Study: 2010 Elections Likely to Result in Strongest Showing Among Third Party and Independent Candidates in over 75 Years


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.

23 thoughts on “Study: 2010 Elections Likely to Result in Strongest Showing Among Third Party and Independent Candidates in over 75 Years

  1. Danny S

    Among minor party and independent contenders, Charlie Crist and Lincoln Chafee I would predict to win. The pack that are less likely but possible include Cahill, Horner, Chiles, Tancredo, and Cutler. Each of those has major factors pulling them down, but they can break out if they are lucky.

  2. Robert Milnes

    So what? This is bullshit. They are still going to lose, 10% or 1%. Most are just reactionaries-dems or reps-trying as an “Independent”. Like Lieberman.
    Try PLAS & vote the reactionaries out.

  3. Green Party Conservative

    A very worthy story. Thanks.

    If memory serves, Ross Perot was building the Reform Party with $$$ in 1994. Assistance was offered from some of Perot’s team to Reform Party candidates. That helped put some of those Independents and Greens on the ballot.

  4. Markie Mark

    The exception being in California, Chelene Nightingale for governor AIP is polling at 1%. Californians are no nonsense people, that see a “vanity” candidate for whats its worth.

  5. Don Grundmann

    Chelene Nightingale is the only candidate responding to the real desires of the citizens such as ( for just one example among many )REALLY opposing illegal immigration as compared to the fake opposition of Meg Whitman. Because the media routinely blacks her out does not make her a ” vanity ” candidate; a term used only by those working to destroy the 3rd party conservative movement. She is the gubinatorial candidate most in sync with the true desires of the citizens of the state.

    Don J. Grundmann, D.C. Vice-Chairman American Independent Party, California branch of the Constitution Party

  6. Eric Dondero

    If the Libertarian Party and the Constitution Party along with various Tea Party candidates running as independents make a strong showing, that added to a strong showing Republican Party vote, will be a sure sign of a Rightwing surge in support.

    The liberal media won’t know what to do on election night. It will be awfully fun watching them crying in their soup.

  7. Green Party Conservative


    Thanks for post. Where is that “liberal media”.

    Dude all I see on cable and networks are the two larger parties, and standard neocon war propoganda…

    Yes there are a few refreshing execptions like that conservative judge that ralph nader interviewed on cspan..

    And hollywood..please… all they do is hype violence and war in that so called bastian of liberalism..

    I think the lables are are wrong my man…

  8. '..... the serious side of free speech ' [Lake]

    Markie Mark // Aug 8, 2010:
    “……. in California, [Nightmare] Nightingale for governor AIP [NOT CALIFORNIA CONSTITUTION PARTY] is polling at 1% ………..”

    May be, May be, 1/3 of 1% by November!

    And, like Lussenheide, Jim King, and Gruntman, politically tarnished for the near and intermediate term ……..

  9. Eric Dondero

    Where is the liberal media? Umm, practically everywhere. Let’s start with flaming liberal CNN. Then lets move to practically Marxist NewsWeek. And then there’s the Hard Left NY Times, LA Times, and WaPo. Oh, and let’s not forget hateful liberal HuffPo.

    They’re all America-haters first and foremost, intent to destroy our Nation, by badmouthing everything good about America – Capitalism, Entrepreneurship, Individual Liberty, the Founding Fathers, and the US Constitution.

    I’m greatly looking forward to their demise come November. It will be truly Happy Days are Here Again!

  10. Eric Dondero

    Oh, and Pro-Defense does not equal “NeoCon.” NeoCons are war wimps, who are weak sisters in the War on Islamo-Fascism. 99% of the NeoCons never served a day of their lives in the Military. Plus, they are socially conservative prudes, whose views align more with Muslim fundamentalists on issues such as abortion, gay rights, marijuana legalization, booze, gambling, legalized prostitution, ect…

    We Libertarians are the true fighters in the War on Islamo-Fascism. Not the wimpass NeoCons.

  11. Markie Mark

    Google “Chelene Nightingale Minutemen” for page after page of this extremist and militant joke running for governor of ca! Chelene Nightingale for governor THE TRUTH WILL be told!

  12. Green Party Conservative

    The real fiscal conservatives:

    The Green Party

    This new prediction of two Green seats is based on a pretty consistent polling number with the Greens around 11 per cent of the popular vote. That’s ahead of the Bloc, which under our current voting system would garner about 50 seats in Quebec. The twist is these two Green seats are anticipated to come from Ontario, not British Columbia where May is running as a candidate.

    This may be because many Greens in Ontario have been making prudent management of tax dollars a fundamental component of their platform. With the Conservatives running up a record deficit egged on by the Liberals and NDP, some voters might be looking to fill a fiscal conservative void.–pollster-predicts-a-green-mp

  13. MN Indy

    For the record, seems to me like a real libertarian/conservative position in support of the wars would be to knock the enemy’s teeth out and leave. By supporting this, and I’m not saying I’m do, there would at least be a moratorium on nation building. Spending trillions and endless years on changing Medieval backwaters is the greatest evil inflicted on the American people. Whether the wars are right or wrong, sticking around and spending money trying to change these societies will always be neo-conservatism to me. If you’re a war hawk, then the only way to be different than a neo-con is to support going in for a short time, acting like an absolute brute, and then leaving the place you wrecked in flames.

    As for the liberal media, I used to think it was all corporate media until Obama got into office. Now, anyone not on the left can’t help but see a definite bias. Opponents of this administration and especially illegal immigration are decried as some sort of Nazis by the mainstream media. And both Kagan and Sotomeyer were handled with kid gloves. It seems like the media would be happy promoting the transition of half the Supreme Court into gun hating, hunchbacked feminazis.

  14. Green Party Conservative

    MN Indy,

    Come on. These Bush NEOCON turned Obama wars have always been about stealing tax dollars.


    Bait and switch politics.

    Steal trillions of tax payer dollars. Give it to the corporate campaign contributors. Distract public with fear and permanent war.

    It could hardly be more obvious.

    Americans have to get off their cans. Be candidates. Demand a paper trail voting system.

    That’s the only change that will work.

    Since when was permant war left wing, or truly conservative for that matter. War is a racket. It’s all immoral blood money.

    Cheney and all his like will burn in hell for their evil.

  15. MN Indy

    I know. I’m all in favor of just leaving the Middle East and virtually every other country we have bases. If the wars were just, then it is time for these countries to sink or swim on their own. If not, it has been time to go a long time ago.

    I’m just pointing out that those who support the wars and call themselves conservatives can only be taken seriously if they want to get in and out as fast as possible. That means no nation building. None.

    Resculpting other countries is alien to the whole concept of warfare anyway. Only WWII and the Cold War saddled us to this type of eternal involvement with countries that are our allies and enemies. If we ever have true enemy again (something far more substantial than men in caves), then we need only concern ourselves with being killers and nothing more. Break their backs and leave them to die.

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