At the University of Minnesota’s Smart Politics blog, Eric Ostermeier has been doing some really great studies of historical trends in the American third party and independent political tradition. In September, he reported that the number of third party and independent candidates in Wisconsin is at a 40 year high:
A Smart Politics analysis of more than 2,000 general election State Assembly races over the past 40 years finds that the number of districts with independent or third party candidates on the ballot, as well as the total number of such candidates, are at their highest levels since 1974. . . .
The surge in candidates challenging the two major parties is at its highest level since the early 1970s, when the American Party fielded dozens of candidates across the Badger State.