Those who cannot abide either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton are looking for an alternative. But it’s hard for an independent candidate to get on state ballots. But there is a third party that will already be on the ballot in every state: The Libertarians.
This party advocates smaller government, free market economics, and civil liberties. Yes, it accepts abortion–as well as legalized drugs and prostitution–but neither of the major parties, this time, is likely to be very strong on moral issues. (See this for the Libertarian platform.)
Seventeen candidates are running for the party’s nomination, which will be held on Memorial Day weekend, but the likely nominee is Gary Johnson, the former governor of New Mexico. Might he be a better president than either Trump or Clinton?
There are other third parties, but only two others are on at least some state ballots: the conservative Constitution Party (26 states) and the leftist environmentalist Green Party (36 states).
To the objection that “third parties can’t win,” it isn’t necessary to win in order to stop Trump and Clinton. A third party would only need to get a few states, in what is expected to be a very close election, in order to prevent anyone from getting a majority of electoral votes. If that happens, the current House of Representatives, which is dominated by Republicans, would pick the president. Maybe they would choose somebody good.
UPDATE: Thanks to Todd for quoting to me the 12th Amendment, which requires the House of Representatives, in the event that no one wins an electoral majority, to choose from the top three candidates. So theoretically, a third party candidate could be chosen in the House. The Republican majority would have to go against its own party’s candidate, which could possibly happen. But there is not much hope for this option.From Bridget Johnson, Ahead of Convention, Libertarians Dangle ‘Tax-and-Spending-Cutter’s Dream’ Nominee | PJ Media:
The Libertarian Party called the winnowing down of the GOP primary field to last man standing Donald Trump “bad news, good news” for supporters of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Ohio Gov. John Kasich or other candidates.
Seventeen people are vying to be the Libertarian nominee at the party’s upcoming convention in Orlando on Memorial Day weekend.
Leading the pack is former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, who got 1.2 million votes in the 2012 presidential election.
After Kasich left the GOP race on Wednesday, the Libertarian Party sent out a statement noting that while “the bad news” for Cruz and Kasich supporters “is their candidates will not win the GOP nomination, the good news for fiscal conservatives is that the Libertarian presidential nominee—a tax-and-spending-cutter’s dream—is expected to be on the ballot in all fifty states, plus D.C., this November.”