Forum:Do 3rd parties have a chance this year?

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Obviously, this is a US centric question. It's interesting to consider a situation where both major candidates have a disapproval rating above 60%. It's unprecedented for either candidate to have a disapproval rating above 50% at convention time.

First and foremost, we did it to ourselves. Our own primary voters made some poor decisions. I think any need to invoke a conspiracy to explain this situation isn't relevant. What is relevant is this: can America channel its dissatisfaction and hate into actual change? I suspect the answer is no, but I'd love the answer to be yes.

Anyone who knows me well knows I detest libertarianism as it exists in the US, it's an intellectually lazy philosophy that causes severe problems if actually implemented. But I'd still vote for Johnson this year if he had a real chance. Could it happen? ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 17:04, 14 June 2016 (UTC)

The Libertarian Party is in prime position to get the >5% popular vote (that's ~6.5 million votes, mind) necessary to be eligible for minor party federal funding in 2020. Stein and the Green Party also has a better-than-usual shot for it with more obstinate BernieOrBusters, but reduced ballot access and non-appeal to conservatives are big hurdles on her end.
But a view from the White House loo of Pennsylvania Avenue? I doubt it unless he can pull off something insane. For one, Johnson would need to get 270 electoral votes. He can't simply win a plurality -- the Twelfth Amendment states that you need a majority of electoral votes, otherwise the House of Representatives decides who gets to be president out of the top three winners (at which point it's kind of a tossup as to who they'll vote for depending on how many more gaffes Trump makes, as each state gets one vote rather than each Rep). For two, you're not going to get enough of a popular vote out of nowhere. As it is right now, a recent poll by HuffPo shows that ~60% of respondents haven't heard of him. Even if Johnson featured in debates and thus broadened his party awareness, he -- and the Libertarian Party -- still suffers the Sanders problem of not having been strongly under the scrutiny of the media and competitor attacks (although it could be to their benefit; after all, we're talking about a party that booed Johnson when he said that he thought drivers licenses were a good idea, and booed Petersen when he said that he didn't support Perry's insistence that 5-year-old children should have the legal right to buy heroin without adult supervision).
One interesting avenue I could see him take (while being very very very improbable) is to exploit an electoral college loophole that could allow him to win a majority with just a fraction of the popular vote. You see, not all popular votes are weighed equally in the electoral college, as each state starts with 3 votes and then is allocated more based on population. With two exceptions (Nebraska and Maine), you only need a plurality in order to get all of a state's electoral votes. Taking these two facts into account, the loophole strategy focuses on getting the popular vote in states where the popular/electoral ratio is low, even if that means dropping the biggest prizes. That means that the Libertarian campaign tour's first stop should be Cheyenne in Wyoming, a state where only 0.18% (586k) of Americans live but gets 0.56% (3) of the electoral college votes for president. Of course, he doesn't need a majority of votes, but just enough to beat out the two major parties. Then it's off to Burlington, VT where 0.19% (626k) of the population gets 0.56% (3) of the electoral vote. Followed by Washington, DC (672k/3). Then Anchorage (738k/3), Fargo (757k/3), Sioux Falls, Wilmington (DE), Billings, Providence, Manchester (NH), Portland (ME), Honolulu, Boise, Omaha, Charleston (WV), Albuquerque, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Topeka, Little Rock, Jackson, Des Moines, Bridgeport (CT), Oklahoma City, Portland (OR), Louisville, New Orleans, Columbia, Birmingham, Denver, Minneapolis, Baltimore, Milwaukee, Memphis, Phoenix, Indianapolis (6.6M/11), Boston (6.8M/11), Virginia Beach (8.4M/13), and Newark (8.9M/14). That's 270. According to some back-of-the-envelope math, if Johnson can get a 50%+1 majority of the vote in each of the aforementioned states, assuming voter turnout is directly proportional to population, that's cinching the presidency with a minimum of less than 23% of the popular vote. Very significantly less if he wins through close pluralities. Ain't the Electoral College grand? :D
Like I said, though, this is a reaaaaaally unlikely case. But it's possible. ℕoir LeSable (talk) 21:06, 14 June 2016 (UTC)
Do third parties have a chance at what? Winning? No. Growing their base and increasing their name recognition? Yes, and they will. I personally will be surrogate voting for a [[Green Party|third party] this election, and I'm the type of person who would've voted for Obama in 2008. I considered myself a Democrat until 2015, when I realized how weak, conciliatory, and bought off they were. I'm technically an independent, and the only reason I would ever become a Democrat is if I lived in a state where you had to be one to vote in the primary. PBfreespace (talk) 22:20, 14 June 2016 (UTC)
No. When did they ever? And you have it completely backwards; a third party would have to establish itself at the grassroots, state, and in the federal legislature before it could ever dream of winnning the White House. Just what in fact is a "party"? one person and VP pick? nobsBern baby bern
No. The math is against them and 3rd parties in the USA are vanity parties anyway. --Castaigne2 (talk) 16:24, 22 June 2016 (UTC)