Video: A brief word to third-party voters this cycle

posted at 1:21 pm on November 5, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Every four years, the media love to walk through third-party scenarios that might decide the presidential election — especially in 2000, when it actually did drive the results in one state, Florida, which turned out to be the epicenter of the election.  McClatchy delivers the formulaic nod to this cycle’s Don (and Dona) Quixotes, paying homage to the flinty American independence and usually utter futility they represent.  With a race this close, though, this scenarios aren’t entirely out of the question:

If Tuesday’s election is as close as polls suggest, the presidency might be decided by someone named Gary Johnson. Or Virgil Goode. Or Jill Stein.

They’re third party candidates for president. While none has a real shot at winning the White House and few Americans watched their debate Sunday evening, any one might draw just enough support in a battleground state to throw the results to President Barack Obama or Republican Mitt Romney. It’s happened before, and recently. In 2000, Green Party nominee Ralph Nader’s drew 1.6% of the vote in Florida, forced a recount and the eventual election outcome in favor of Republican George W. Bush. …

[Johnson’s] standing could be pivotal in Colorado, where voters are closely divided between the two major party candidates. A Nov. 2 Denver Post poll found voter split 47-45 for Obama over Romney. A CNN poll the day before tested Johnson’s support and found 4 percent of likely voters leaning his way.

His support could be tied to a ballot initiative that would allow limited marijuana use for those 21 and older. While the Libertarian message of minimal government usually resonates with Republicans, in this case, Johnson knows he’s drawing from the Democrats. “I take more votes away from Obama than Romney,” he said. “I am more liberal than Obama when it comes to civil liberties,” Johnson said, adding that he supported marijuana legalization when he was governor.

Frankly, I’m not sure that this scenario plays out anywhere else but in Colorado.  A number of readers have expressed concerns over Virgil Goode’s presence on the Virginia ballot, but I suspect that people who want Obama out of office are not going to be interested in casting protest votes for Goode.  Johnson is a different case, with a different constituency and the endorsement of a small but still recognized political party, the Libertarians.  Even so, I suspect that Johnson’s going to end up with significantly less than 4% in Colorado as protest voters reconsider their choice at the ballot box.

If you are a third-party voter, Bill Whittle wants to have a word with you.  Rather than challenge your principles, though, Whittle wants to appeal to them.  Elections come down to realistic choices, and in this election, the two choices are very distinct.  Even if you don’t think either of the two candidates represents your values and principles, one of them comes closer than the other:

Bill published this last week, but I deliberately held it to today.  He makes a good argument that should be one of the last voters consider before they go to cast their ballots — especially if they want to cast it for a third-party candidate, or not cast it at all.

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If you aren’t willing to stand on principles now, you certainly won’t do it when things go south.

sharrukin on November 5, 2012 at 7:58 PM

And all the bots will just expect everybody to back them up – when they wouldn’t do the same before things go south.
But it’s the bots who’ll be on the sidelines, trying to direct others to cover their azzez.
I’ve seen too many like that. I don’t need it here.

Solaratov on November 5, 2012 at 8:17 PM

Dante on October 24, 2012 at 3:54 PM

Hmm, the guy that can’t get ’eminent’ vs. ‘imminent’ clear really shouldn’t be knocking other people on their critical thinking skills.

Midas on November 5, 2012 at 8:18 PM

Midas on November 5, 2012 at 8:18 PM

Now, now…Dante’s a TRUCON, and trucons are the ones who get to define all the words.
Words mean what they want them to, when they want.

Solaratov on November 5, 2012 at 8:48 PM

So, it would be better for the U.S.S.R. to NOT complete their invasion of Canada?

If the only way Canada could keep them out is if we help them, then…what?

cptacek on November 5, 2012 at 5:51 PM

Waiting for an answer, here.

cptacek on November 5, 2012 at 9:25 PM

The argument then, is to vote for the lesser of two evils.

As someone in a multi-party environment with MMP in New Zealand I have tried several times to vote strategically. Finally I’ve decided that the whole “strategic vote” idea is a dead loss. So last time I voted for a conservative group that made maybe 2% of the total vote. But I sleep well at night and I avoid the feeling of being played for a sap by the political party I used to support which has now abandoned most of the core principles it once had & has now become a party of vote whores.

IMVHO, vote for who you think the best person or party is, even if you’re the only one that does. Politics IS a business of compromise, but morality & integrity are not. I, for one, will not play this silly game. If enough of us do this maybe we change change the sellout compromise that is slowly ruining us.

Its not a protest vote. Its my vote, the only one I have, so I’ll vote for the person I like best, not just the lesser of two evils.


Liam1304 on November 5, 2012 at 11:29 PM

So, it would be better for the U.S.S.R. to NOT complete their invasion of Canada?

If the only way Canada could keep them out is if we help them, then…what?

cptacek on November 5, 2012 at 5:51 PM

Waiting for an answer, here.

cptacek on November 5, 2012 at 9:25 PM

Speaking as a Canadian, we would appreciate the help.

Alberta_Patriot on November 5, 2012 at 11:42 PM

Virgil Goode, Constitution party Candidate, is my choice, even if he has no chance. I’d be most happy if he pulled several points from Mittness even as Mittness beats Oboobi.

AH_C on November 6, 2012 at 9:55 AM

OK, TRUCONS (you know who you are, dante, etc.), here’s your big reason to vote for Gabby Johansen…………….

Did you miss the Gary Johnson – Jill Stein Debate last night?

9:48 – Johnson bravely supports price gouging. $7 per gallon gasoline would lead to shorter car lines at the pump, and would attract entrepreneurs.

Closing argument:Johnson ends by asking for 5% of the vote, which will let the Libertarian Party get more ballot access and receive federal matching funds. So, the libertarian’s slam-dunk argument for why you should vote for him is that it will let him receive federal-government benefits.

bayview on November 6, 2012 at 7:55 AM

Now, y’all just hang in there with that man of principle.

You people are fools.

Solaratov on November 6, 2012 at 11:26 AM

I cast my vote today. I held my nose and voted for Romney. Another case of voting for the lesser of two evils. I did vote for third party candidates on several down ballot contests. I will not vote for an incumbent, period. If any of the third party candidates on the national level were serious or had really logical ideas (or at least not completely off the wall) then I might vote for them. As a former Republican I am fed up with both parties and I really don’t hope for a great deal of change even if the Republicans take both houses of Congress and the Presidency.

georgeofthedesert on November 6, 2012 at 1:44 PM