I've had a little research project in the back of my mind since the election, this morning I finally sat down and worked it out.

Exit polls indicate that 40% of the people who voted for Clinton did so because she wasn't Trump. I doubt you will find many who will challenge that result considering much of her campaign strategy consisted of letting Trump beat himself. In exit polls of Trump voters, 40% of them also claimed they did so because he wasn't Hillary. That is also not surprising since the Republican campaign against her was in its 8th year (if not longer). When voters are asked why they don't consider voting third party, 9 out of 10 of them will reply "Because they have no chance of winning" thusly not even giving those candidates a critical look.

Let's do the math on that. In the 2016 election, 62,949,879 people voted for Trump while 65,894,954 people voted for Clinton. If we remove the perception that third parties have no chance, I think it is safe to say that 3 out of 4 of the "lesser of two evils" voters (the 40%) could be convinced to vote third party. That is 38,638,448 additional votes for third party candidates. Add in the 6,874,844 votes already cast for third parties gives us a total of 45,513,292 votes while leaving Trump with 44,094,916 votes and Clinton with 46,091,469 votes. Now we have a very different looking race with potentially Trump losing the popular vote to both Clinton and a third party candidate.

Wikipedia lists four third party candidates as having received more than 100,000 votes; Gary Johnson (4,488,919; 65.3% of the third party votes), Jill Stein (1,457,014; 21.2%), and two others (928,881 combined; 13.5%). Splitting the potential third party votes along those ratios gives us a final total of Clinton-46,091,469; Trump-44,094,916; Johnson-29,720,179; Stein-9,648,817; and Other-6,144,294 votes. It's still not a win for a third party, but the totals are close enough to make a lot of people sit up and take notice. Also not factored in are all the voters who hated both major candidates and didn't vote because they felt their vote for a third party would be wasted anyway.

It's not that the two major parties are nominating better candidates than them that keeps the third parties from even getting close to a win. It is simply the perception that no matter how much better their candidate is, they have no chance to win. The sooner they can shed that stigma, the sooner the American voter will get better choices on election day.
Jan. 20th, 2017 09:03 am

fin

So today is the day. Depending upon who you ask, today either marks the beginning of the end or just another day in American politics. Of those who believe the end is near, it's split on whether that is a good thing or not.

Me? I'm already looking towards 2018 and more importantly 2020...hoping those elections are where third parties finally gain some traction. Make no mistake about it, the next four years are brought to you by the Republican and the Democratic parties both. Donald Trump did everything he could short of killing puppies on live TV to hinder his chances of being elected. And the Democrats helped him win by nominating (against their voters wishes) someone who couldn't beat the worst candidate since Hitler. Forty percent of Trump's voters chose him because he wasn't Hillary. That tells me the Democrats could have nominated a fence post and won. Hell, John Kerry may have been able to beat Trump.

So here's to hoping Trump proves us all wrong, and/or this is the end of two party politics in America for good.
Welcome to my blog. What you'll see here is a whole lot of my opinions, mostly political with some music and movies thrown in. Since this is a space for my opinions, there are some rules I expect you as a reader to follow.

First and foremost, call me on my bullshit. If you see me post something you know is factually wrong, say so. I would rather be corrected than be perpetually ignorant.

Secondly, in the words of the great philosopher Patrick Swayze, be nice. If you disagree with someone, do so while being nice. If you think someone is a monster, be nice as you explain why you think they are a monster. If you are an asshole to someone because they are an asshole the only thing that changes is we now have one more person acting like an asshole than we did before.

Thirdly, challenge me. I abhor echo chambers. I want my world view debated, that is how I assure myself it is correct. If I can stand up to reasonable dissent, I must be on the right path.

Lastly, be open minded. If you are the type of person that 100% backs your party's entire platform, that supports every politician on your party's ticket, you're a partisan hack and I probably don't want to hear from you. I've had my opinion changed many times, all I ask is that you be open to the possibility that yours might change as well. If it doesn't however, that's OK as well.

So thanks for stopping by. I'm notoriously bad about writing regularly, doing most of it when I should be sleeping but I'll try to give you something to roll your eyes about as often as I can.

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