From Richard Winger at Ballot Access News:
One of the reasons the November 4 election is suspenseful is because there are so many states in which it is difficult to predict whether various minor parties will poll enough votes to obtain, or keep, recognized party status.
Alabama: although no minor party candidate has any candidates on the ballot for statewide office, parties can also obtain recognized party status, for county office only, if they poll 20% of the vote for a countywide county office. The Libertarian Party hopes to obtain this status in Jefferson County, the state’s most populous county.
Alaska: the Constitution Party hopes to attain qualified party status for the first time, which it will do if it polls 3% for Governor. The Libertarian Party hopes to keep its party status, so it also needs to poll 3% for Governor. However, if the Libertarian Party fails to do that, chances are it can keep its party status if it increases the number of registered voters, which it has always been able to do in the past.
Arizona: it is unlikely that Americans Elect will get 5% for Governor, but if it did, it would be on the ballot for another four years. The Libertarian Party will stay on regardless of its gubernatorial total, since it has enough registrations to remain on.
Arkansas: both the Green Party and the Libertarian Party hope to poll 3% for Governor, which would keep them on the ballot for two years. The Green Party had a gubernatorial candidate in 2006 and 2010, but neither time polled 3%. This is the first year the Libertarian Party has been on for Governor.
Colorado: the Libertarian and Green Parties will remain qualified due to their registration, and the Constitution Party is virtually certain to poll 1% for Secretary of State and thus remain on.
Delaware: the Libertarian, Green and Independent Parties will remain on due to their registration.
D.C.: the Green Party always passes the vote test, which requires 7,500 votes for any partisan districtwide office. This is the first time the Libertarian Party has been a qualified party during a midterm year, and it also hopes to poll 7,500 votes.
Florida: parties remain ballot-qualified based on being organized.
Georgia: the Libertarian Party always passes the vote test to retain its qualified status for statewide offices. That vote test is 1% of the number of registered voters for any statewide office.
Hawaii: the Libertarian Party will remain ballot-qualified if its legislative nominees poll a number of votes equal to 2% of the vote cast for all legislative candidates. No party has ever before used this part of the law to remain ballot-qualified, but the party has enough legislative nominees to meet this test. The Green Party will remain ballot-qualified because it is in its ten-year “free” period. The Independent Party will remain ballot-qualified if it polls 10% for Governor.
Idaho: the Libertarian and Constitution Parties will remain ballot-qualified because each of them is running at least 3 nominees.
Illinois: the Libertarian Party will become ballot-qualified for all office if it polls 5% for Governor. It will become ballot-qualified just for the statewide offices if any of its statewide nominees polls 5%.
Indiana: the Libertarian Party always polls 2% for Secretary of State.
Iowa: the Libertarian Party, the Iowa Party, and the New Independent Party each hope to obtain qualified status, which requires 2% for Governor.
Kansas: the Libertarian Party always meets the 1% vote test.
Louisiana: the Libertarian, Green and Reform Parties will remain ballot-qualified based on the number of candidates each is running or has run recently.
Maine: the Green Party will remain ballot-qualified if at least 10,000 party members vote in the general election. The party’s registration is so large, it is overwhelmingly likely it will meet this test.
Maryland: the Libertarian Party will remain ballot-qualified for two more years if it gets 1% for Governor. The party has never before managed to poll 1% for Governor, but this year the party expects to meet the goal.
Massachusetts: the Green Party will become ballot-qualified if it polls 3% for any of its three statewide candidates. The United Independent Party will become ballot-qualified if it polls 3% for Governor.
Michigan: the vote test is so easy, it is obvious that the Libertarian, Green, Constitution and Natural Law Parties will retain their status.
Minnesota: the Independence Party, the Green Party, the Libertarian Party, and the Grassroots Party all hope to poll 5% for any statewide race.
Mississippi: all parties remain on the ballot just by being organized.
Missouri: the Libertarian and Constitution Parties will easily retain their qualified status for four more years, which requires 2% for any statewide race. No Democrat is running for Auditor this year. Even if they didn’t exceed the vote test this year, they would still be on in 2016 based on their 2012 showings.
Montana: the Libertarian Party is safely on the ballot for 2016 based on its 2012 showing, but if it does will for either U.S. Senate or U.S. House, it will also be safely on for 2018. The vote test is 5% of the winning candidate’s vote, which is approximately 3% of the total vote.
Nebraska: the Libertarian Party will retain its status if it polls 5% for any statewide race.
Nevada: the Constitution Party retains its status by having over 1% of the registration, but in any event is easily expected to meet the 1% vote test. The Libertarian Party is also expected to easily pass the vote test, which can be met by candidates for any partisan office, not just statewide office.
New Mexico: the Libertarian Party will retain its status based on its 2012 vote for President. The Green, Independent American, and Constitution Parties will retain their status because they petitioned this year and they are not running for Governor. New Mexico law is very strange and rewards parties for not running for Governor in midterm years by extending their status, whereas if they do run for Governor, they risk losing it.
New York: parties obtain and keep qualified status if they poll 50,000 for Governor. The already-established parties, Conservative, Working Families, Independence, and Green, are all expected to meet this goal. The Libertarian, Women’s Equality, Sapient, and Stop Common Core Parties each also hope to poll 50,000 votes. The Women’s Equality Party and the Stop Common Core Parties are not really bona fide parties, but are controlled by, respectively, the Democratic Party and the Republican Party.
North Carolina: the Libertarian Party is safely on the ballot for 2016, regardless of its vote in 2014.
North Dakota: the Libertarian Party will retain qualified status if it polls 5% for Secretary of State. No minor party has met the 5% vote test since the Reform Party met it for President in 1996.
Ohio: the Green Party will retain qualified status for four years if it polls 2% for Governor.
Oregon: if Measure 90 passes, the Progressive and Constitution Parties will be at risk of going off the ballot, unless each of them polls 1% for Governor or U.S. Senator. If it fails, all of the minor parties will retain their status, based on their registration or their votes in 2012.
Rhode Island: the Moderate Party will remain ballot-qualified if it polls 5% for Governor.
South Carolina: all of the minor parties will retain, based on the fact that they are running at least one candidate.
South Dakota: the Libertarian and Constitution Parties will both go off the ballot because they don’t have gubernatorial candidates.
Tennessee: the Constitution and Green Parties need 5% for Governor to remain ballot-qualified.
Texas: the Libertarian and Green Parties will both easily pass the 5% vote test, which applies to all statewide offices, because the Democrats don’t have a full slate.
Utah: the Libertarian and Constitution Parties will remain on the ballot regardless because of their 2012 votes, but if they poll more than 2% for Attorney General, they will also be on for 2018.
Vermont: all qualified parties retain by being organized.
Virginia: the Libertarian Party will become ballot-qualified if it gets 10% for U.S. Senate.
West Virginia: the Libertarian and Green Parties will retain their status based on their 2012 vote.
Wisconsin: the Libertarian and Green Parties each hope to regain their qualified status, by polling 1% for any statewide race. The Constitution Party hopes to retain its status.
Wyoming: the Libertarian and Constitution Parties need 2% for U.S. House, Governor, or Secretary of State, to retain.