Third Parties

Why Not Vote Third Party? We Asked California Voters.

Even in a solidly blue state, many self-describe as independents and want more choices.

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In an election year in which the two mainstream candidates are disliked at never-before-seen levels, might there be an opportunity for third party candidates?

Green Party candidate Jill Stein and Darrell Castle of the Constitution Party are seeing more interest in their parties' nominees than ever before, and Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson is polling close to double-digits, higher than any other third party candidate since Ross Perot in 1992.

We hit the streets of Los Angeles and the campus of UCLA to ask voters whether they'd consider voting third party this year and to administer the isidewith.com test, an online quiz that shows you which candidate is your ideological match based on your answers to a series of questions. Perhaps unsurprisingly, many people's matches weren't consistent with the candidate for whom they planned to vote.

In this solidly blue state, most voters we talked to plan to cast a ballot for Hillary Clinton, with varying levels of enthusiasm. But while a few committed Clinton partisans seemed unlikely to budge, we found that many folks identified as independents, a trend consistent with data that points to fewer and fewer Americans affiliating with the major parties.

And these self-described independents were more willing to at least hear out the third party candidates. In fact, a recent Quinnipiac poll found that 62 percent of Americans want Gary Johnson on the debate stage, despite the fact that the Commission on Presidential Debates sets the polling cutoff at 15 percent.

So what would it take for these independent-minded voters to pull the lever for someone other than Clinton or Trump? Watch the video above to find out.

Approximately 6 minutes.

Produced by Zach Weissmueller and Justin Monticello. Hosted by Monticello. Shot by Weissmueller. Additional graphics by Josh Swain. Music by Audionautix.

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