Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., might still try to run a spoiler campaign against President Donald Trump in the 2020 election, but it might not turn out the way he and his supporters want, according to some new numbers from his home state.
A statewide survey of 600 Michigan voters found that a hypothetical Amash run as a Libertarian candidate would would be more of a spoiler for Democratic former Vice President Joe Biden than for the incumbent Republican.
The polling found that an Amash bid would cut Biden’s head-to-head lead over Trump from 12 percentage points to six. Even then, Amash only got 10 percent of his home state poll respondents’ support, putting him four points over the “undecided” category.
The poll was conducted by the Lansing-based Glengariff Group and has a 4 percent margin of error.
Then-candidate Trump beat Hillary Clinton by a narrow margin in Michigan in 2016, coming in over the Democrat by a scant 11,000 votes.
Amash — a longtime outspoken critic of President Trump — has caused heated debate among conservatives and libertarians following remarks he made about the Mueller report, saying that it shows the president “engaged in impeachable conduct.”
Trump hit back, calling Amash “a total lightweight who opposes me and some of our great Republican ideas and policies just for the sake of getting his name out there through controversy” and “a loser who sadly plays right into our opponents hands!”
Last week, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., another libertarian-leaning Republican, countered Amash’s conclusions by saying that “the whole [Mueller] investigation has an un-libertarian feel” and that “it’s wrong for any Republican to think oh gosh, this is a legitimate investigation. I think it’s a very partisan investigation.”
In March, the libertarian-leaning Amash said that he hadn’t yet made up his mind about whether he’d mount a 2020 run and that he hadn’t ruled the idea out.
“That’s not on my radar right now,” Amash told CNN, “but I think that it is important that we have someone in there who is presenting a vision for America that is different from what these two parties are presenting.”
Meanwhile, the controversy has also earned the Michigan House member a pro-Trump primary challenger: State Rep. Jim Lower.