Opposition News: Alt parties make gains, shuffle rankings in presidential results (2016 vs. 2012)

By Mark Wachtler at ONN:

(ONN) Now that all of the 2016 Presidential election ballots have been counted and certified, including write-ins, we can see which opposition third parties grew, shrunk or stayed the same. With two unpopular candidates nominated by the two establishment parties – Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump – most of America’s third parties grew exponentially. But not all. Some opposition parties fell out of the rankings, while a slew of others joined the list.

The 2016 election proved to be a stellar moment for America’s opposition third parties. The number of people who voted third party in 2016 was three-times higher than 2012. In 2012, roughly 2 million Americans voted for a Presidential candidate other than the establishment Democrat or Republican. In 2016, that number grew to over 6 million.

Opposition Third Parties as ranked by their Presidential vote total. Results are from the Opposition News listing, ‘2016 Presidential Vote Totals for all 31 Candidates’.

2016 Rank – Political Party (2012 Rank)

1 – Libertarian Party (1)
2 – Green Party (2)
3 – Constitution Party (3)
4 – Peace & Freedom Party (4)
4 – Party for Socialism and Liberation (11)
6 – Reform Party (8)
7 – Legal Marijuana Now Party (N/R)
8 – Socialist Workers Party (N/R)
9 – Veterans Party (N/R)
10 – American Solidarity Party (N/R)
11 – Prohibition Party (N/R)
12 – America’s Party (6)
13 – Workers World Party (N/R)
14 – American Party (N/R)
15 – Socialist Party (14)

Who’s in

As readers can see, seven new parties joined the Top 15 list since 2012. Some are brand new political parties like the Veterans Party and the American Solidarity Party. Others have been around for decades but stepped up their Presidential campaigns this time around, like the Socialist Workers Party, the Workers World Party, and the Prohibition Party. While one, the Legal Marijuana Now Party, merely changed its name from the Grassroots Party.

Final thoughts

It’s difficult to consider it a victory when only one of the fifteen opposition candidates cracked the magical glass ceiling of 5% in a handful of states, and that was the Libertarian Party’s Gary Johnson. But not a single opposition party candidate hit the 5% mark nationally. 2016 should still be seen as the successful year that it was. Anytime America’s political opposition grows 300% in one election, it’s reason to celebrate.

View a detailed listing of America’s 15 largest opposition third parties, along with a brief description and contact information, at the Opposition News Political Parties page. View the full results of the 2016 Presidential election, including write-in votes, at ‘2016 Presidential Vote Totals for all 31 Candidates’.

**Attention 2017 & 2018 election candidates – add your name, candidacy and link to the Opposition News Candidates Page.

17 thoughts on “Opposition News: Alt parties make gains, shuffle rankings in presidential results (2016 vs. 2012)

  1. Richard Winger

    All the ballots from November 2016 are not yet tallied. We are still waiting for Rhode Island presidential write-ins and Virginia presidential write-ins. Only today did the Pennsylvania write-ins come in, and only yesterday did the final New York returns come in. Also Dave Leip is contacting all the counties to get more write-ins, for states in which write-ins exist but the state won’t reveal them.

  2. Austin Cassidy

    This list makes no sense.

    Where was the Reform Party on the ballot… just in Florida this time?

    Reform outranked the PSL in 2012?

    What about the American Delta Party?

    Evan McMullin’s 725,000 votes is ignored entirely?

  3. Richard Winger

    Evan is up to 731,269, with more expected next week when Rhode Island releases its write-ins.

  4. Jim

    If one only looks at the races where voting for a libertarian was an option, the LP has taken a larger percentage of those contested elections for President, US Senate, and US House every year since 2004.

    President (ignores states where the candidate was not on the ballot and had no official write in status)
    2004: 0.33%
    2008: 0.42%
    2012: 1.00%
    2016: 3.28%

    US Senate:
    2004: 1.19%
    2006: 1.63%
    2008: 1.74%
    2010: 1.77%
    2012: 2.12%
    2014: 2.43%
    2016: 2.83%

    US House:
    2004: 2.76%
    2006: 3.07%
    2008: 3.20%
    2010: 3.23%
    2012: 3.51%
    2014: 4.25%
    2016: 4.63%

    I suspect the same is true for state legislative races, but I haven’t put together much data for those, yet.

    The streak was broken for Governor this year, though.

    Governor (11-12 state Presidential year cycle)
    2004: 1.40%
    2008: 2.18%
    2012: 2.59%
    2016: 2.45%

    Governor (36-37 state non-Presidential even year cycle)
    2006: 0.98%
    2010: 1.52%
    2014: 2.02%

    So Johnson may have had a boost because of Trump and Hillary, but it seems likely that he would have set an LP Presidential record even with normal opposition.

  5. Andy

    Other market conditions are involved. There was no other candidate for President who had 50 state plus DC ballot access. There was not higher profile or better funded minor party or independent candidate in the race. Also, the word libertarian has gotten a lot more popular over the last 9 years, thanks in large part to Ron Paul.

  6. Jim

    Andy “There was no other candidate for President who had 50 state plus DC ballot access.”

    I removed states that did not have ballot access from the calculation, but I did include states that only had write-ins. So, 2012 and 2004 OK vote totals weren’t counted in the denominator. 2008 didn’t count WV, OK, LA, DC, CT.

    Andy “the word libertarian has gotten a lot more popular over the last 9 years, thanks in large part to Ron Paul.”

    Agreed. But the trend started in 2004 and Ron Paul’s influence faded rapidly after he retired. Ron Paul was the primary driving factor for about half of the time – the 6 years 2007-2012.

    “There was not higher profile or better funded minor party or independent candidate in the race.”

    There wasn’t a remotely successful 3rd party competition in 04, 08, or 12. Nader got 0.38% in 2004 and 0.56% in 2008. Stein got 0.36% in 2012. Those were the best of the competitors. The stiffest 3rd party competition to the LP candidates actually was this year. Stein matched Clark/Koch in both fund raising (3.7 Million through Nov. 1) and vote percentage (1.06%).

    I voted for Ron Paul. I spent a lot of hours campaigning for him in both 08 and 12. I recognize that he was a big factor in growing the LP over the last 12 years. But he isn’t the only factor. And the trend has been ongoing for 12 years at every level of politics, so it isn’t just the Trump/Hillary Presidential race, either.

  7. Andy

    Jim said: “Agreed. But the trend started in 2004 and Ron Paul’s influence faded rapidly after he retired. Ron Paul was the primary driving factor for about half of the time – the 6 years 2007-2012.”

    Not true at all. Ron Paul still have plenty of influence and I still hear lots of people bring his name up to this day. He never really retired either, as he may have retired from running for political office, but he is still active in the liberty movement.

  8. Just Some Random Guy

    @ Jim

    If one only looks at the races where voting for a libertarian was an option, the LP has taken a larger percentage of those contested elections for President, US Senate, and US House every year since 2004.

    Out of curiosity, where did you get these figures?

  9. George Dance

    Richard Winger: “Evan is up to 731,269, with more expected next week when Rhode Island releases its write-ins.”

    All these figures are good to know, Mr. Winger, but the one figure I’m sure the IPR readers want most to know isn’t being reported at all: How did “libertarian Libertarian” Darryl W. Perry do? Do you have any information on his campaign?

  10. Richard Winger

    There is so much else to compile, I haven’t worked on presidential totals except for the top 8 candidates, so far anyway.

  11. Jim

    Just Some Random Guy – I couldn’t find it anywhere, so I’ve been putting it together myself.

    Except for this year, federal elections data mostly comes from either the Clerk of the US Congress or the FEC. I used them interchangeably, although they differ very slightly. This year’s data came from state government web sites, but a few hadn’t yet made their results official when I went through them last week. Gubernatorial data came from a combination of wikipedia, ourcampaigns, and some state government web sites.

    I put it all on LPedia. It’s possible I missed a few LP candidates who were on the ballot as “Independent”, and I surely missed some write-in candidates. It’s also possible some were wrongly included. So far I’ve found more than two dozen instances of candidates wrongly labeled as Libertarians on various web sites. Even the Clerk of the US Congress has Chuck Shumer and Charlie Rangel incorrectly listed with a Libertarian cross endorsement in 1990.

    Statistics are at the bottom. Direct links don’t work from IPR.

    lpedia DOT org/Libertarian_Party_US_Senate_Election_Results

    Click on “elections” at the very bottom and you can get to US House, President, and Governor.

  12. Jim

    Andy “Not true at all. Ron Paul still have plenty of influence and I still hear lots of people bring his name up to this day. He never really retired either, as he may have retired from running for political office, but he is still active in the liberty movement.”

    https://www.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&q=ron%20paul

    For all of 2004, 05, and 06, Ron Paul registered 1’s and 2’s on Google’s trend index. He had huge spikes during his two runs, hitting 100 in January 08. In between his presidential campaigns he ranged from 3 to 8. After he retired, he quickly went back to 1’s and 2’s and has remained there ever since, with the exception of 5 months from April 2015 to August 2015 when he peaked at 5 – presumably due to interest related to Rand Paul’s campaign.

    Almost all of the people who talk about Paul these days were fans of his from his Presidential runs. He isn’t reaching a new audience, anymore.

  13. Tony From Long Island

    Jorge ” . . . . .I’m sure the IPR readers want most to know isn’t being reported at all: How did “libertarian Libertarian” Darryl W. Perry do? Do you have any information on his campaign? . . . . . ”

    You mean the guy who ran against his own party when he could barely crack 5% in the nomination process? If anyone should be been “censured,” it should have been him.

  14. Richard Winger

    Darryl Perry only filed for declared write-in status in a few states. He skipped all the states that required presidential elector candidates to accompany the filing. As far as I know, he was credited with these votes: Delaware 1, Idaho 3, Kansas 1, Montana 1, West Virginia 2. Total 8.

  15. Tony From Long Island

    So he didn’t even vote for himself?

    So should we interpret that huge total as in indicator that Gov. Johnson was the correct candidate for the LP? I think so.

  16. George Dance

    Richard Winger: “Darryl Perry only filed for declared write-in status in a few states. He skipped all the states that required presidential elector candidates to accompany the filing. As far as I know, he was credited with these votes: Delaware 1, Idaho 3, Kansas 1, Montana 1, West Virginia 2. Total 8.”

    Thank you very much for checking that out, Mr. Winger. I’ll going to use that total until or unless revised totals come in later.

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