No, the wacky Green Party candidate didn't keep Danny O'Connor from winning OH-12

The worst part about election returns is when major party supporters decide to blame third parties for their candidate’s failure. The most recent display is the exasperation from Democrats over the fact a thousand or so Ohio District 12 voters decided to go Green, instead of supporting Danny O’Connor.

Yeah…about that…

Here’s the latest vote tally from The New York Times:

Correct me if my math is off but 99,820 + 1,127 = 100,947 which is still less than the 101,574 votes for Republican Troy Balderson. Maybe Democrats are using Common Core-style math to somehow get the idea the Greenies who voted for the kooky Joe Manchik prevented Danny O’Connor from going to D.C. There is a rematch in November so maybe that’s what they should be preparing for?

Those trying to compare L’affaire est Manchik to the 2000 L’affaire est Nader in Florida are forgetting something: Green Party supporters aren’t likely to vote for Democrats. O’Connor isn’t the left’s new democratic socialist belle of the ball, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, with Vox calling him a moderate in their Ohio 12th District explainer.

Oโ€™Connor, the Democrat on the ballot Tuesday, doesnโ€™t support any of the newly popular ideas within the Democratic Party โ€” Medicare-for-all, abolishing ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), and tuition-free college. He says outright, โ€œWe need to fight for capitalism.โ€ He describes himself as a pragmatist from deep-red rural Ohio and is even engaged to a Republican.

He dismisses โ€œMedicare-for-allโ€ specifically as a slogan focus-grouped in Washington, DC. โ€œRight now, people want to take away health care,โ€ Oโ€™Connor said. โ€œI have an opponent who wants to take away Medicaid expansion.โ€

Why would Greenies – who are some of the hardcore of the hardcore leftists – bother voting for someone they believed was a moderate? Especially since the party castigated Democrats in 2017 on accusations of not #resisting enough when it came to nominees by President Donald Trump with activist Laura Wells claiming “just enough Democrats are voting for Trump’s appointees to enable their confirmation…That’s not what an opposition party does.”

The Washington Post even discovered in 2016 there were plenty of Bernie Sanders fans who were going to jump back into the Green Party pool if he didn’t win the Democratic nomination.

โ€œIโ€™m all about who the candidate is,โ€ said Ehrhart, 32, who left the Green Party to vote for Sanders. โ€œIf Bernie stays in, obviously Iโ€™ll stay a Democrat. If he signs up to be Hillaryโ€™s vice president or something like that, Iโ€™ll stay a Democrat. If not, Iโ€™ll probably go back to the Green Party.โ€

It’s not quite unlike how libertarians feel with the Republican Party. Yes, there were plenty of small-l libertarians who cast ballots for Republicans in 2012 and 2016. It probably depended on the candidate, their positions, and whether there was a Libertarian Party candidate on the ballot. It certainly did for me. There’s still plenty of frustration, especially for libertarians who prefer an extremely weak government.

There are people who are tired of – or simply not interested in – sacrificing their own principles to vote for so-called lesser evil. That lesser evil could end up tarnishing one’s own reputation or causing them to sacrifice more and more of their beliefs to make sure the lesser evil candidate gets into power. There are plenty of people who are tired of seeing candidates and parties pay lip service to a certain belief – then betray almost all the voters who helped get them into office.

It’s honestly much more likely voters are tuning out to the messages of the major parties – and deciding to skip the ballot box – instead of casting a vote for the smaller parties. There is a duopoly with Democrats and Republicans, and the rules are put together to make sure no third party candidate gets into the debates. I’m not 100% sure what the solution is – outside of convincing TV networks to demand other candidates get in – or whether people will be even interested in voting for someone who doesn’t have an R or a D next to their name.

I do know it’s foolish to blame third parties for the failure of your candidate.