Why Third Parties Cannot Win The White House

While Jill Stein and Bernie Sanders agree on most policy matters, there is a deep divide between them on political strategy

I live in California, and voted for Jill in the general election last year. I did so because I thought progressives would flock to her after Bernie was cheated out of the Democratic nomination, and Jill was far preferable to a war criminal or a xenophobic racist.

While I expected Trump to win, I was shocked that Jill was rejected even more substantially than was Hillary.

Were there ever a scenario that should have favored Jill Stein, it was the political landscape of 2016.

The performance of the Greens in 2016 should lay to rest any expectations that a third party can ever compete in the presidential sweepstakes.

Indeed, the Electoral College makes any third party effort doomed from the outset.

To win the presidency, the US Constitution requies that a candidate for president receive an outright majority of Electoral votes or the race is decided in the House of Representatives. As there is not a single third party member of the House, the presidential efforts of Greens, Libertarians, Socialists, et al, are a waste of time and energy.

The stacked deck progressives face in the Democratic party is nothing to the stacked deck progressives face in building and electing a third party.

All of which leads me to advocate taking over the Democratic party, a strategy that Bernie Sanders is exhorting his followers to pursue.




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2 thoughts on “Why Third Parties Cannot Win The White House

  1. Sanders would have been a good alternative to Stein except:
    1- he didn’t utter a peep when he was pushed out of the running as a candidate.
    2- he endorses Clinton rather than Stein
    3- he too is a Party hack.


    • You know what doesn’t work? Third parties. It has nothing to do with long odds, it has everything to do with the Electoral College. Two hundred years of political parties and not one has ever won the presidency as a third party The US Constitution requires that the House elects the president when no one wins a majority of Electoral votes. Unless a third party controls a plurality of congressional delegations, they lose. But if they had a plurality of congressional delegations they would not be a third party.
      Had Sanders run as an independent or on a third party Trump would have still won, and there would have been not the slightest possibility that a progressive could be elected president for decades.
      Had Bernie endorsed Stein, she would still have lost and the Democrats would have blamed Bernie for handing the presidency to Trump.
      Bernie’s political revolution would have ground to a halt.


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