Yesterday’s presidential election produced the strongest showing in 20 years for third-party and independent candidates. Not all the ballots have been tallied yet, so some of the numbers below may be slightly off from the final totals. But at this point all the alternative candidates put together have received more than 5 percent of the popular vote. The leader of the second-tier pack, Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party, has (at this point in the counting) 4,012,871 votes, or 3.23 percent of the national total. That’s much less than he was polling a couple months ago, but it’s far better than any other presidential result in the party’s 45-year history. It’s also better than any other alternative candidate since Ross Perot’s campaigns of 1992 and ’96.
On the state level, we didn’t get to see some of the more extraordinary possibilities that had been tossed around before Tuesday. (No, Evan McMullin did not carry Utah.) But the second-tier candidates did do stronger in some places than others, giving us a map—multiple maps—of where our binary party system is doing the poorest job of representing the full spectrum of political opinion. Here’s how the third-, fourth-, and fifth-place finishers fared across the country: