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7 July, 02:17

Prompt

In 2-3 paragraphs, evaluate the impact of third parties on the election process. To what extent have third-party candidates affected

recent presidential elections? Support your answer with data and evidence from the readings.

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Answers (1)
  1. 7 July, 02:26
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    They can affect the political agenda, party policies and even results i. e Perot and Nader had an effect on the presidential elections of 1992 and in 2000. In more than 16'000 contests since 1947, only 7 candidates who were not standing as a Democrat or a Republican have been elected to Congress. The last successful presidential candidate who was not from either party was the Whig Millard Filimore in 1853. In the 2008, presidential election all the third party candidates between them only managed to poll 1.9 million votes (1.4%) of the more than 131 million votes cast. Third parties fare little better at state level. In the 23 elections since 1928 only two third party candidates have gained votes in the Electoral College: Strom Thurmond won 39 ECV's as the States' Rights candidate in 1948. George Wallace won 46 ECV's for his American Independent Party in 1968. Harry Byrd was not on the ballot paper in 1960, but got 15 ECV's from disaffected southern electors. Ross Perot has been the most successful third party candidate in the last 100 years, at least in terms of the popular vote, polling 18.9% of the vote in 1992.
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