Most people pushing for a third party challenge to the corrupt Democrats and Republicans have not a clue to history. Being history-challenged, they assert that Lincoln’s Republicans were a third party in 1860.
In fact, in 1860, the Republicans were the largest party in the country.
Similarly many think the Whigs were a third party as well.
The Whigs were formed by the merger of the National Republican and Anti-Masonic parties in 1834. In so merging they became the second party to the Democrats. They dissolved in 1854, as a national party.
When the Republicans ran their first presidential campaign in 1856, with John C. Fremont as their nominee, the Republicans were already the second party to the Democrats.
In other words neither the Whigs nor the Republicans WERE EVER a third party.
And for the record; No third party has EVER succeeded in electing a president.
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