Obviously, one shouldn’t put too much stock in a single poll, especially this early in the election cycle. But Fox News’s latest is an eye-opener. With Gary Johnson in the race, Hillary Clinton has dropped to third place among independents, albeit by a sliver:
GOP candidate Donald Trump led among independents with 32 percent of the vote, followed by Johnson, a former governor of New Mexico, who got 23 percent.
Clinton pulled in just 22 percent of the independents — a sign many voters are skeptical of the scandal-scarred former first lady and ex-secretary of state.
I think the average voter has zero knowledge of Johnson, so his name can be construed as “somebody else.” (Here in Minnesota, being named Johnson gets you an extra 2% of the vote, but that probably isn’t true nationally.)
This poll was done at the height of the hysteria over Donald Trump and the Mexican-American judge, and it shows a drop in Trump’s support. Hillary led the contest, overall, by three points. It predated the Orlando terrorist attack, which I suspect will more than make up for a three percent deficit. But for now, the striking message is that independents really, really don’t like Hillary Clinton.
A related point: those who say they trust the government back Hillary by 40 points. This year, that probably isn’t something to be proud of.