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Third Parties



Published in News & Politics
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  • 1. Parties in Elections & Third Parties
  • 2.  
  • 3. Third Parties
    • What is a “third party”?
    • Cite examples of third parties
    • Identify and describe major challenges to third party success in the United States today
  • 4. History of Third Parties
        • Third parties have gotten great attention, but in fact h a ve not assumed the importance that all the academic attention on them suggests.
        • No minor third party as ever come close to winning the presidency:
            • キ  Only 8 have won as much as a single electoral vote.
            • キ  Only 5 third party candidates including TR in 1912 and Ross Perot in 1992 have won more than 10% of popular vote.
  • 5. Minor Parties (3rd parties)
    • 1) Ideological parties- comprehensive, radical views, most enduring
      • Examples include Communist, Socialist, Libertarians
    • 2) One-issue parties- address one concern
      • Examples: Free Soil, Prohibition
    • 3) Economic Protest parties- regional
      • Examples: Greenback, Populist
    • 4) Factional parties- split from major party
      • Examples: Bull Moose, Christian Coalition
  • 6. 3rd Parties
    • Factional parties probably have the greatest influence on public policy.
    • The BIG TWO may pay a heavy price if it fails to recognize the faction that has split from its party.
  • 7.
        • Critical Thinking: The US is the only major Western nation that does not have at least one significant and enduring national third party. Significance?
  • 8. Purpose of Third Parties
        • 1. The electoral progress of third parties is in direct proportion to the failure of the two major parties to incorporate new ideas
        • 2. Influence: Major parties often take on the ideas of third parties.
        • The Democratic Party in 1896 incorporated much of the Populist Party’s platform.
        • The Republican Party in 1970s took on George Wallace’s “S t ates’ rights ” plank.
        • Both the Republican and Democratic Parties in 1992 took on Perot’s reform government ideas, reduce the deficit.
        • 3 . Once the major parties incorporate their ideas, third parties b u rn out.
  • 9. Parties in Elections
    • U.S. electoral system favors a two party dominance
    • Why a two party dominance
    • 1. single member districts- one man/one vote
    • 2. Electoral College – “winner take all”
    • 3. plurality system stacks the deck against 3 rd parties
    • 4. money – PAC money (contributions from interest
    • groups) goes to party with power
    • C. Third parties have little voice in public agenda
    • 1. Electoral College system makes it impossible to win
    • states, even with broad support
    • 2. have very little money because they have no power
  • 10. Parties in Elections
    • Parties on the Spectrum
    • 1. Democrats & Republicans are both centrist because
    • the majority of voters are in the middle of the
    • spectrum
    • 2. Successful third parties are not too extreme (Perot-
    • Reform Party)
    • 3. Most third parties are ideological
    • ( Libertarian, Green, etc) and tend
    • to be to the right or left on the
    • spectrum
    • 4. An Independent is a voter who is
    • not affiliated with ANY party
  • 11.  
  • 12. Ross Perot- unusual style but garnered 19% of the vote! (other parties paid attention)
  • 13.  
  • 14. Nader - 2000 election
  • 15.