September 20th, 2007
11:05 AM ET
9 years ago

Does a third party candidate have any chance?

CNN's Candy Crowley reports on past third party attempts, including Ross Perot's 1992 bid, above.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Is there any way a third party candidate can win the White House?

CNN's Candy Crowley reports the American political system makes the prospect of a third party win nearly impossible.

Filed under: Race to '08
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Jason, Vineland NJ


    September 20, 2007 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  2. BCNU purple state, usa

    "Does a third party candidate have any chance?"

    Man don't I wish. Only in a perfect world. Whether ol' Ross would be the one I don't know, but this Dem/Rep, Bush, Clinton, Clinton, Bush, Bush moronarchy needs to come to a halt.

    September 20, 2007 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  3. Barry, Lincoln, NE

    no, the system is set up to have third parties fail. as long as the multi-national corporations and the international bankers control both parties, it can not and will not happen.

    September 20, 2007 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  4. Jason, Seattle, WA

    There are good canidates that will bring change to our government running in both parties. People need to be more invovled in the parties primary process and not allow these canidates taht are nominated by big money to win the parties nomination. People WAKE UP and get involved!!! Don't let it be a choice between the lesser of the two evils.

    September 20, 2007 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  5. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    A third-party candidate has absolutely _no_ chance on the D side, like the arrogant and politically ignorant Nader, who we have to thank for Bush 43. But someone like Bloomberg might offer the GOP an alternative to the too-liberal Rudy or too-dumb Thompson.

    September 20, 2007 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  6. freetobeme, Rochester, PA

    There are third parties out there and they do run candidates, but you would never know, thanks to the media. We all know how tingly Larry King got when BILLIONAIRE Ross Perot ran in 1992. He got free air time from King, who was all in goose pimples. ("Oooh, a RICH man wants to run for President!") CNN, why do you stupid media moguls only get excited when a rich person gets the twitch to run? Ever hear about the Libertarian Party? How about the Greens? What about the Constitutionalists? There are more, and some of them have some very good ideas.

    Ross Perot was a stinking populist who had no commitment to freedom or to the Republic. He was just a rich man with a lot of money to throw around. Why do you show his picture and center on him as if he were the only third party candidate who ever ran? You do us a great disservice.

    Anyone who pays attention to the mainstream media is a dope!

    September 20, 2007 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  7. Dan

    Odd that CNN is asking this question. Doesn't it seem that in a country where most voters receive almost ALL of their political information from television that it basically depends on how much media coverage said outlets grant a candidate to voice their opinions and views? Ralph Nader was more or less blacklisted in 2000, and in 2004 the only coverage he got ws to point out that he was a "spoiler." In 1992, Ross Perot scored 19% in the general election, only after having been allowed to participate in the nationally televised presidential debates. The media has a responsibility in this country to let the public know where ALL of the candidates stand. Unfortunately, they are failing us... and thus are selling our democracy to the highest bidder. NOTE: they have already decided that either Clinton, Obama, or Edwards will be the nominee for the dems. Can anyone out there even list every democratic candidate that has currently made a bid for the White House in '08? Probably not... and we know who to blame. Do your job CNN. The founding fathers would have wanted it that way... and so do I.

    September 20, 2007 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  8. Chris, Middletown, CT

    We need a moderate....plain and simple...a Republican moderate is a socially liberal and fiscally conservative voter – a Democrat moderate is a socially liberal and fiscally conservative voter – (OMG...THEY ARE THE SAME???) – lets look at the Democrats and the Republicans to see which candidate is that? (WHAT?? THERES ONLY ONE??) – Love him or hate him....Rudy is the only moderate running...thus...the Dems do not want him to win...he is the right choice...for this election

    September 20, 2007 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  9. Maria, Houston

    If you take you time and do your research, you'd find out that Barack Obama has a very appealing message to many moderate voters on both sides... His presidency would be inclusive for both parties. I am an Independent voter and I am convinced that he is the most acceptable and NORMAL of all candidates, who actually can bring both parties closer.

    BTW: Don't bash good ol' Ross Perot. Remember "The giant sucking sound..."? Well, it is here, right in our backyard...

    September 20, 2007 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  10. James,Lake City, Florida

    Any one ever hear of Ron Paul he's running this time check him out.

    September 20, 2007 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  11. hj, cin, OH my goodness

    Mothertruck the Media, look these things up i made it easy for you folks Google, Yahoo, Alta Vista search any of these names....

    I found these names on Wikipedia.


    Constitution Party
    Candidates for the Constitution Party:
    * Don J. Grundmann of California
    * Bryan Malatesta of Texas

    Potential candidates:
    * Alan Keyes, Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Economic and Social Council
    * Ron Paul, U.S. Representative from Texas

    Green Party
    Candidates for the Green Party
    * Elaine Brown of Georgia
    * Jerry Kann of New York
    * Kent Mesplay of California, California Delegate to the Green National Committee
    * Kat Swift of Texas, co-chair of Texas Green Party

    Potential candidates:
    * Ralph Nader of Connecticut
    * Rebecca Rotzler of New York

    Libertarian Party
    Candidates for the Libertarian Party:
    * Daniel Imperato of Florida
    * Mike Jingozian of Oregon
    * Bob Jackson of Michigan
    * Steve Kubby of California
    * Alden Link of New York
    * George Phillies of Massachusetts
    * Christine Smith of Colorado
    * Wayne Allyn Root of Nevada

    Potential candidates:
    * Ron Paul, U.S. Representative from Texas
    * Ed Thompson, former Tomah, Wisconsin mayor and 2002 Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate

    Candidates running as Independents:
    * Blake Ashby of Missouri
    * Don Cordell of California
    * Joe Schriner of Ohio
    * Jon A Greenspon of California
    * Brad Lord-Leutwyler of Nevada
    * Charles T. Maxham of New Jersey
    * James H. Mccall of Ohio
    * David J. Masters of North Carolina
    * Donald K. Allen of Ohio
    * Steve Adams of Kentucky
    * David Koch of Utah
    * John Taylor Bowles of South Carolina
    * Bob W. Hargis of Oklahoma
    * Thomas J. Kozee Jr. of Ohio

    Active draft movements
    * Michael Bloomberg, New York City mayor
    * Ralph Nader of Connecticut

    Self-declared potential candidates
    * Former Senator Sam Nunn

    September 20, 2007 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  12. slimegreen

    Yes! Where's the green party candidate?

    Hillary does not representing me...

    September 20, 2007 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  13. Steve, Gilbert, Arizona

    Pat Paulsen never had a chance. The Smothers Brothers show was only on a couple of seasons!!

    September 20, 2007 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  14. Jayson, Beale AFB, CA

    A 3rd party candidate might have a chance if they took some time off from Presiential elections and spent all that money working to build a solid base. Independent voter registration keeps on growing because nobody likes a system where the two sides hardly ever work together

    September 20, 2007 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  15. Josue Romano, Buena Park, CA

    I loved the Clinton years but a third party such as Mike Bloomberg/Chuck Hagel would have my vote. They probably won't win but I still vote for them, it would really help the Nation.

    September 20, 2007 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  16. Grovin, Darnassus, IL

    Not only does a 3rd party candidate NOT have a chance, they actually DAMAGE the hopes of the major party candidate they more closely agree with politically – talk about adding insult to injury! The presence of Perot helped bring about a Democratic victory; the presence of Nader helped bring about a Republican victory. It's almost like the system is set up to DISCOURAGE a third party candidate from running, because it inevitably hurts their friends more than their enemies.

    September 20, 2007 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  17. Patrick, Bartlesville Oklahoma

    What America really needs is NO POLITICAL PARTIES! George Washington wasn't a member of a party, he thought it would be bad for the country..look it up. Imagine how many senators out there would change their stance on the war, either for it or against it, if they weren't bound by their political party to vote a certain way. People can't even think objectively anymore if their view goes against the thinking of the party they belong to. A moderate third party would be great for the country how about Bloomberg and Colin Powell, but what we really need to do is outlaw political parties on the national level as is often done on the local and state levels.

    September 20, 2007 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  18. Raman

    At end of the day, the bottom line is all that matters to competing leaders.

    How much money can be raised from America Inc. as opposed to having to spend money from pocket.

    A third party does not stand a chance as long it has to spend money from its pocket, as compared to two parties who raise their money from America Inc.

    I am sure Ross Perot (rich as he is), has a nagging inner voice that constantly reminds him, that his coffers today would be fatter, had he had not competed for the election.

    Ideologically, it is hard to distinguish one political party from another.

    September 20, 2007 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  19. Mike, NY, NY

    Simply by referring to these candidates as "3rd party" is setting them up for failure.

    Irregardless no, partisan politics has divided this country so voters & politicians pick teams not candidates.

    September 20, 2007 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  20. Shawn, Iowa City, IA

    Not only does a 3rd party candidate NOT have a chance, they actually DAMAGE the hopes of the major party candidate they more closely agree with politically – talk about adding insult to injury! The presence of Perot helped bring about a Democratic victory; the presence of Nader helped bring about a Republican victory. It's almost like the system is set up to DISCOURAGE a third party candidate from running, because it inevitably hurts their friends more than their enemies.
    Posted By Grovin, Darnassus, IL

    Yes, by all means, let's vote to win as opposed to voting for the people we think should represent us and our country. This has done us wonders for the past 50 years or so.

    Time for a history lesson. Go back and read what Washington and Franklin wrote about never supporting someone who is part of a party system... and specifically a two-party system. More than 200 years ago they knew it was a bad idea, somewhere along the way though that was forgotten.

    It is by far better to vote for people who you actually want to represent you than for someone who is the lesser of two evils, by doing that you just wind up with a different form of evil, not actually anyone good. Or, perhaps it would be better to put it in terms that most people can understand... what's the point in voting for a giant douche or a turd sandwich? Nobody wins (thank you South Park).

    September 21, 2007 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  21. Dan, TX is on to something. It won't work this round, they need to pick their candidates to run in the primaries, one in the democrat primary, one in the republican primary. If one wins their primary, the other will run as their vice president. If both win...The winner in the general election is president, the loser vice-president. If neither win a party primary they run as an independent ticket, with the president/vice-president slot determined by the Unity08 convention.

    September 21, 2007 01:51 am at 1:51 am |
  22. Raman. Plano TX.

    I tend to agree with Washington and Franklin as Shawn mentioned.

    I believe, were Sen. Hillary Clinton (the right presidential candidate among the crop of present leaders) to step out of the presidential race, Mayor Mr. Michael Bloomberg and Mr. Rudy Julianni jointly are best suitable to lead US outside of the party system.

    These two leaders have demonstrated a fiscal discipline and character, no other candidate currently in presidential race possess.

    September 21, 2007 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  23. Susan

    We are all so conditioned to thinking that your vote is wated if you vote for a third party candidate...Why? The two party system smewhat of a monarchy ...when say for instance some of the candidates are related or descended from the Bush's it's like keeping the presidency or power if you will within a select circle; which is a monarchy to me. One day people will awaken and find out they really can change things if you think outside tye spin.

    November 8, 2007 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |