A lengthy article at Smart Politics reports that this year we are likely to witness the strongest showing by third party and independent candidates for office since the 1930’s. Some excerpts:
A Smart Politics analysis of nearly 1,800 gubernatorial elections since 1900 finds that third party candidates in 2010 will rival those of 1994 for the strongest showing over the past 75 years since the Great Depression. . . .
If these third party candidates sustain their support through the November 2010 election, it will mark only the second time since the Great Depression that six gubernatorial candidates will have won at least 10 percent of the vote in an election cycle (the other being 1994). . . .
The 1990s in particular brought a resurgence to third parties in gubernatorial campaigns that had not been seen since before World War II. From 1990 to 1999, five third party candidates won gubernatorial contests – the second largest number per decade since the beginning of the 20th century. . . .
From 1910 to 1919, nearly one quarter of gubernatorial elections had at least one third party candidate garner 10 percent or more of the vote.
Read the whole thing. The article provides an overview of the strongest third party and independent gubernatorial candidates this year, a comparison of the 2010 election outlook with that of 1994, and a short historical sketch of successful or prominent third party candidates from the first half of the twentieth century.