In the wake of Republican losses in the recent election, I ran across an article suggesting that third party candidates may have contributed to the defeat of some Republicans. Everyone’s entitled to an opinion. However, to simply blame third parties and independents for major party losses is to miss a much bigger point.
First – third party and independent candidates very rarely take enough votes to be the deciding factor in an election. Even when a third party candidate takes as many votes as the difference between the two major party candidates, the third party candidate’s votes do not come exclusively from voters who would have all voted for the same major party candidate had the third party candidate not been in the race. Some who typically vote D will on occasion crossover to vote R, while an R might vote for a D under certain circumstances.
Then there’s the 39 percent of the public who identify as independent. Some of those people will vote for the D, some for the R, and some for a third party or independent candidate. Continue reading “Blaming Third Parties for Major Party Losses Ignores the Elephant in the Room”