Download a recent issue

This bimonthly publication focuses on current and past political events and trends, and offers a unique look at what those things mean for the future. Contact us for subscription information.

"If you read just three people analyzing American politics today, do yourself a favor and make certain that Rhodes Cook is one of them. Rhodes is one of the three wisest Americans now analyzing this country's politics. As somebody who writes on politics, I want my reader to have one of two reactions: 1) Gee, I never knew that or 2) Gee, I never thought of it that way! Every time I read Rhodes Cook I have both reactions--with some envy--Gee, I never knew that and Gee, I never thought of it that way." 

~ Mark Shields, Analyst on PBS's NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, panelist on "Inside Washington," Syndicated Columnist, Creators Syndicate.

« Southern Democrats: It's Happened Again | Main | WI Recall: Process Aids Walker »
Tuesday
Jun052012

Americans Elect to Stay with Two Options

About half of the presidential elections over the last half century have been impacted by a significant third party or independent candidate. This election is unlikely to be one of them.

With the closure last month of the ambitious Americans Elect effort to find a credible centrist candidate, the likelihood of a third option on the 2012 presidential ballot that could muster 5%, 10%, even 15% of the popular vote has evaporated. Instead, the lone alternatives to Barack Obama and Mitt Romney this fall will be from the usual array of third parties – the Libertarian, Green and Constitution parties – that in recent years have mustered about 1% to 2% of the nationwide popular vote.

Often they nominate largely unknown party loyalists to represent them. This year, these third parties are trying to make more of a splash.

The Libertarians have chosen former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, who switched his allegiance after his long-shot bid for the Republican presidential nomination failed to gain traction.

The Constitution Party has selected former Rep. Virgil Goode of Virginia as its presidential nominee. Goode served six terms in Congress as a Democrat, independent and Republican.

Meanwhile, the field of Green Party contenders includes comedienne Rosanne Barr, with the party’s nominee to be selected at a mid-July convention in Baltimore.

It is likely that Johnson and Goode would take most of their votes from Romney, while the support for the left-leaning Green Party would come out of Obama’s hide. So far, the Libertarians are on the ballot in 30 states, the Green Party in 20, and the Constitution Party in 17, according to the June 1 issue of the political newsletter Ballot Access News.

But what impact any of them might have this fall is dependent on the closeness of the presidential race, especially in the swing states. The Libertarian, Constitution and Green tickets are already on the ballot in Colorado, Florida, Michigan, New Mexico and Ohio. But their effect will be on the margins, with a percentage point here or a percentage point there possibly affecting the outcome in a few states where the vote between Obama and Romney is extremely close. None of the third parties will have the money to compete with the major parties on a broad scale nor the national poll standing to win entry into the fall debates with Obama and Romney.

The situation might have been different if the well-funded Americans Elect effort had been successful. Unlike the usual process where an independent or third party candidate announces his or her candidacy  and then seeks voter support, Americans Elect instead built an organizational structure, then sought to find a candidate.

In some ways, their unique approach was quite successful. They had money – roughly $35 million was provided by donors, many with a strong Wall Street pedigree. They had an eclectic range of supporters, ranging from former New Jersey GOP Gov. Christine Todd Whitman to former Disney CEO Michael Eisner. And by June 1, Americans Elect had made the ballot in 29 states, according to Ballot Access News.

But the online nominating process that the organization devised failed to produce a candidate. Big-name possibilities declined to run, while those that did were unable to generate the 10,000 votes on the party’s web site needed to be viable. Former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer, an erstwhile GOP presidential candidate this cycle, had the most votes – slightly more than 6,000 – when Americans Elect threw in the towel in mid-May.

What happened? The shrill, dysfunctional nature of American politics that leaders of Americans Elect often criticized probably deterred a number of the most promising potential candidates. In addition, the demand for a major third party has been much lower in recent years than in the latter part of the 20th century. Then, there was a succession of significant independent or third party entries – George Wallace in 1968, John Anderson in 1980, Ross Perot in 1992 and 1996, and Ralph Nader in 2000.  All except Nader drew at least 6% of the nationwide popular vote, and his 3% share proved extremely significant in an election where Republican George W. Bush defeated Democrat Al Gore by a mere five electoral votes.

Since then, the political environment has changed dramatically as Democrats and Republicans have engaged in a series of high-stakes elections in which differences between the two parties have been stark. The traumatic events of 9/11 had a major hand in creating this new political era, in which the major parties have fought continuously over sharply different visions of America in a dangerous world.

There has been no more talk of “Tweedledum and Tweedledee,” as Wallace described the two major parties during his third party run in 1968. Rather, the presidential elections of 2004 and 2008 provided “a choice, not an echo,” and 2012 will do the same. In this environment where differences between the major parties are writ large, voters – for better or worse - have accepted two options as enough.  

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

References (53)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    シチズン
  • Response
  • Response
    Response: Webpage
    RhodesCook.com - Rhodes Cook Blog - Americans Elect to Stay with Two Options
  • Response
    Response: Pulau Pramuka
  • Response
    RhodesCook.com - Rhodes Cook Blog - Americans Elect to Stay with Two Options
  • Response
    This is one of the best dry shampoo for oily hair on the grounds that the outcome is surprising. It cleans the hair viably without abandoning it dull. It has fewer fixings that may hurt an individual who utilizes it, and individuals with dark or dull hair can utilize this on ...
  • Response
    RhodesCook.com - Rhodes Cook Blog - Americans Elect to Stay with Two Options
  • Response
    RhodesCook.com - Rhodes Cook Blog - Americans Elect to Stay with Two Options
  • Response
  • Response
    Response: mothers day song
  • Response
    Response: 10th class result
  • Response
    The acute, dysfunctional constitution of American shrewds that principals of Americans Choice frequent criticized presumably deterred a cipher of the most encouraging capability aspirants. In accession, the need for a big third orgy has been many lessen in late years.
  • Response
    Response: up 10th result
  • Response
    spineseo
  • Response
    Response: fathers day wishes
  • Response
    Response: fun run cheats
    RhodesCook.com - Rhodes Cook Blog - Americans Elect to Stay with Two Options
  • Response
    spine seo
  • Response
    Erik paul
  • Response
    RhodesCook.com - Rhodes Cook Blog - Americans Elect to Stay with Two Options
  • Response
    Response: Eid mubarak
    sammual
  • Response
  • Response
    Response: Neundenker
  • Response
  • Response
    Response: Song Lyrics
  • Response
  • Response
  • Response
    Response: Columbus Day
    find about columbus day 2014
  • Response
    Response: hydroponic
    RhodesCook.com - Rhodes Cook Blog - Americans Elect to Stay with Two Options
  • Response
    Response: myspace.com
    RhodesCook.com - Rhodes Cook Blog - Americans Elect to Stay with Two Options
  • Response
    RhodesCook.com - Rhodes Cook Blog - Americans Elect to Stay with Two Options
  • Response
  • Response
  • Response
    Response: april fools pranks
  • Response
  • Response
    Response: 压瓦机角驰475
    沧州金辉压瓦机械设备厂 电 话:0317-8086188 沧州金辉压瓦机械设备厂 电 话:0317-8086199 手 机:13832771638 15133711101 c型钢机 Q Q:59458991 ,c型钢机; 49870222 ...
  • Response
    Response: 1
    http://www.chouyouyanji.cc/co6703.html
  • Response
    Response: basames website
    most of the time, they'l basames website l li basames ft up your spirits or on the minimum you will not care. do justn't go crazy and in addition you definitely will not drive, hav 深圳横岗眼镜批发 ing a delightfulglass or two at the same time assitting during the hearth never harmanyone. ...
  • Response
    16-88-792型澳式卷帘门机产品特点及用途泊头金利压瓦机械厂 16-88-792型澳式卷帘门机产品特 792型澳式卷帘门机 点及用途:经该澳式卷帘门机辊轧成型的压 卷帘门机 型板,既庄重高雅,又美观新颖,而且外观平整,波纹均匀,利用率高,强度大,生产自动化程度高,成本低廉,经久耐用。 型号参数:   长宽高 11000mm1300mm950mm   成型轴:直径70mm 45#调质   成型轮:材料45#锻打 镀硬铬   传动方式:链轮、链条   电机:4KW   成 卷帘门机 型排数:24排   全自动电脑定长切
  • Response
    http://www.papasurvey.xyz/
  • Response
    Response: 900设备
    上一篇:论述C型钢的分类 下一篇:压瓦机技 论述 术的进步 压瓦机 公司简介 /产品中心 /公司新闻 /行业新闻 ,金达品牌c型钢机;/技术文档 /企业文化 /在线留言 /销售网络 /联系方式 / 河北益城压瓦机械有限公司 座机:0317-8225444 ...
  • Response
    вконтакте
  • Response
    Response: webcric
  • Response
    Response: star sports
  • Response
  • Response
  • Response
  • Response
    Response: 数控折弯机
    ,35-205-820型琉璃瓦压瓦机 来源:http://www.zwenia.c 35-205-820型琉璃瓦压瓦机 om/product/zsgb/index.html 全自动天沟压型机 http://www.zwenia.com/product/zsgb/index.html 数控钢板止水钢板机 ...
  • Response
    Response: 彩钢压瓦机
    网站主页 公�简介 压型钢�型� 24-210-840 用途 有效覆盖宽度(mm) 840 展开宽度(mm) 1000 屋���墙�� 产�中心 波高(mm) 24 �厚(mm) 0.3-0.8
  • Response
    Response: 卷帘门压瓦机
    840角驰成型机采用台湾台达DV 840角驰成型机 P14ES主机计算机,使用文本屏显 止水板 示的电控系统,便于操作,易上手。该设备采用高水平自动控制软件,实现生产信息化管理,止水板; 整个机组自动化控制系统采用高集成的网络,使自动化系统性能更优越,彩钢瓦介绍;该彩钢瓦设备还具有操作、维护、保养以及机械 彩钢瓦介绍 的调试、模具更换容易等优点。彩钢瓦全钢结构厂房框架、单面彩钢板钢结构厂房、多跨式钢结构车间、带木行车梁厂房、别墅式彩钢板用房连跨彩钢板天棚、楼顶加层、大跨度厂房、轻钢结构环棚。
  • Response
    Best boys facebook profile pictures
  • Response
    Response: 角驰压型机
    产品信息 人生无常, 双层压瓦机 我们本着以"产品质量是企业生命,用户满意为服务目标"为质量方针;以"积极进取、不断创新、追求卓越"为企业理念,也是我公司全体员工为之奋斗的永恒目标,人生无常,。 1000/1 压瓦机 020双层压瓦机设备技术参数: 1. 主机动力电机380V、三相、50Hz
  • Response
    当前位置 / 全自动压瓦机 俄罗斯压型设备系列 1050全自动压瓦机 公司本着务实,诚信,秉承用户至上的宗旨,以不求最大,但求最优为目标,以一流的 产品,琉璃 琉璃瓦机厂家 瓦机厂家,合理的价格,至上的服务来答谢广大用户对我们的支持和帮助,愿与各厂家携手共进,840设备,共创 产品信息 840设备
  • Response
    Response: 液压剪板机
    当前位置 / 压瓦机|折弯机|剪板机|角驰Ⅲ|c型钢机|840压瓦机|860压瓦机|900压瓦机|彩钢瓦设备|双层压瓦机|天槽地沟机 压瓦机 | 折弯机 三维扣板机|泡沫切割机|复合板流水线_金利压瓦机械厂 &gt,彩钢瓦生产设备机械厂家联系人: 手机:1383277163; 技术文档 ,双层压瓦机;> 泊头金利对彩钢压瓦机的简介说明 信息来源:压瓦机 发布日期:2015-03-16 14:37 点击: 剪板机 180 次 泊

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>