One of them, representing the Constitution Party, lives right here in eastern Iowa.
“I’d like to at least start a conversation about the Constitution and how far we’ve strayed from it,” said Justin Witter of Marion.
Through the years, no matter who a third party presidential candidate has been, a big hurdle has always been funding.
Most donors, like voters, don’t want to support someone who has no chance of winning. And another obstacle can be just getting onto the ballot.
“Ballot access in many, many states is prohibitive. And, in fact, it’s deliberately so. There have been many steps along the way that have been intended to exclude third parties and those voices,” said Holly Hart of Iowa Green Party.
Even though they know they won’t win, the basic reason most people file as presidential candidates still comes down to ideology: basic beliefs that differ from the Republican and Democratic platforms.