Third Parties

Third Parties: Barred From the Debates, Impacting Polls Only Marginally

While establishmentarians continue to push two-party conformity, there remains little evidence that other parties are having any sort of "spoiler" effect.

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It's late September in a presidential election year, just prior to the first debate, so that can mean only one thing: Any sign of third-party life must be extinguished, with prejudice.

"Green Party candidates in 2000 and 2016 fundamentally changed the course of the 21st century," celebrity historian Douglas Brinkley warned the Associated Press, disregarding the work of serious journalists who have concluded the contrary from last cycle's numbers. "Trump has a terrible electoral map right now. The math is leaning against him. A vital third-party candidate would likely help him tremendously."

"Presidentially, Two Parties Is Plenty," declared the headline over a similarly fact-cavalier scolding by New York Times op-ed establishmentarian Gail Collins.

Luckily for the two-party enforcement squad, support for third parties in 2020 shows every sign of being drastically reduced. But is there polling evidence for the notion that the remaining nonconformists could, in Collins' words, "screw things up for the person most voters would actually prefer in the real world"?

Not really, no. Over the past month, I count just nine polls that have asked the same set of respondents who they'd vote for with and without third-party and independent options. In three of those polls, the margin between Democratic nominee Joe Biden and Republican incumbent Donald Trump has remained the same. In four others, the margin changes by 1 lone percentage point (three pro-Biden, one pro-Trump). In one Kentucky survey, the inclusion of third parties extends Trump's lead by 2 percentage points, and in one national poll, they decrease Biden's advantage by 4.

Nine is a small number of polls, and the support for the Libertarian Party's Jo Jorgensen and the Green Party's Howie Hawkins is often lower than the margin of error, so one shouldn't extrapolate overmuch from these results. But there are other ways of thinking about the question.

Third-party vote tallies after election day almost always undershoot preelection polls, by around one-third in normal years. There is ample reason to suspect that 2020 for third parties will resemble more the wipeout of the 2018 midterms rather than a typical cycle. With Jorgensen averaging around 2.8 percent nationally and Hawkins 1.3, that already small number of voters could still shrink further in a hurry.

Ah, but where will they go? This is how the above poll results can mislead. Late-deciding voters in 2016, like independents, disproportionately took a flyer on the outsider real estate mogul. As the Washington Post observed at the time, "The number of undecided and third-party-supporting voters who were still free agents in the final week was as many as 1 in 8 voters nationally—an uncharacteristically high number for the eve of an election."

This year the number of undecideds is uncharacteristically low. As Ohio Northern University political scientist Robert Alexander recently told The Bulwark, "A number of polls in 2016 found that 13-15% were going into the last days of the election undecided or considering a third party. You just don't see that this time around."

Independents this time around prefer Biden by double digits. Voters who went third-party in 2016 are backing the Democrat this year by even greater margins. Barring unforeseen circumstances in a race that has been unusually stable, it is hard to imagine that the combined 10 percent or so of current third-party and undecided voters will defect in large numbers at the last minute to the now-known incumbent.

The political air is thicker than ever with catastrophic claims that this election, damn it, will determine whether the republic can last, and so it doesn't matter whether you even think that you live in a state whose presidential outcome is foreknown. Against that backdrop, here's a thought for the Douglas Brinkleys and Gail Collinses of the world: Maybe the people who encounter your arguments 24 hours a day and still decide to vote Libertarian or Green are just…not Democrats or Republicans. Maybe the two parties need to do more than exist to earn votes.

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  1. Living in the South with rural Christian yokels who cling to their false Messiah and guns, I plan on wasting my vote on Joe Biden.
    #EndtheElectoralCollege

    1. I wonder which false Messiah you are referring to — Trump or God?

      Democrats have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to false Messiahs. Republicans have only the one right now, and will have to choose a new one come the day after election day.

      1. I was referring to the bastard of Nazareth, Jesus, but Trump is equally a false Messiah.

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    2. Good luck getting two-thirds of the states to end the Electoral College, which was established to blunt the tyranny of the majority.

      1. You won’t need an amendment for the National Popular Vote Compact to take over.

        1. USSC probably would have to weigh in the NPVC since the legislatures usurped the choice of their populace in who their electoral votes go to.

          https://blog.harvardlawreview.org/the-danger-of-the-national-popular-vote-compact/

          1. The Constitution is very clear. State legislatures are the ones who decide how electoral votes go, not the voters.

      2. Yes, it would take the votes of all those states that would be dismissed by the population centers in NY, Chicago and LA. They would have gold plated fire hydrants for dogs to pee on before any issues impacting the rest of the states were ever addressed.

      3. The electoral college has created tyranny of the minority.

    3. Hopefully, you live in a red state so your vote will not matter. Government will not take away either God or guns.

  2. Regardless of who wins, the Republicans will have to re-invent themselves, because none of them, zero zip zilch, understand that Trump won by not being a mainstream politician. The only advantage to losing now is having four unadulterated years for the makeover; winning means they’d have to combine the makeover with gradually distancing themselves from Trump.

    The Democrats, now that’s interesting. If Biden wins, and regardless of when Kamela takes over, their loony left wing will be disappointed, because all of their wishes require far more of the resources represented by money than is available, and their only choices are hyperinflation yea or nay; their plans simply cannot be implemented absent a genie. Regardess, the Democrats are going to have to re-invent themselves too.

    Those two re-inventions are impossible to predict but will be fascinating to observe in real-time. Either way, the country is fucked.

    The biggest practical difference is the quantity of stupid regulations, and some number of Supreme Court nominations.

    1. My hope is that the post-Trump Republican party will collapse and the future of US elections will be determined during the Democratic primaries. Just like in California, the people can decide between the progressive Left and the center Left. The future is very exciting for progressive libertarians, such as myself!

      1. Actually, if the democrats sweep this election, the next election will be conducted online, by a Google algorithm, and the choices will be socialism or fascism.

        1. ‘They’re the same picture.’

      2. “Progressive libertarian” is an oxymoron. And you’re just a moron.

          1. Yeah. It would take a total moron not to realize that the rabbi is a parody account.

        1. Says the guy who can’t detect parody. From a long-term parody account. FML.

      3. Too many Americans believe in a smaller Federal government. This above all else is the primary reason Trump won in 2016. Whether or not the Trumpsters realize that he hasn’t done much of anything to limit the Federal government and has actually grown the government, just like the presidents over the last 40 years, they voted on party platform. I just can’t see your vision coming to fruition.

        Almost on a monthly basis I meet someone new who moved here (Texas) from California due to the rising expenses there. In the near future, California will consist of mainly the 1% that liberals loathe due in large part to the growing list of state regulations.

    2. It is too early to tell but I am thinking that Trump and his cheerleaders have instilled enough fear of the Democratic Party into the blue-collar Republican voters that they will go along with whoever the white-collar conservatives will give them just to vote against the Democrats. Somebody like Marco Rubio or Jeb Bush, who would not have excited these voters in 2016, should do fine with the blue-collar faction moving forward.

      If Trump loses I expect the Republican Party to nominate somebody who is relatively normal in 2024. His blue-collar supporters who formerly did not care to vote and were mobilized by Trump not being a mainstream politician will now vote for someone like Rubio or Bush, justifying it to themselves by saying something like, “he’s better than the DemTurds!” or “he’s running for the party of Trump!”

      1. Could be — but what policies? Trump’s policies played some part in his popularity, but it was mostly because he was not a mainstream politician, that he spoke his mind, and while a few politicians have recognized that, none have duplicated it, and it will be a long time before any will.

        The Democrats at least have woke scolds and the Green New Deal as general themes. What will the Republicans have? — Nothing.

        1. As you say, they seemed to find Trump’s character to be his defining feature. I don’t think any particular policies are necessary to maintain this base. Trump sure doesn’t seem to have many of his own policies. There is not much compelling evidence that American voters as a whole care about particular policies. Even among the Democratic primary voters, if white guilt and the Green New Deal were defining features of the party than Biden would not have been the winner.

          1. “I don’t think any particular policies are necessary to maintain this base.”

            You are crazy. Trump won the primaries primarily because he could differentiate himself as pretty much the only anti-immigration, anti-global trade guy on the stage.

            1. Or, at least, the only anti-immigration, anti-global trade guy on the stage who you didn’t know for sure was lying to you.

              The Republicans have been pulling bait and switch jobs on their voting base for so long, the base no longer trusts anybody the party establishment approves of.

      2. I suspect you are correct for the majority of the Republican field, though NObody is ready to pull a lever for Jeb – still – and hopefully forever. The GOP faces the same danger that LP can’t see, and that is running some decades past version of stale oatmeal flavored pablum isn’t going to cut it. When are ANY of the parties going to understand that you gotta have a little firebrand in your personality and substance to be seen?

        Of course there’s nobody currently in the field trying to emulate Trump at this point. It’s too early to put a bullseye on your back for no good reason. Four years earlier Trump wasn’t really on the radar either. He’d mention it from time to time, but most assumed those mentions weren’t serious.

        Likely you’d see a substantial number of resurrection candidates like Rubio and God help us all… Romney [yawn]. Might as well run John McCain again for all it’s worth. In reality though, that simply leaves them splitting the vanilla vote while an upstart sweeps the primaries by being Trump 2.0. He’s broken the mold that says you don’t can’t be elected unless you come up through the system, and preferably, a lawyer.

        I don’t have much idea who would run on the Democrat side, as they are running out of codgers and people tend to not like the rest of them. What I won’t be shocked at is if whoever it is picks AOC as a running mate, as her birthday 3 weeks earlier would make her Constitutionally eligible to serve on election day.

        1. “you gotta have a little firebrand in your personality and substance to be seen”

          Some of this world’s greatest evils were perpetrated by individuals with “firebrand in [their] personalities”. That is what is so disturbing about the average voter. They want someone who is loud and obnoxious towards those who they feel is their opponent. They care little about true intellectual substance especially as it’s applied to individual liberty. If someone with REAL substance is offered as a candidate, they feel that person speaks down to them. There is something to be said about the downfall of American education both in the educational system and the desire for individual intellect.

    3. the real danger for Democrats is when “systemic racism” continues, despite electing Democrats at every level, and they don’t have Republicans to blame anymore.

      1. There’s always a Republican to blame somewhere, even if you have to go as far as Washington to place the blame for a local shooting. Kinda like when the Republican Governor of MI in 2014 got the blame for toxic water in Flint Michigan despite 50 years of the city and county being run by Democrats.

      2. i think the crying over systemic racism is a creation of activists in league with the media. it will go away very quickly if the dems take the whitehouse

        1. I think that’s what the Democratic party establishment thinks, ditto for the riots. But it’s often easier to start a fire than put it out.

      3. “…the real danger for Democrats is when “systemic racism” continues, despite electing Democrats at every level, and they don’t have Republicans to blame anymore.”

        Doesn’t work in CA.

      4. That’s not stopped them in a single Democrat stronghold in the country. The state government is controlled by Democrats, the Governor is a Democrat, the largest city is a Democrat stronghold – that Detroit is a shithole just isn’t their responsibility even though there’s no one else around they can blame it on.

    4. ” If Biden wins, and regardless of when Kamela takes over, their loony left wing will be disappointed, because all of their wishes require far more of the resources represented by money than is available”

      That’s like saying that the guy selling the Brooklyn bridge is going to be disappointed if he finds a buyer, because he won’t be able to transfer a clean title.

    5. Trump won because he appealed to racists, and majority support isn’t required to win elections in America.

  3. Well, that’s unfortunate. I want things disrupted.

    1. You may still get your wish, whether from third parties or otherwise.

  4. “‘Presidentially, Two Parties Is Plenty,’ declared the headline over a similarly fact-cavalier scolding by New York Times Op-Ed establishmentarian Gail Collins.”

    To the NYT, two parties is one too many.

    1. nah, they need the Republican Party to blame everything bad on.

  5. The Democrat Party must be destroyed.

    Voting for Trump is helping to do that.

    Libertarian voting for Trump and Republican in election 2020. Once the Democrat Party is destroyed, then Libertarians can focus on forcing the GOP to cut budgets or compete against the GOP.

    Then it will be the Libertarians vs Republicans.

    1. I don’t think the Democrats will be destroyed – but in the unlikely event they are, it will be from the Reps stealing many of their issues.

    2. There aren’t enough far-right reactionaries to form one party, let alone two.

      I’m glad that you’ve been molded by propagandists to hate Democrats. I’m glad you will suffer needlessly for the next four years and possibly forever. Your team is trying to kill democracy. You all deserve to suffer like all fascists.

      1. You suggest they start stuffing the ballot boxes?

        1. The far-right reactionary party is stuffing the ballot box and distracting you from it with Facebook memes of scary blacks.

          1. “scary blacks”

            Another oxymoron.

          2. I don’t have Facebook. And you didn’t answer the question.

            1. We should end all ballot box stuffing starting with nationwide Republican disenfranchisement efforts. And vote the fascist pigs out.

              1. Yeah. Let’s start with every governor who took on emergency powers and instituted lockdowns and other restrictions on commerce and free movement.

              2. Yes. The forced lockdown of Americans is fascist. Glad we can find common ground.

          3. You’re probably not up on your news and your news channel will certainly avoid telling you, but Omar was actually the one just caught doing that. I know…. probably Trump made her do it in TDS world.

          4. Then why are you not scared? Because if the far right is stuffing ballot boxes then they’re going to win and *you’ll* be facing 4 more years of Trump.

      2. the fascists who want to reduce government power?

        1. If that’s what you think Republicans want to do you are a deaf idiot.

          1. Yet you want us to vote for the Democrats.

    3. “Libertarians can focus on forcing the GOP to cut budgets or compete against the GOP.”

      The weed you’re smoking must be above 30% THC.

    4. So instead of voting for a walking corpse who will immediately be replaced by a statist asshole from California you’d like me to vote for a still breathing statist asshole from New York.

      No thanks.

      1. Alternatively in today’s binary world, you just prefer someone who picks one thing from one camp and another thing from another camp, so as to split the difference, but never comes up with anything different? I guess it’s so much more sophisticated and “arrived” to sit in a corner with your litmus paper and bitch about your choices.

      2. I agree with you, but Jorgensen lost my vote when she decided to kneel at the feet of BLM.

        1. Same here, regarding Jo.

        2. “Libertarians have been talking about these issues for 40 years,” [Jorgensen] says. “I think we should support the protesters, but, at the same time, get rid of the opportunistic people hijacking the movement.”

          Acknowledging blm (lower case) is not the same as “kneeling at the feet of BLM”. BLM thinks the injustice is due to police racism. Jorgensen thinks the injustice is our criminal justice system and the breakdown of family. Please read more than one biased article before making comments like this.

          1. …plus our welfare state.

    5. I don’t think that’s likely. Where are the left leaning voters going to go? The Democrats may be forced to rearrange a bit and do some house cleaning, but they won’t be destroyed. And I don’t see how voting for Trump makes it any more likely that they will. As far as I can see, team loyalty is pretty strong for team blue. And lots of people overlook the crazy bullshit and vote for them anyway.
      If I’m missing something, please explain how the Democrats are going to be destroyed because people vote for Trump.

      1. And lots of people overlook the crazy bullshit and vote for them anyway.
        Is that code for urban housewives?

  6. The court is being cemented as a conservative stronghold. Which is exactly what it should be. The legislature can get as wild as they want, the president less so, and the judiciary should hold the line.

    Oh we were talking about third parties. Nah.

  7. Third party participation would lessen the chances of a Biden beatdown/meltdown/stroke.

  8. They won’t be but a lot of people will be convinced of that every election and vote accordingly. It goes the other way as well.

    It is the main reason a third party alternative gets so few votes and nothing changes. The system is rigged that way.

    It is better for both parties. If you only had one and people are not happy with something you get blamed for it and someone cuts off the head of the king.

    This way you blame the other side and every fours years you just shuffle around the deck chairs a little.

    1. No, the main reason a 3rd party gets so few votes is because they only offer varying degrees of what the other 2 already offer or a combination thereof, at least in practical application.

      Sorry, but I’ve now seen a bunch of guys with silly hats grow into the Tea Party [yes I know mostly fizzled now], 3 Marxists launch BLM, and some poorly raised children with skateboards launch Antifa. They may or may not last, but in light of that, I’m having a hard time sympathizing with libertarians who have been around 50 years longer now still bitch that they can’t get any political power because the other guys won’t let them.

      Honestly, both parties are in the throws of kicking their own ass with this as well. Socialism is fucked up, but it at least pretends to be something different. It IS the third choice, but is becoming dominant by eating one of the two parties. It took them a century to figure out how to do it, but it’s happening.

    2. Actually, the chief reason 3rd parties do so badly is that, back in the 80’s, when the LP and other 3rd parties started to gain traction, the major parties figured out the threat, and rigged things.

      Campaign finance that rule out every way third parties find to raise money. Discriminatory ballot access rules that exhaust the 3rd parties before the general election campaign even starts. Replacing the League of Women Voters with a Bipartisan commission, when the League decided to invite a third party candidate. It goes on and on.

      It’s a rigged game, that’s why I got out of the LP when I did. And being in a hopeless game has warped the LP, too. It’s no longer a serious party. Haven’t the last couple of Presidential runs proven that? The most they even aspire to now is being a spoiler for the Democrats.

      1. back in the 80’s, when the LP and other 3rd parties started to gain traction, the major parties figured out the threat, and rigged things.

        Now – no one even remembers that debates used to be hosted by the League of Women Voters rather than the DeRps in Collusion

  9. With virtually no undecided voters and a history that an incumbent with less than 50% in the polls rarely, if ever, wins (undecideds go to the challenger) the election is all but over.

    The vindictiveness of the Democrats will force Trump to find a country with no extradition treaty with the US. The end of the filibuster, the removal of justices Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Barrett for being “illegitimate” and their replacement by six new justices including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ta Nehisi Coates and a repatriated Assata Shakur will assure America of Third World governance for the foreseeable future.

    I wish that I were joking.

    1. More third world than it is under its current banana Republican clown fire? Trump has committed many crimes. No vindictiveness necessary to put him in prison forever, though I have no doubt Democrats will go for putting the past behind us like they did the warmonger and torturer Bush.

      1. Many crimes? Please list all these many crimes along with evidence. Thanks, Tony. You’re grrrrreeeeat!

        1. I’ll let the southern district of New York handle it.

          1. So none.
            Exactly what we expected.

      2. Seattle, Portland, Minneapolis and Chicago say yes, more third world governance is possible if Democrats are in power.

        1. Just say you hate negroes and stop with the nonsense.

          1. Stop projecting.

  10. When you applaud the execution of Republicans remember: The second neck on the guillotine is usually the executioner.

    1. Sounds like a win for Libertarians!

      1. It’s a win until they get to the third neck.

        1. Maybe there will be a bottleneck.

      2. If that’s the only way you can win, you’re fucked and you suck. Go ahead and tell me about all the 3rd parties that rose to any level of power once faced with a single overwhelming dominant power. Only one that I can think of, the State Duma party [Putin] from the Communist Party in Russia, if you think there’s much difference. Other parties are allowed, but only for the purpose to look like Putin is a favorite son, not a dictator.

  11. The idea that third parties only steal from the Democrats is bullshit. The idea that they only steal from Republicans is bullshit. I bet a full half of Libertarians would vote for Trump over Biden, and vice versa. While I can’t ever imagine Greens voting for Trump, and can see them so disgusted with Biden that they stay home.

    The alternative to no third parties is not a five percent swing towards Biden (or Trump), but a five percent swing to stay home. Some Democrats like to blame Gary Johnson and Jill Stein for throwing the election to Trump, but the truth of the matter is Hillary lost because too many Democrat leaning voters chose to stay home because their candidate was crappier than the Republican candidate.

    1. I suppose the Dems could have done worse than Biden. They could have elected Harris. But then Biden had to go and pick Harris, presumably because of her brown skin and vagina. So much for that; they promptly stuffed her into a closet in case her dismal record as a prosecutor wound up hurting them.

      I don’t understand how anyone can vote for Biden without knowing that Harris is in the wings. Hopefully Pence will do some damage. I don’t want another 4 years of Trump, but I really don’t want a possible Harris presidency. Harris would be uniquely awful in ways Trump is only potentially awful. Trump says mean things on Twitter; Harris would make mean things policy and do terrible damage to the country.

      1. Trump is, well Trump, and Pence is an actual I’m-not-exaggerating theocrat.

        You’d think it was bad if he was trying to impose Islam on you.

        1. Some evidence of such other than the opinion that you’ve been fed and swallowed? Probably about the same evidence that Mayor Pete would have forced everyone to become gay. You’ve exceeded your dumbass paranoid comment quota for the day.

          1. He did that about 7AM.

    2. I think it’s a stupid argument all around. If you can’t convince enough people to vote for you, that’s your problem, not the problem of the people running against you. If you lose votes to some weirdo, get a better candidate.

      1. i approve this message

    3. I agree that generally the real choice for third parties is vote whatever v stay home and fuggedaboutit.

      Problem for third parties is that voting turnout isn’t dropping.

  12. After the 2016 election I had a woman who saw my Libertarian window sticker lecture me about how I’d cost Hillary the election.

    This year I have both “Libertarian” and “Jorgensen/Cohen” stickers on.

    1. My Gary Johnson vote in a state that went to Hillary Clinton got Donald Trump elected! The magic ballot!

    2. Racist and sexist!

    3. Why does anyone assume that Libertarians are “taking votes” away from another party? If Trump and Biden were my only two choices, and there wasn’t a write-in option, I just wouldn’t cast a vote for President.

  13. In a fair-minded country, any ballot qualified political party would be included in the first Presidential debate, regardless of poll standings. How is a third party supposed to get good poll standings when the two older parties get billions in free publicity on the news every night?
    Take a poll after the first debate, among people who really watched it. Then see if the third party candidate meets a 5% or 10% or whatever threshold to get into the next debate.

    1. They already have a threshold for inclusion. It will never happen, because the bipartisan committee on the debates will not allow it. The corporate media doesn’t make a fuss because they risk losing their access to the debates, and because, let’s face it, they do not give a fuck about third parties. You would some sort of rock star or messiah figure to get the corporate media to go to bat for third parties.

      1. If a 3rd party candidate qualifies, they just change the qualifications. It’s not a hurdle the LP can ever clear, because it’s adjusted as necessary to make sure they don’t clear it.

    2. Well, first you come up with messages that aren’t just more of the same, a mix of the other two in various quantities, and/or haven’t failed to get double digit points for a half century. The messaging has failed miserably, and repeating the same shit over and over will give the same result.

      Second, quit the whining about “fairness” and realize that the marketplace that libertarians talk about all the time also applies to politics. Your competitors aren’t going to GIVE you shit, so get over it. But that’s okay in a world where “The most interesting man in the world” can become a 10B meme viral success. I don’t feel sorry for a political party that is hanging in the single digit % for 50 years. The LP isn’t lost in the melee of hundreds of competing parties. There are really only 2 others.

      .

      1. There aren’t any “new” ideas in politics. The Democrats sound like the Socialist Workers Party of the 1960’s. The Republicans sound like the Democrat Party of the 1960’s and the Libertarians sound like the Republican party of the 60’s ….1860’s that is. That’s not an insult, the 1860 Republican Party was for Free Labor and Free Markets.

        Advice for libertarians – Don’t say “School Choice”, say “Abolish Public Education”. Don’t try to be “cool” and use lefty expressions like “Single Payer Health Care”, it’s State Health Care.

        There is no such thing as a “Left Libertarian” so stop trying to convert people who want “equality”. The same law for everyone is not “equality”, it’s justice. Justice is individual. “Racial Justice” by considering race is inherently unjust.

  14. If Trump ran as a third party instead of a Republican he would have gotten a significant amount of votes. AND LOST. Hillary would have won. But he didn’t waste his time and effort on an impossible run and went into the party closest to his platform and won. Gary Johnson without ANY CHARISMA wasted his time, yours and ours because he never had a chance to win. He won the first time around in New Mexico as a Republican. But he decided to waste time space and money the last two elections and never got HIS MESSAGE out to voters because he wanted to be idealistic. And the Libertarian probably took matching funds and wasted them for No effect. Yes love the small government wuss

  15. I am wondering how many Gary Johnson voters have switched to Trump this time around. I would wager it’s a pretty high percentage.

    1. I was surprised GJ had any voters after his dismal 2A answer to Glenn Beck, and others.

      Along with Rush Limbaugh having a better libertarian answer to Aleppo than Johnson. (That’s another country and none of our business.)

  16. Then when do we have the Jo vs Kanye debate?

    1. After the few minutes of the debate that I watched, voting for JoJo is the only choice for me (or stay home).

  17. How about a second party?

  18. After that first debate??? C’mon voters… it’s 3rd party time! Jeezus K!!!

  19. So what is the plan to get a Libertarian invited to the debates. Seems getting on the ballot in all 50 states should get you on the stage and get a voice in front of the voters.

  20. “Maybe the two parties need to do more than exist to earn votes.”

    Yes they should do more. But when they do things they get criticized, so it is safer to do nothing. And strangely we reward them for doing nothing. Other the years I have noted that many of the commenter want the government to do nothing. So it is pretty hard to bounce a Representative or Senator that does less work than the laziest person in your office.

  21. It’s not “establishmentarians” that keep third parties from succeeding. It’s lack of voter interest.

    You say that “Maybe the two parties need to do more than exist to earn votes.” The same applies to the Libertarians, Greens, and every other minor party out there. If they want to be relevant, they need to start EARNING votes.

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