Skubick: Libertarian candidate building Independent voter support in Michigan

VOTING

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Some surprising new polling numbers are out showing Libertarian party candidate Gary Johnson doing well with independent voters and Donald Trump has more than doubled his support among African American voters.

If you buy the notion that independent voters are critical to the outcome of any presidential race then check these numbers out.

Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson has 38 percent of those independent voters, Donald Trump has 22 percent and Hillary Clinton is at 6 percent.

Mr. Johnson takes 4 percent of the Republican vote which hurts Mr. Trump but just 1 percent of the Democratic vote. And he hurts Mr. Trump even more by siphoning off 14 percent of the vote in west Michigan where Mr. Trump must do well.

He gets 6 percent of his vote in the Lansing/mid-Michigan region.

Although he most likely will not be on the debate stage next Monday night, Mr. Johnson is on the ballot in all fifty states and could be the spoiler in this election.

Regarding the African-American vote, Mr. Trump followed up his visit to a Detroit church recently with a visit to Flint this week as he continues to push his theme to black voters: “What have you got to lose by voting for me?”.

And the strategy appears to be paying off. Weeks ago, Mr. Trump had about 2 percent of the African-American vote

But pollster steve mitchell reports he now has 12 percent.

Former Democratic Party chair Mark Brewer says these forays into the black community are insincere. “I think it’s incredibly insincere and disingenuous and people are going to see through it. It’s an attempt at an election year conversion. It’s just not credible.”

Lansing Trump supporter Linda Lee Tarver disagrees. She concedes that some blacks were turned off by the “what have you got to lose” statement but she says he’s telling the truth. “Some people were turned off by it. I was not turned off because he is telling the truth. He is the candidate who has truly come out and made it very plan. He talks plain english.”

The head-to-head race in Michigan and nationwide is getting closer as Mr. Trump is cutting into Ms. Clinton’s slim lead.

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