The handicapping of the 2004 presidential election has so far ignored a potentially key factor -- the continuing and perhaps growing appeal of third parties. While the pundits focus on President Bush's chances against a stable of Democratic starters, the election next November is likely to be determined by the Green Party, the Independence Party or -- no joke -- the Libertarian Party.
The omens are there. In the 2000 presidential election, third parties drew enough votes in 11 states to prevent either Bush or his Democratic rival, Al Gore, from winning a majority of votes. But the success of third parties in the 2002 gubernatorial and Senate races is, or should be, the real wake-up call. In 13 states, the number of voters who supported third-party candidates in statewide races last year was larger than the winning margin in the 2000 presidential election.
Center for the Study of Politics and Governance, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota
Third-Party Guys, The Real Threat.
Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,
Content distributed via the University of Minnesota's Digital Conservancy may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor.