Smaller parties increase their vote for US House

Ballot Access News reports

In every presidential election year, voters of the 50 states are able to cast two votes, at least, for important policy-making office. Every voter in the 50 states may vote for president, and for U.S. House of Representatives.

Therefore, in every presidential election year, there are two measures of minor party and independent support…the presidential “other” vote, and the U.S. House “other” vote.

No one seems to have tallied the “other” vote for U.S. House yet for the 2008 election, but it seems likely to be higher than it had been in recent previous elections. The “other” vote for U.S. House had been very high in 2000, 4.17%. That had been the highest “other” vote for U.S. House since 1938. However, since 2000, the U.S. House “other” vote has been declining. It was 3.58% in 2002, 2.75% in 2004, and 2.49% in 2006. These declines undoubtably reflected the intense struggle between the two major parties for U.S. House; many voters cared intensely about the outcome of congressional elections during the George W. Bush presidency.

Although the votes for U.S. House haven’t been tallied yet, we have these clues that the 2008 “other” vote will be higher than it was in 2006: the Libertarian U.S. House total in 2006 was only 560,400, but in 2008 it is likely to be 1,050,000. The Green U.S. House total in 2006 was only 293,606, but it is likely to be close to 600,000 in 2008. The Connecticut Working Families U.S. House vote in 2006 was only 5,794, but in 2008 it is approximately 70,000.

Although one might feel that the 2008 votes for U.S. House are available now, this is not the case. No figures have been released for the New York qualified minor parties, the Independence, Working Families, and Conservative Parties, because the news organizations do not bother to do it, and the New York State Board of Elections has no results whatsoever so far.

The “other” percentage of the vote for U.S. House, for all elections 1914-2000, is in the May 1, 2001 print edition of Ballot Access News.

The Januray 2005 Ballot Access News shows 1,053,658 total US House votes for the Libertarians and 320,259 for the Greens.

The January 2007 ABllot Access News shows 650,614 votes for the Libertarians and 293,606 for the Greens.

The Greens seem to have improved particularly this year, doing much better in US House races than in either 2004 or 2006. (The URLs above have Constitution and other party totals, but I don’t have that data yet for 2008).

Among other things, they set news records for their party both for US Senate and US House, both in Arkansas. Although the final vote totals are not yet available, Deb McFarland (Green) has at least 64,632 votes in AR-2 (23.33%), and statewide Rebekah Kennedy got over 20% for US Senate.

4 thoughts on “Smaller parties increase their vote for US House

  1. paulie cannoli Post author

    From the GP

    For Immediate Release:
    Tuesday, November 11, 2008

    Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624, cell 202-904-7614,
    Starlene Rankin, Media Coordinator, 916-995-3805,
    Brent McMillan, National Political Director, 202-319-7191,

    Richard Carroll elected to Arkansas statehouse; new Green records set in congressional races; third Green mayor elected in California

    Running tally of Green election victories:

    Green candidate news:
    Green Party elections database:

    WASHINGTON, DC — The Green Party’s 2008 candidates for the US House doubled the number of votes they received collectively from the number received in 2006, while over one million US voters voted for at least one Green candidate in the 2008 election.

    The total number of votes for Green US House candidates (568,791 so far; compared to 252,550 in 2006) will rise further after the December 6 postponed election in New Orleans, Louisiana, where Green candidate Malik Rahim is running in District 2 ( for a seat currently held by William Jefferson, who is under federal indictment. The Green Party is still awaiting final vote counts in some races around the US.

    A new record was set for a Green candidate running for the US House, when Deb McFarland finished second in an Arkansas District 2 race with 64,622 votes or 23.33%. Rebekah Kennedy apparently set a new percentage record for a Green running for the US Senate, with 202,016 votes or 20.59% (results not official) in her Arkansas race. Along with Richard Carroll’s state legislature victory (see below), Arkansas Greens showed the most dramatic electoral growth of any state Green Party (

    The Illinois Green Party ran 54 candidates, the most of any state Green Party in 2008 ( 2008 is the first year in which the West Virginia Mountain Party ( competed in elections as an affiliate of the Green Party of the United States, with Jesse Johnson’s run for Governor (

    Mr. Johnson’s 4.5% is the highest percentage for an alternative party candidate for Governor of West Virginia since 1912, when the Socialist Party polled 5.6% (

    Green Party leaders thanked and congratulated all 245 Green candidates who ran for public office in the November 4 general election, including the party’s presidential ticket, Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente (

    Some significant Green victories on Election Day, November 4, 2008:

    Richard Carroll was elected to the Arkansas State Legislature, representing District 39 (

    Bruce Delgado was elected Mayor of Marina City, Monterey County, California (pop. 25,000) ( Mr. Delgado joins California Green mayors Gayle McLaughlin of Richmond and Craig Litwin of Sebastopol. The Green Party of California announced at least five victories statewide in 2008 (

    Ross Mirkarimi was reelected to his District 5 seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in California, with 77% of the vote. This is the seat that was occupied in 1978 by Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man elected to public office in California.

    Art Goodtimes was reelected to his San Miguel County Commissioner seat in Colorado (District 3).

    Cara Jennings was reelected as Lake Worth Commissioner, Palm Beach, Florida.

    James Nicita was elected Oregon City Commissioner (Position 3) in Clackamas County, Oregon

    Michael Beilstein was reelected to the Corvallis City Council (Ward 5) in Oregon.

    The District of Columbia had the greatest number of Green victories on November 4, with seven DC Statehood Green Party candidates elected to Advisory Neighborhood Commission seats:
    Philip Blair, Jr, Single Member District 5A10
    Dave Bosserman (incumbent), SMD 1D05
    Chris Otten, SMD 1C02
    Nancy Shia (incumbent), SMD 1C06
    Carolyn Steptoe, SMD 5A07
    Rick Tingling-Clemmons (incumbent), SMD 7D05
    Bryan Weaver (incumbent), SMD 1C03


    Green Party of the United States
    202-319-7191, 866-41GREEN
    Fax 202-319-7193
    Green candidate database for 2008 and other campaign information:
    Green Party News Center
    Green Party Speakers Bureau
    Green Party ballot access page
    2008 Green candidates to watch

    Cynthia McKinney/Rosa Clemente ‘Power to the People’ Campaign for the White House

    ~ END ~

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