Folks on the left who decide not to vote for Hillary Clinton can vote for a Green Party candidate, most likely Jill Stein, but possibly Bernie Sanders. Folks on the right who decide not to vote for Donald Trump can vote for Gary Johnson, the probable Libertarian Party candidate, but probably only some capitalist libertarians and neoconservatives are likely to be able to stomach him.
If we view third party candidates as spoilers, Democrats have much more to lose than Republicans. But the real question seems to be how independent voters break and it’s starting to look like Democrats may be focusing too much within the bubble of their own party, failing to reckon on how hard it may be for Clinton to attract Sanders’ voters. There are a lot of Sanders voters and it’s probably safe to say that Clinton will need them to win against Trump.
Patrick O’Connor, “Poll Finds Lack of Enthusiasm for Clinton and Trump,” Wall Street Journal, May 23, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/poll-finds-lack-of-enthusiasm-for-clinton-and-trump-1464037289
Amie Parnes, “Clinton allies blame Bernie for bad polls,” Hill, May 24, 2016, http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/280994-clinton-allies-blame-bernie-for-bad-polls
Steven Shepard, “Bernie’s not-so-secret-weapon,” Politico, May 24, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/05/bernies-not-so-secret-weapon-223492
Byron Tau, “More Americans Consider Third-Party Options,” Wall Street Journal, May 24, 2016, http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2016/05/24/more-americans-consider-third-party-options/
“Move along now. . . . Nothing to see here,” say unidentified federal officials allegedly briefed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Evan Perez, Shimon Prokupecz, and Pamela Brown, “Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe under federal investigation for campaign contributions,” CNN, May 24, 2016, http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/23/politics/terry-mcauliffe-fbi-doj-federal-investigation-campaign-contributions/index.html
Dara Lind thinks the Libertarian Party would need to broaden its appeal to have a chance. It could do so, however, only by giving up its base of voters so committed to capitalist libertarian principles that they have been willing to support the party even when it has had no chance. I honestly don’t think that’s in the cards.
Dara Lind, “The Libertarian Party tries to seize its Trump-sized opportunity,” Vox, May 24, 2016, http://www.vox.com/2016/5/24/11740210/libertarian-party-2016
- Dave Lindorff, “The Push to Make Sanders the Green Party’s Candidate,” Counterpunch, April 29, 2016, http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/04/29/the-push-to-make-sanders-the-green-partys-candidate/↩
- Byron Tau, “More Americans Consider Third-Party Options,” Wall Street Journal, May 24, 2016, http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2016/05/24/more-americans-consider-third-party-options/↩
- Steven Shepard, “Bernie’s not-so-secret-weapon,” Politico, May 24, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/05/bernies-not-so-secret-weapon-223492↩
- Nate Silver, “The Hidden Importance Of The Sanders Voter,” FiveThirtyEight, May 19, 2016, http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-hidden-importance-of-the-bernie-sanders-voter/↩
- Evan Perez, Shimon Prokupecz, and Pamela Brown, “Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe under federal investigation for campaign contributions,” CNN, May 24, 2016, http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/23/politics/terry-mcauliffe-fbi-doj-federal-investigation-campaign-contributions/index.html↩
- Dara Lind, “The Libertarian Party tries to seize its Trump-sized opportunity,” Vox, May 24, 2016, http://www.vox.com/2016/5/24/11740210/libertarian-party-2016↩