Pollster says it's difficult for centrist candidates to emerge in current political environment

Pollster Dritan Nesho on Wednesday said that it is difficult for third-party candidates to emerge in today's political environment due to the high levels of partisanship. 

"The nature of the country is so polarized politically and via ideological and party lines it's very challenging for a candidate from the center to emerge and rise," Nesho, CEO of the HarrisX polling company, told host Jamal Simmons on Hill.TV's "What America's Thinking."

Former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld (R), who was the Libertarian Party's vice presidential candidate in 2016, announced on Monday that he would launch a primary challenge against President TrumpDonald John TrumpLawmakers prep ahead of impeachment hearing Democrats gear up for high-stakes Judiciary hearing Warren says she made almost M from legal work over past three decades MORE

Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said in January that he was "seriously considering" running for president as a "centrist independent," drawing the wrath of Democrats, who said an independent run would split the anti-Trump vote and help reelect the president.

"It's tough to predict," Nesho said. "It matters who comes through in the three-way challenge, but I would say that both Schultz and Weld would have a lot of ground to make up to be competitive against Donald Trump or one of the leading Democratic contenders." 

— Julia Manchester