Polls of libertarian and green political parties show increase in supporters
Throughout the political history of the United States, no candidate from a third party has ever won a presidential election. Regardless of their multiple efforts to win more voters, third parties often encounter huge difficulties in this process. From unequal access to ballots to lack of monetary sponsorship and low media attention, third parties seem to have no real shot in the presidential contention. However, the presence of third parties has never failed to at least create a more compelling race for the oval office.
In 1912, Theodore Roosevelt lost the republican nomination to William Taft. Roosevelt decided to run as the nominee of the progressive Party, a party that was formed by Roosevelt himself to stay in the race for the presidency. At the end, the two candidates split the Republican electorate. Even though Roosevelt did not win the 1912 presidential election, it changed the way third parties were seen in American politics.
As the 2016 elections come closer, both republican nominee Donald Trump and democratic nominee Hillary Clinton have encountered historically low favorable ratings. According to the political website FiveThirtyEight.com, both nominees are more strongly disliked than any other nominee at this point in the election process. These attitudes towards the nominees of the two major political parties have definitely drawn attention to the libertarian nominee Gary Johnson and Green Party nominee Jill Stein.
As the the former governor of New Mexico, Johnson describes himself as “fiscally conservative and socially liberal.” His political tactics involve inspiring young adults and minority groups.
According to a poll done by the Pew Research Center, about 70 percent of his supporters are younger than 50-years-old, 51 percent are women and 13 percent are black or latino. The Pew Research Center poll also found that by early-September, Johnson had the support of 10 percent of all registered voters.
Jill Stein, a physician and activist, stated that if elected, she would be “an organizer-in-chief in the White House.”
Stein’s political tactics differ from Johnson’s since her efforts are focused on disappointed mainstream voters. Stein has created a nation plan which major points include transitioning to 100 percent clean renewable energy by 2030, creating living-wage jobs for anyone who needs work and ending poverty by focusing on sustainability projects. In the latest CNN polls, Stein has the support of about 5 percent of all registered voters.
According to national polls, most Americans are dissatisfied with both major parties’ nominees. This can be interpreted as a cry for change. However, this does not make it better for the third parties. Third parties still have the challenge of convincing the American population that they are capable of real change. To do that, they also need to find ways of becoming more visible in the media.
Regardless of the many challenges they continue to encounter, third parties will definitely play an important role in determining the next president of the United States.