The race is on for America’s next future ex-president. But not everyone is talking Trump, our nation’s “stable genius.”
Americans are increasingly looking to third-party candidates for solutions to problems affecting their daily lives. And third-party candidates are poised to turn up the political heat this election season
According to Google Trends, the search for “third-party candidate” has gradually increased but is expected to grow into the 2020 primaries.
The states searching for a third-party candidate the most hold some of the largest number of electoral votes.
Despite declining voter registrations for both Republicans and Democrats, the rise of Independent voters has steadily increased.
Voters are losing confidence in the Democratic and Republican parties
But if a third-party candidate has never been able to break the political duopoly to win an election, why bother voting for one?
The Libertarian Party is the third largest political party in the United States behind the Democrats and GOP.
The national chair of the Libertarian party, Nicholas Sarwark, explained his party’s goal is the same as any other.
“Like any political party, a third-party candidate gets into an election to try to rep the office, represent the people of their community and make change,” Sarwark said. “Nobody runs for office for anything other than to make change.”
Since the party began in the late-70s, the Libertarians have begun winning elections in municipalities in states across the U.S. including Alaska, Texas and New Mexico.
The 2016 election saw the biggest win for the Libertarian party to-date. The party’s presidential nominee, Gary Johnson, received nearly 5 million votes, making the Libertarian Party the third biggest political party in the United States.
It doesn’t go unnoticed that either major party ever stops campaigning in between presidential elections. As soon as Pelosi and Co. get closer to the primary and general elections, the third-party spoiler myth gets used more than a twink at a gay bathhouse.
Unlike the twink, the third-party spoiler myth is completely useless. It alleges that all votes that don’t go to Democrats or Republicans are wasted.
According to an op-ed on truthout.org, “Studies compiled at the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research at Cornell University show that in recent presidential elections, between 7 to 11 percent of registered Democrats abandoned their party allegiance and voted for the GOP candidate instead. In 2016, around 8 percent of Democrats nationwide actually voted for Trump, while the third-party candidates Stein, Libertarian Gary Johnson and Independent Evan McMullin combined received merely 4.93 percent of the popular vote.”
The success of third-party politics dates to the early 19th century, when recording of the process started. Theodore Roosevelt is considered the most successful third-party candidate. He ran for two terms as a Republican and then again for the more-progressive Bull Moose Party earning 27% of the popular vote and 88 electoral votes.
Texas billionaire, Ross Perot, ran as an Independent in the 1992 election. Perot campaign focused solely on balancing the budget.
Barbara Perry, the director of presidential studies at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center said, “When he [Perot] got almost 19 percent of the vote, both Republicans and Democrats came together and balanced the budget,” she said. “The success of his campaign was like a tip from the American people saying, ‘You better pay attention to this. If you don’t pay attention, then something worse is going to happen to you in the next election.’”
The American media have already begun predicting Trump will get re-elected. But in the meantime, the momentum for something different will build. And third-party politics will continue to chip away at those who resist change and help steer those that enjoy progress.
The Libertarian party will have their delegate nominating convention in May 2020. That’s when we will learn who will be representing the Libertarian party in the 2020 presidential race. Other third-party candidates for the Green and Constitutional party will be nominated at their party’s convention in April and July respectively.