Today's post at America magazine challenges the idea, repeated almost every election cycle, that voters are suddenly going to embrace independent or third-party candidates just because they bitch about the two major parties to pollsters. Here's an excerpt:
My Christmas wish to you is that you live long enough to read 10,000 predictions that independent candidates will sweep American elections. It’s a ridiculous premise, not only because American voters (except in Maine) are so reluctant to throw votes away on third candidates in winner-take-all elections. The challenges to an independent candidate — signature requirements to get on the ballot, media coverage, inclusion in debates, getting national fundraising groups like the NRA and Emily’s List to notice you — are so daunting that it’s almost always easier to get elected by running in a major party’s primary. In all but a few states (where parties control nominations through conventions), a “legitimate indie” candidate can crash a Democratic or Republican primary and win as an outsider or a centrist.
Read the entire post here.
Image from World Santa Congress, held each July in Denmark.