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Would You Vote for a Third Party Candidate?

In 1854, the Republican Party emerged as a third party. Only six years later, Abraham Lincoln won the presidency for the new party.

Parties beyond the Democrats and Republicans exist today. The Constitution Party, which former Reagan official Alan Keyes recently joined, is the third largest political party in terms of voter registration. There are 367,000 registered Constitution Party voters. Ex-"spoiler" Ralph Nader is running for President again as the Green Party's nominee.

Third party candidates rarely win national elections. But, they can have an impact. Third parties can draw attention to issues that may be ignored by the majority parties, increase voter turnout, or allow people to voice dissent with a protest vote. But, do you think they can move past this secondary role, and actually start winning elections? If you want to keep up on third party news you may not catch in the mainstream media, check out Third Party Watch.

Are you ready to seriously support a truly competitive third party?


Join The Conversation
Cassandra57 Cassandra57 9 years
I wish I had the courage to vote for a third-party candidate. However, I am afraid that would effectively be a vote for a major-party candidate that terrifies me. I have a friend who hasn't voted for a major-party candidate in years, and is quite proud of it. She feels the "protest" vote is worth casting. I commend her for it, I'm just not that brave.
milosmommy milosmommy 9 years
*hypno (sorry about that)
milosmommy milosmommy 9 years
I'm with you hyno. I don't think it should be about parties at all. What it should be about it the issues and what the person stands for. I'm a registered republican but there have definitely been times that I didn't vote for the republican running because I didn't like what he stood for. That makes more sense to me.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
I would have to say that if I had my way there would be no parties just great individuals who put forth great ideas. I have not done it yet but I would never rule out voting for a republican just because I'm a democrat. McCain is one republican I like, but he's not getting my vote this year. Although I've always leaned left in my political ideology I've recently considered registering as an independent. I also think parties come from most people's need to be part of a group and feel a comradery in ideology. The state conventions the national convention its all a big hubbub and people have a great time doing it. But all of that is just ornamentation the heart of the matter is issues issues issues and who has the better ability to deal with the broader host of problems
stephley stephley 9 years
I have voted for third-party candidates and would again, and several times I've held my nose and voted for who I hoped was the least offensive offering from the major parties. I don't like the idea of wasting a vote, but there are times when the two major candidates are too much alike - I can see me writing someone in this year if the candidate I support doesn't get the nomination. In an important time like this, I don't think the lesser of two evils is good enough.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
I think it would be great to have truly viable third-party candidates to open up the American political debate beyond the usual two-party dichotomy. Unfortunately, however, I haven't seen any viable candidates yet, and I don't want to waste a vote on a candidate I know doesn't have a chance in hell of winning.
bailaoragaditana bailaoragaditana 9 years
Haha I love the Whigs! Actually, my favorite presidents were all Democratic-Republicans. (And one Federalist, and one non-affiliated.) Really, can we bring back the Democratic-Republicans? I'd vote for Thomas Jefferson or James Madison again in a heartbeat! But realistically... no, I wouldn't vote for a third-party candidate. I want someone who can win and make a difference. (Unless, of course, we can actually get a Jefferson/Madison revival going... )
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
I am still backing the great Hugh L. White as my Whig Party candidate! However I hath yet to receive my primary ballot through the postal service!
mymellowman mymellowman 9 years
I think this is a little broader than a yes or no answer as it would really depend on who is running, who they are running against and the likely hood of the candidate actually being able to swing a legitimate opportunity. All those items would need to align for me to vote for someone not in the main political machine. If these factors didn't matter I highly doubt Ron Paul would have ran as a Republican, but I believe he saw that if he didn't run on a GOP ticket then he stood no chance at all. As for whether they should run as a third party, I think it is great and wish more people would run. Though highly unlikely, if enough third party candidates ran you might be able to split enough votes to take away from the two parties. I think this is important to note this is mainly on the Presidential side of elections as when it comes to smaller offices, I believe third party candidates run a much stronger chance of taking elected office as a smaller party can sometimes represent the needs of the state/county/city/town better than the great two parties.
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
Mr Keys, I remember him so fondly trying to run in IL without even being a citzen of the state. What can I say.
Shopaholichunny Shopaholichunny 9 years
I like Alan Keyes. If I agreed w/ the candidates policies then sure I would vote for him. Who cares about the party. People put too much emphasis on the parties when we should be focusing on what they will do or change when and if they become the NEXT President of the U.S!
syako syako 9 years
:dance: constitution! :woohoo:
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
I did not know that about the Constitution party... I would have thought Libertarians were the 3rd largest... hahaha, Constitution Party... that sounds like something CineLover would throw!
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