It’s no surprise that many people are frustrated with their main choices in the 2016 presidential election. Hillary Clinton has been painted by critics as a Wall Street boosting autocrat, and Donald Trump is, well, Donald Trump.
But to see just how dissatisfied the American public is with their electoral options, the Public Policy Polling firm offered a hypothetical third candidate in their latest 2016 election poll: A giant meteor. And not just a giant meteor hurtling out there in the inky depths of space, far beyond the Washington echo chamber seen by so many as indicative of what’s wrong with this country. Oh no. PPP wanted to see how a giant meteor hitting the Earth would when matched up against Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
As it turns out, the giant meteor does surprisingly well.
We find that the Meteor would poll at 13%- far more support than the third party candidates actually on the ballot- with Clinton at 43% and Trump at 38%. The Meteor is particularly appealing to independent voters, functionally in a three way tie at 27% to 35% for Clinton and 31% for Trump.
But, as Rachel Maddow pointed out on Wednesday evening, Giant Meteor’s electoral prospects don’t stop there.
Yes, a full seven percent of poll respondents are still undecided when it comes to choosing between Clinton, Trump, and a fiery ball of space rock careening into our planet at (presumably) extinction-level speeds. In other words, with the right messaging, maybe some slick TV spots, and a few good solid endorsements, Giant Meteor could reach 20%. And if that happens, well, then we’ve got a real race on our hands.
Of course, there are other candidates running for the White House this year. PPP placed support for Libertarian Gary Johnson at just 5% and Green Party nominee Jill Stein comes in at just 2%—no where near the numbers being posted by an inanimate chunk of galactic matter.
“Maybe,” PPP mused, “that’s who the Libertarians should have nominated.”
In fact, the poll couldn’t have come at a better time for those pegging their national hopes and dreams on a giant mass of space rock: As it turns out, June 30th is “Asteroid Day.”