As Disenfranchisement Rises, Third Parties Start to Shine

(TFC) Jim Carey — This week the New York Times revealed that the total number of primary votes cast for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump only account for about 9% of the US population.

With so few voters responsible for the primary victories of two of history’s most disliked candidates it seems more people around the country are seeking out other, better options.

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This disappointment in the two party system is beginning to show in a sudden unprecedented rise of America’s two major alternative political parties.

On the right, there have been voters jumping from the Republican ship since Donald Trump was clearly going to secure the nomination. There has always been a party for principled conservative voters but now it seems more than ever that the Libertarian party is finally seeing numbers high enough to make them a viable option.

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The Libertarian Party is currently on the ballot in thirty six states. The party also has actions underway in the remaining states and Washington D.C. that make it seem likely they will be the first third party to make it on the presidential ballot nationwide. Johnson may not yet be known to the general voting public but it is evident that could change if you examine recent polls.

Johnson’s average performance in polls that include Trump, Clinton and the Green Party’s Jill Stein, show him performing with an average of around 7%. Johnson also won in a recent poll of active duty, reserve and retired soldiers with 35.4% to Trump’s 31.4% and Hillary Clinton’s 15.3%.

On the other end of the spectrum there is a new surge of activity on the economic left after the end of the Bernie Sanders campaign and his endorsement of Hillary Clinton. After the disappointment at the Democratic National Convention many Bernie supporters are starting to find a candidate they identify with; the Green Party’s Jill Stein.

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The most recent average of the poll numbers may only have Stein at around 3.2% but what else is going on with the Green Party and their ballot access across the U.S. may indicate that’s about to change.

In the beginning of July the Greens were on the ballot in just 23 states and Washington D.C. but just this week the party has gained ballot access in six more states bringing them to a new total of 29. The petitions to put the Green Party on the ballots in these six states had, in some cases, double the amount of required signatures.

If this is any indicator of the new enthusiasm for the Green Party’s platform then the petition drives currently underway in 15 more states could pave the way for making the Greens another viable option for millions of voters this November (including the Bernie or Bust camp who is refusing to vote for Hillary.) There are also two states where Green candidates can be written in and the only state without any action currently underway is Oklahoma.

So with the massive distaste for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump; could this be the year for third party candidates to finally make a real impact on the election? A good number of voters seem to think so and with the higher rate of ballot access it could be the year others begin to finally look at other options to break the two party stranglehold.

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(THIS ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON THE FIFTH COLUMN, WRITTEN BY JIM CAREY)

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Aaron is a web developer, activist, journalist, social media expert and geopolitical analyst for We Are Change, The Fifth Column, Geopolitics Alert, Solutions Institute and G3 Group.

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