands at Biden 47 percent, Trump 40 percent, and Amash at 5 percent.

During the last presidential cycle, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson started his presidential bid as a Libertarian with 11 percent support. His poll standing dropped to 5 percent by October of 2016, and he ended up earning just 3 percent of the national vote as the Libertarian Party nominee. Fewer than 1 in 5 voters have an opinion of Amash (6 percent favorable and 13 percent unfavorable), which is similar to voter opinion of Johnson in the spring of 2016 (9 percent favorable and 15 percent unfavorable) in Monmouth University polling.

“Overall, there is not as much of an appetite for a third option as there was four years ago. It’s too early to tell whether Amash will have an impact but if this election ends up being as close as 2016, even a small showing can have a crucial impact,” Monmouth University Polling Institute director Patrick Murray emphasized.


Amash grabs the support of 2 percent of Republicans, 3 percent of Democrats, and 1 in 10 independents, according to the survey.

On Friday, Amash made history by becoming the first Libertarian Party member in Congress after he officially changed his party affiliation to launch his presidential bid.

"I'm in the race to win it," Amash told Fox News about his intention to earn the Libertarian Party's presidential nomination and then win the presidency. "I would not have entered the race unless I thought there was a path to victory."

The Libertarian Party is scheduled to choose their 2020 presidential nominee at the party’s nominating convention – which tentatively will be held in Austin, Texas over Memorial Day weekend. Some longtime Libertarians have criticized Amash as a political opportunist who’s parachuting into the party at the last minute.

The Monmouth University poll was conducted April 30-May 4, with 808 adults nationwide – including 739 registered voters – interviewed by live telephone operators. The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.

Fox News' Marissa Schultz contributed to this report.