The Learning Curve

New tricks for an old dog.

A Third-party Story

 A major party candidate doesn’t need 50% of the vote to win. Look at the success that 43% of the vote brought Bill Clinton in 1992. The reason was that Clinton won a plurality in a three way race. Sure, you say, but Ross Perot got almost 19% of the vote that year. He was a bona fide contender. Otherwise, as people keep telling me, third party candidates just don’t matter.But, it’s not true. They do matter.

This year there is the Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson on the ballot in 47 states for sure, with 3 more being disputed. Johnson will not draw as much as did Perot, but polls show him receiving between 3% and 7% of the vote. The question is, from which of the two major party candidates will Johnson take more of his votes? In a really close race, the answer to that question tells the tale and determines the outcome of the election. If between now and then Obama opens up a bigger lead, then Johnson will not make much difference. If the gap between Romney and Obama stays about 2% – 3%, Johnson could make a decisive difference.

There are only a few public polls that include Johnson, so far.

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Written by Tom Fox

09/20/2012 at 1:34 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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