Darcy Richardson: “I believe Jill Stein could be the third place finisher this year”

Darcy Richardson, a political historian and IPR contributor who recently sought the Reform Party’s presidential nomination, was interviewed by the Ric Bratton of TWIA (This Week in America) regarding third party influence in this year’s presidential election. Richardson mentioned that he believes there is a possibility Jill Stein will earn a vote total ten times higher than she received during her 2012 run and possibly even eclipse Gary Johnson for the coveted third place spot this year. Regarding the upcoming presidential debates, he brought up in that in his view Gary Johnson is a very weak debater who his rivals for the Libertarian nomination “mopped the floor with” and who often has a “deer-in-the-headlights look” when asked a serious policy question. Richardson also briefly discussed the American Solidarity Party. Richardson’s interview is slated to air on more than 150 AM and FM radio stations across the country this month and was uploaded to YouTube on yesterday (length: 24 minutes).

39 thoughts on “Darcy Richardson: “I believe Jill Stein could be the third place finisher this year”

  1. Thomas L. Knapp

    The latest poll I’ve seen covers a period ending Thursday but starting the Sunday before the CNN town hall, so it doesn’t really tell us anything about how that event might have affected Stein’s numbers (it does tell us that Johnson continues to be stagnant at best and probably sliding, though — 7%).

    I’ll be interested in what the next round of polling looks like.

  2. Brad

    Jill Stein doesn’t go above 4% in almost any poll, usually getting 3s & 2s. Johnson polls close to 10%; sometimes going as high as 12-14%.

    While Johnson isn’t the best debater, Stein’s isn’t too great in this regard herself. Not only that, she certainly lacks appeal, personal experience, & personal charisma. She will be lucky to pull 2% in this election. I think her actual numbers will be between John Hagelin’s ’96 numbers & Gary Johnson’s 2012 numbers.

  3. George Phillies

    Readers interested in actual polling numbers should consult the Huffington Post pollster aggregator and the RealClearPolitics.com poll aggregator, especially the 4-way polls. Johnson polls in the upper single digits, with Stein a bit less than half of that. However, as Tom points out, only recently has she received press attention.

  4. Andy

    I think that Jill Stein is going to get more votes this time than she got last time;. She is still likely to come in with less votes than Gary Johnson, in part because she will appear on less ballots than Johnson.

  5. langa

    While Johnson isn’t the best debater, Stein’s isn’t too great in this regard herself. Not only that, she certainly lacks appeal, personal experience, & personal charisma.

    However, she’s also a reasonably attractive woman (and like it or not, that matters), and, like Bernie, she’s promising lots of free stuff. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see her pick up enough of the “Bernie Bros” and other Hillary-hating Democrats to hit the 2-3% range, and I’m not convinced Johnson will do better.

  6. Andy

    It sure would be embarrassing to the Johnson/Weld supporters if Jill Stein ends up getting more votes than Johnson. I doubt it is going to happen, because Johnson still has the bigger name, and he will appear on more ballots (it is looking like Johnson is going to get all 50 states plus DC, while Stein is not going to be on the ballot in North Carolina, Georgia, Indiana, Oklahoma, and possibly 1-3 other states).

  7. Anthony Dlugos

    A) Zero chance Stein finishes with 10x the votes she had in 2012.

    B) Less than zero chance she beats Johnson.

    C) The 3rd place spot is not “coveted.” Hell, even the 2nd place spot is not coveted.

  8. Just Saying

    “The 3rd place spot is not ‘coveted.'”

    Trust me, it’ll be coveted once the faux Libertarian ticket no longer claims that spot.

    LP activists will rue the day they allowed a couple of washed-up Republicans — neither of whom has won an election in nearly two decades — become the face of the party, especially in a year when the American public is clearly yearning for something different.

    Despite an unprecedented amount of national media coverage following the Orlando convention, any astute observer can plainly see that Johnson isn’t presidential material and, according to most of the national polls, that the Libertarian ticket has pretty much remained static. They’ve simply flatlined.

    It’s all downhill from here.

  9. robert capozzi

    DGR seems like one bright fellow, but I just don’t get his anti-GJ campaign. He doesn’t associate as an L, near as I can tell. He has valid critiques of GJ, but his venom seems disproportionate to me…over the top.

    I don’t want to go all Andy on DGR, I’m jus’ sayin’…

  10. Thomas L. Knapp


    Even though Darcy and I are friends and have worked together on more than one project, I’ve never thought to ask him what his root problem with Johnson is. I think I can take a reasonable guess, though:

    Throughout his political life, going back to the post-Democratic Eugene McCarthy presidential campaigns and Barry Commoner’s conservative party in the 1970s, Darcy’s interest has very clearly been to assault, rather than to emulate, the political establishment.

    Whatever else one might think, positive or negative, about the Johnson/Weld campaign, it is, as dL likes to point out, a “respectability politics” campaign. It is the apotheosis of the “just like Republicans, if Republicans weren’t such assholes” approach to electoral politics.

    Darcy has made it clear that he has other reasons for disliking Johnson — his campaign debt fraud, his record of penny-ante cronyism and corruption as governor of New Mexico, his cynical attempt to have it both ways, retroactively painting his establishment-to-the-hilt governorship as an anti-establishment revolution while at the same time using it as an establishment credential, etc.

    But mostly I suspect that he just strongly believes that third parties should offer something more compelling than “why, that name-brand car is just regular old brown — try our new one instead, it’s burn umber.”

  11. Green Party Voter

    The Green Party’s Dr. Jill Stein is the smartest, strongest, and best candidate for US President.
    Dr. Jill Stein’s Green Party Green New Eco jobs for the economy is a winner for America.
    Green Party Dr. Jill Stein solar jobs, wind jobs, geothermal jobs, rail jobs.
    Dr. Jill Stein and Green Party thru quantitative easing want to forgive all student debt.
    Jill Stein is a winning candidate, with a winning platform.
    If Jill Stein’s Green Party positive platform breaks thru the Big Corporate Media back out, she’ll be elected.

    Why is Johnson refusing to debate Jill Stein on RT-America. I was on RT America this week.
    I am hearing from them Johnson is refusing to debate Green Party’s Jill Stein

  12. robert capozzi

    tk, plausible. It’s kind of like me with NAPsterism…I was one, found it wanting, and I like to share the many flaws I see in NAPsterism with NAPsters and those in the L orbit.

    In DGR’s case, he has a passion for stylistic irreverence in 3rd parties, and so J/W’s style if offensive to this high-value for DGR. He likes to share his perspective til others get it.

  13. Curt Boyd

    GPV, I can see why Governor Johnson refuses to debate Dr. Stein…it’s because she would make him look weak at a time he can not afford to look so. Dr. Stein is more articulate in explaining her positions than Johnson is. When I hear Governor Johnson, it seems as though he has a hard time spitting his answers out, or he defers to Governor Weld.

    Johnson is also close to getting on the main debate stage, so he probably wouldn’t “lower” himself to debate someone who may not be.

    I do think a major third party debate would have Governor Johnson, Dr. Stein, Rocky De la Fuente and Darrell Castle. Possibly even Gloria La Riva, and Evan McMullin, since they may be close to qualifying in the amount of states that Rocky Anderson did four years ago, when he was allowed to debate.

  14. Anthony Dlugos

    Just Saying,

    A) Care to wager on who finishes in 3rd this November? I’ll take J-W, you can have anyone else you want. You can name the stakes, and I don’t care how high they are, I’ll take the bet, no questions asked. J-W is finishing in 3rd.

    B) You say neither Johnson or Weld has won an election in a couple decades. Did we have a choice in Orlando for someone who had? Did we have anyone else who had won any election at all?

    C) The American public views Johnson-Weld as different. They don’t have to be anarcho-capitalists to be viewed as different. Said public would just view that as nuts.

    D) Glad you admit the national media coverage of J-W is unprecedented. It is.

    E) I’ve not met one voter, even voters who will not vote for Johnson, who think he isn’t presidential material. In fact, folks dead set on voting for Trump or Clinton have explicitly conceded that Johnson is qualified to be president, but that they can’t “let the other guy win.” I’d also add that the few voters I have talked to who know who Stein is HAVE dismissed her out of hand for not being presidential material.

    F) No “astute observer” I know thought it was going to be easy for J-W to reach 15% or compete with the Duopoly candidates’ polling numbers. We just knew they were the best chance we had.

    You packed a lot of wrong in such a small post.

  15. Anthony Dlugos


    “Johnson is also close to getting on the main debate stage, so he probably wouldn’t “lower” himself to debate someone who may not be.”

    is obviously the sole reason Johnson is not going to debate a non-factor like Stein. Neither would I. I’d tell her to go win an election before she bothers contact me to debate.

  16. George Phillies

    “Trent Hill
    August 19, 2016 at 22:00
    Darcy and I have a bet going on concerning you this.,”

    Ignoring the minor apparent influence of autocorrupt, this appears to be a response to the previous message of mine, or someone earlier, so what is the topic of the bet?”

  17. steve m

    ah think… that Darcy is downplaying Jill’s chances….

    ah mean after the implosions of the Trump campaign and Clinton efforts… She could well come in second to the Johnson Weld win.


  18. Be Rational

    Were Johnson and Weld advertising on Major Network Broadcast Television in Targeted States as I have advised – starting right after the LP convention, then again during mid to late June, then again bracketing the R & D conventions, and now from late August through LaborDay right up to the first debate – then I would take any bet that it would be Donald Trump finishing third.

    As it is, without any TV advertising, the Johnson campaign has been slowly losing ground in the polls. So, Gary Johnson seems destined to disappoint his supporters who recognize that he could have won the election with a proper campaign strategy and competent management, but he should still obtain a record result for the LP – with an embarrassing 2% to 3% nationwide – finishing 3rd, while Stein comes in 4th between 1% and 2%.

  19. Bruce

    Polite correction. I would blame spell check.
    Barry Commoner, was candidate of Consumers party, not in anyway conservative. ?

  20. Gene Berkman

    Further political correction re “Barry Commoner’s conservative party in the 1970s,,,”

    Barry Commoner was the candidate for President of The Citizen’s Party – a left-wing party – in 1980.

  21. Jill Pyeatt

    Dr. Stein’s foreign policy answers on the CNN interview were far superior and more closely aligned with mine than Johnson’s. Since that’s the most important issue for me, I might vote for her.

    I’ve been reluctant to join the Weld negativity train, but he’s just getting worse. It’s clear that he lied at the convention about changing his views regarding guns.

    It is also my belief that Gary’s chooses people to help with his campaign poorly. Is he a poor judge of character, or does he just not care?

  22. George Dance

    Interestingly enough, “The Daily Show” finally admitted that there more than two candidates in the race, by having 3 of the correspondents in their fake “news team” report on Johnson, Stein, and Evan Macmullin (all of which Noah pretended he’d never heard of).

    What was interesting was the criticisms of the candidates. Johnson was dismissed for wanting no restrictions on guns and for wanting to legalize marijuana. Noah did complain, “Who wants a president who’s high all the time?”, but that allowed his reporter to rebut with, “If Bush had been high, maybe he wouldn’t have invaded Iraq”, which got strong applause. Also, unlike the other two, there was no actual news clip on Johnson, indicating that they assumed the audience had already heard of him.
    Stein, OTOH, was criticized for being an anti-vaxxer (the rebuttal being, “Oooh … someone’s afraid of Polio!”), and for wanting to ban wifi as a health hazard; while McMullin’s policies were unstated, and he was dismissed as an unknown (his reporter pretended to forget his name half-way through).
    Of course, they were all dismissed at the end as having no chance to win.

  23. Thomas Knapp

    Bruce and Gene,

    I meant to type “Consumer,” not “Conservative.” But as Gene points out that would still have been wrong.

    In my own defense, it WAS 6 in the morning.

    At least I got the 70s part right (1980 was the last year of the 1970s).

  24. Thomas Knapp


    Is it you I have the bet with that Stein will do better in her best state than Johnson does in his best state?

    If so, I’m still feeling good about that bet.

    I personally wouldn’t bet money on Stein coming in third overall in popular vote, though. It’s a possibility, but far from a sure thing. For one thing, she’s only a write-in in Indiana and North Carolina, where Johnson picked up nearly 100,000 votes in 2012 and is on the ballot again this year. Johnson’s votes in those two states alone in 2012 came to more than 20% of Stein’s nationwide vote total (and about 79% of Goode’s).

  25. Luchorpan

    Trump should embrace a debate with third party candidates. It would draw a lot of eyes, and he might see that as necessary to shake things up, a gamble to beat Clinton.

    I think Stein could do very well if allowed to debate against at least Trump if not also Clinton.

    I do not expect Stein’s votes to make a difference in Trump vs. Clinton; but Trump might see that as a way to highlight how Stein agrees with him more on trade and foreign policy, even though Stein seems to prefer Clinton on… most every other issue.

    Including Stein could push Clinton further towards Bernie/Trump/Stein on trade/foreign policy. In order to beat Trump, Clinton should be forced to betray the Neocons on their key issues.

  26. Luchorpan

    It looks now like Clinton is almost a certainty for the presidency, because she’s leading by double digits in key states. So, the important things are to raise key issues, help break down the two party system, and pressure Clinton towards “populist” positions.

    I’m not sure if Stein has mentioned the Federal Reserve system, but I think it would fit in well to attack that, even perhaps to attack fiat currency and fractional reserve banking. I’m more conservative, but I love how third parties tend to agree on such a large variety of issues. It’s really the two party duopoly that differs so starkly from most third parties.

  27. Darcy G Richardson

    “I meant to type “Consumer,” not “Conservative.” But as Gene points out that would still have been wrong.” — Thomas L Knapp

    Not entirely. The Consumer Party was the Pennsylvania affiliate of the Citizens Party during the 1980 and 1984 presidential campaigns. The Consumer Party, in fact, sent about a dozen activists, including Lance Haver, who later served as the City of Philadelphia’s Director of Consumer Affairs, around the country during the former campaign to help the Citizens Party gain ballot access in a number of states.

  28. langa

    …I love how third parties tend to agree on such a large variety of issues. It’s really the two party duopoly that differs so starkly from most third parties.

    Yes and no. Most third parties are generally in agreement about the problems (imperialist foreign policy, domestic police state, and corporate cronyism). But there are major disagreements about the solutions, especially when it comes to economic issues.

  29. Anthony Dlugos

    Mr. Knapp,

    That is me. I stand behind my bet! When is the payoff? 2020 Convention?

  30. Luchorpan


    I’ve more in common with Stein than with John McCain, Jeb Bush, George W. Bush, Graham, etc.

    The overlap is more important than the areas of disagreement.

    To cut a rant short, I will say this: I wish the Left would cease grouping people into race, faith, gender, gender preference. Instead, it would be preferable for it to treat people as individuals, valuing their citizenship rather than their other traits.

    And I wish it were more willing to question symbolism and left-wing mythology, focusing instead on real results and on reality. Specifically I mean to say: They should be willing to criticise Obama, despite his symbolic status as a left-wing hero (Yellen’s ZIRP, Yellens QE, ttip, tpp, tisa, Obama’s wars such as Libya). And they should be willing to focus on the real powers-that-are in the US, rather than seeing everything as a continued struggle against colonialism, which is historic and a thing of the past.

    The Greens are certainly far preferable to the Neocons. I have zero overlap with the Neocons.

    The perceived “Left” is on the rise in the US, and it’s unlikely this trend will change. So I think it important for philosophical conservatives to get active with the Left, help direct it in as positive a direction as is possible. Too often conservatives in the US have demanded, like spoiled children, that others follow only their strict set of ideas. And I think it high time we learned to act like real conservatives by seeking to negotiate and adapt. Russell Kirk was right: True conservatives are not ideological. We need to cease our temper tantrums, look to what’s possible.

  31. langa

    Luchorpan, I’m not a conservative; I’m a libertarian. However, I do agree with a lot of what you said, and I do think that third parties should try to work together on certain issues. However, I also think there’s a limit to that. For example, you mention Stein. From my perspective, she’s great on foreign policy, and pretty good on most (but not all) civil liberties. But on economics, she’s so bad, she even makes the duopoly candidates look good.

  32. langa

    Crony corporate capitalism is a terrible idea, but it’s not as bad as pure state socialism, which is what Stein (and most of the leftist third parties) really want, and for that reason alone, I could never really support her. Ultimately, I think the best motto for third parties is “Cooperate, but don’t compromise.” If we start compromising on our core values, we’ll end up just like the duopoly parties.

  33. Trent Hill


    My bet with Darcy concerns which presidential candidate will place third: Johnson or Stein. He bet Stein, I bet Johnson. If I win, Darcy sends me a complete set of The Others. If he wins, I purchase them (I think that was the agreement).

    I already have the full set, but I have been looking to donate that to my alma mater’s library.

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