Third Party Candidates Expected to Make PA Ballot

Gary JohnsonIt’s tough out there for third parties.

Until recently, any political party that hoped to get on Pennsylvania’s ballot had to accumulate 21,000 signatures.

As Dave Davies of WHYY reports, however, a new ruling from District Judge Lawrence Stengel has knocked that threshold down to 5,000 signatures.

As a result, the Libertarian and Green party nominees are much more likely to make the Keystone State’s ballot.

Could this matter?

Well, according to FiveThirtyEight’s projections, Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson is on pace for 8.8% of the vote. The latest Quinnipiac Poll also had him at 9% (Green party nominee Jill Stein was at 6%). These numbers are a side effect of Clinton and Trump’s record low favorability numbers, however, so it remains unclear if voters will force themselves to chose or go with a protest candidate.

Third party candidacies experienced a resurgence a few decades ago but that has faded away recently. Republicans blamed Ross Perot for Bill Clinton’s victories in 1992 and 1996 while Democrats were haunted by the difference Ralph Nader made in 2000’s razor-thin contest.

The conundrum for third-party candidates is still the same: How do you convince people to vote for someone who can’t win?

25 Responses

  1. Please make sure our ballet has Gary Johnson on it for the ones of us who don’t or can’t vote for the other two that are running. Our third party does matter and if there is no good in our eyes. I will say it again if we vote for either of the two evils who wins. If America elects either of the front runners we all will lose and know we are in a bad place right now. Whats it going to be come 2017.

  2. I think it’s time to update this page. Gary Johnson is on the ballot in all 50 states. I think the poll now needs to include Gary Johnson.

  3. The problem with this ballot is that theirs no good candidates. The third party is the best of the all.They are the ones that really care about us as “People”, and a “Government”.
    We should not ave no vote for a president that say”If she wasn’t my daughter I’d bang her too!” While she’s sitting on his lap. or how he admits to having racial issues against the hispanic haritage. And, we can’t vote for the female president either. Okay yes she may be the first woman to be in office, and help us with the children of america. But, pay attention to she really says in her speech’s then come back ,and vote.
    The Third party: Jill Stein, and Gary Johnson, they have plans that could, should, would really work for our economy. They Have a plan for us.
    And, also we need to start encourage our young! We are all young/old adults we have the knowledge to stop watching all the reality shows, dramas, and crap we don’t need to put in our kids heads, and get up put the news on, use the internet for it’s purpose,and show them the real realty of whats going on. We need to get our kids engaged into our economy. They are going to be the ones hurt or not by these new following rule, laws and increase in taxes, or decrease taxes. Not, the rich, not the elderly. We have the wisdom! We need to use it. And start acting like the adult, the parents, the people we know we are. “We the People” We are the people of this nation. We have the Power. Let’s start acting like it. 🙂

  4. We need Gary Johnson on the Ballet in all 50 states, including PA. We need something better to vote for than what is currently running.

  5. Dave Diano, Wonderful and congratulations. if you’re getting what you want anyway, why are you so concerned with how other people vote? Is it really so important that everyone else line up and march off the cliff behind you?

  6. Sean Patrick House,
    The “Libertarians” have never elected anyone to any federal level office, and hold all of three state level legislative seats.

    I think it’s ridiculous to think that third party candidates can do anything but be spoilers. As David Diano and Isaac L have pointed out, they haven’t and won’t have a big enough impact to ever be more than spoilers. The Constitution would need to be drastically changed to have proportional representation, similar to parliamentary systems, for there to ever be a larger presence from third parties. Until then, they’re largely jokes. Just the irony of the “Libertarian Party” saying they are for liberty and not for corporate control of our lives is ridiculous.

  7. David Diano:

    When you say that they take votes away from who I “should have voted for,” you assume that I lean toward one or the other of the two old party candidates. In reality, when there are no independent or alt. party candidates on the ballot, I stay home. I never vote for Democrats or Republicans, and I could not care less which one wins. I’m voting for Gary Johnson, and if for some reason he is not on the ballot, I will not vote.

  8. Plubius-

    I think she does have it in the bag, and there are enough #neverTrump GOP tp balance them out.

    But, the Bernie Sanders people are so foolish that they portray Hillary as some evil twin indistinguishable from Trump, and jump on any conspiracy theory that comes their way about her.

    Jill Stein is less qualified for the job than Bernie.

  9. I love the wasted vote argument, but your choices are Hillary or the guy that supported Hillary. That’s like being given a choice of what knife to be stabbed with.

    I’m voting for Johnson/Weld because frankly I’ve actually read an economics book, and am sick of my money being used to fund things I don’t care about.

    What happened to the idea of freedom, you know what what you like just don’t make anyone else pay for it?

  10. If you vote for the lesser of two evils, evil still wins. I voted for Bernie in the primary. If he is not a nominee, I’m voting Johnson-Weld in the general election. They have integrity. I cannot explain to my grandchildren why I would vote for a liar, a whoremonger, either of two megalomaniacs, a law-shredder, a welsher, a bully, a braggart, an insulter. Do we really want our children thinking that either Hillary or Trump is worth pledging allegiance to?

  11. The Libertarian party has more elected, appointed officials serving than all 3rd parties combined. We have 2 former Republican Governors with executive experience now lifetime members of the Libertarian Party running who served & reduced wasteful spending & fought corruption. We will have Congressional Candidates beside a full slate of Statewide Candidates. Our party continues to grow in registration and membership. A vote for any 3rd party is a vote of no confidence in the established oligarchy in control D or R. As others have mentioned pollsters include in the first question our Candidates & watch the LP meet the 15% for the debates. Independents will vote for us vs H or T this year. 2016 marks the Implossion of the status quo take us for granted political elites. In Liberty. Current State Chair, Candidate for the 16 th Congressional District.

  12. Will be voting for Jill Stein in PA if Bernie doesn’t get some big issues on the democratic platform. Namely: oppose the TPP, legalize marijuana, universal healhcare, BAN FRACKING.

  13. You know what I am sick and fed up of hearing? “Voting third party takes votes away from the good guy and gives it to the bad one” or “you’re pissing away your vote”. I outright reject these arguments and I reject with a passion the two-party system and the lesser of two evils. The lesser of two evils is part of the problem of why our government sucks. Voting the lesser of two evils is voting for insanity while expecting change every time. Both parties are full of corporate owned scumbags and Trump and Clinton are not worth spit. Both candidates are liars and cons. I am not stupid enough to believe every ounce of lies Trump or Clinton spews and I sure as hell refuse to give them my vote. I am not ashamed to say that I will be voting for Jill Stein because she has more honesty and integrity than Trump or Clinton could ever wish to possess. So what if Stein doesn’t win. At least I will have voted my conscience for I candidate I want than settle like an idiot for the lesser of two evils. When Trump or Clinton start new wars, increase poverty, make income inequality worse and continue America down to ruin; I can proudly state that I didn’t vote for it or give my consent. All while everyone else who kisses the arse of the two-parties throws a fit why their lives aren’t any better. Voters of Trump and Clinton should put some of the blame on themselves because THEY voted for it and gave THEIR CONSENT. So all you two-party loyalists can laugh and scoff at me all you want. I don’t care! 60% of Americans want a third party (look it up) and it’s past time for the two-party system to take a dirt nap.

  14. Dave Diano,

    What difference does it make if Sanders people, or anyone, votes for Jill Stein, as you’ve been consistently posting that HRC has it in the bag anyway.

    By the way, who are you, or anyone, to decide for whom anyone else should be voting?

  15. Unless and until the Constitution is changed so that we no longer have a first-past-the-post system, voting for third party candidates just means you’re taking a vote away from someone who more closely aligns with your views and helping the major candidate who least aligns with your views. We can moan about how unfair it is all we want, but them’s the facts of life.

  16. “Who you should be voting for” – which one is that, the Career Criminal or the Carnival Barker? Not a single voter should be voting for either of those unfit clowns. When they both get under 30% in the fall, MAYBE the major parties will get their heads out of their corrupt backsides.

  17. When the 3rd party candidates are collectively polling at 10-20 percent, I don’t understand why any pollster is still limiting its surveys to Hillary vs. Trump at this point.

    Somebody released a 50-47 poll this weekend. That’s useless.

  18. Good news. Now let’s have the pollsters include all 4 candidates in their first ballot test question.

  19. RJ: Literally all thresholds are arbitrary in that someone made them up. Say we make the threshold 10% instead of 15%. Is that less arbitrary. What about 5%? Is that less arbitrary because it might catch the Libertarian candidate?

    What about a 1% threshold? Is that too arbitrary because it won’t let in Socialist and Communist candidates? What about .5%? Is that arbitrary because it won’t catch various independent and Right to Life candidates?

    The commission drew the line where they drew it. Anywhere else would be equally as arbitrary, the difference being that you’re only complaining because it excludes *your* preferred candidates.

  20. RJ-

    They can’t win. Voting for them is a protest vote, that winds up hurting the candidate who you should be voting for.

    The recalcitrant Bernie people are going to piss away a lot of votes for Jill Stein, thus helping Trump and working against their own interests.

    If it’s people who would have just stayed home anyway, then it doesn’t matter, except to show how petty/foolish they are.

    I think the early polls show that the Libertarian candidate hurts Trump more. The GOP is far less united than the Dems and the Republicans who really can’t stand Trump or who fail to understand that government has a useful role, will vote Libertarian.

  21. This is prolly good news for Mr. Trump. The libertarians and greens will have a strong effort, which will siphon more votes from Mrs. Clinton than Mr. Trump. if a constitution party candidate makes the ballot, that could hurt Mr. Trump, but not to the same degree that the libertarian-green tandem will draw from Mrs. Clinton. It will be interesting to see if the libertarian/green/constitution party field anyone for the Senate race. Mr. Toomey needs a minor miracle, will he get it in the form of a green party and/or libertarian candidate to peel votes from Mrs. McGinty?

  22. How do you convince people to vote for someone who can’t win? You stop saying lies that they can’t win. Stop telling people their vote for a third party candidate doesn’t matter. Stop the debate commission from denying third party candidates who don’t meet an arbitrary threshold. Just because a third party candidate hasn’t won before doesn’t mean it can’t happen now.

Comments are closed.

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