A third party candidate in the United States is a candidate who runs for an elective post in an independent party or any other party apart from the Democratic and Republican parties. This paper is going to explore the reasons why it has been hard for previous candidates to run under the independent parties or the third parties, the various hurdles that will exist for the candidates in the 2016 polls and the circumstances the candidates might have the chance to contend in the elections.
Third parties confront many hurdles in the US. In nearly all the states, the republican and democratic aspirants automatically get the vote, whereas third party aspirants have to obtain a list of thousands of signatures to merely, appear on the ballot. The federal and the state governments, which prepare rules governing the elections, include elected republican and democratic officials, who have rigid incentive to uphold the existing two-party system. Third parties face serious financial difficulties because a political party must have at least five percent of the ballots in the former polls in order to run for the federal funds.
The two major political parties: Republican, and Democratic parties, monopolize power through a number of ways. The parties use powerful constitutional barriers legal platforms and administrative provisions to bias the electoral system. The parties possess the power because they are the parties that have ruled the States since independence. The provisions in the Constitution discourage and challenges minor political aspirants and electors from deserting the major political parties. This results in third parties with less voting bloc thus ensuring a continuous win by the major political parties. Winning through the third parties has always been a difficult task for the previous presidential hopefuls.
The third party candidates have always had to contend with fewer financial resources. As a result, the candidates have to face few media reporting. Media reporting is important considering the geographical extent of the United States of America. Third parties face a huge crisis when it comes to media coverage as they lack the essential forms through which to preach of their existence. In addition, the third party candidates have run weaker compared to their counterparts in the democratic and republican parties. Due to the voting bloc the other parties hold, third parties usually appear insignificant compared to them. This directly falls into the candidates representing the parties, therefore, looking weaker in the eyes of the voters despite the reform agenda they may have. Furthermore, the candidates for the parties have been less qualified in terms of the science of politicking.
In the previous elections, running for third parties has been hard for the candidates because of the lack of the share of the authenticity of the major political parties. Consequently, citizens do not offer minor party aspirants the same status as their counterparts in the democratic and republican parties. The citizens consider the aspirant as standing outside the two-party system, thereby limiting the chances of the third party candidates capturing the highest seat. These handicaps had a large effect on the electoral system in the United States and lead to directly increasing the cost of the election of the third party aspirants. A third party ballot is an unusual deed that calls for the voter to reject the other major parties and not simply the selection of the one of the equal three attractive and able candidates.
The political setting, the constitution proves to be the major barriers that result in third party candidates from capturing the presidential seat. Due to the factors above, previous candidates have found it difficult to go through the electoral process especially for the presidential candidates. The presidential elections have, therefore, been a privilege of the republican and democratic parties, the parties that after capturing the seat go on to delegitimize the third party candidacies and win over their party voters, thereby leading to the further poor performance of the third parties in the succeeding elections.
The legislations that govern the electoral system are far from neutral as they form the problems that block the growth and frustrate the development of more than the two established parties. In 2016, some of the problems that the candidates are likely to face include – constitutional biases. The single plurality system governing the election process discourages the growth and development and the survival of the third parties. This is because, parties compete, and the candidate who gains many votes receive the immediate gains of the plurality of the votes. The presidential election confronts similar problems to the third parties.
Ballot access restrictions; the republicans and the democrats have installed a maze of complicated procedures and rules that will cause it hard for the independent and minor parties to acquire a position on the general poll vote. Although the major political party aspirants appear on the ballot, the third candidacies will have to petition the state election heads for the inclusion of their names. The candidates’ aspirant who will not have his name appearing will obviously be at a disadvantage. This is because; at previous times voters have had, difficult times casting a written ballot into the ballot.
Campaign finance laws; the stipulates that third party candidates appear on the vote in at least ten nations and must obtain a minimum of five percent of the national tally to be eligible for the federal nominee lump sum for the campaigns. This may prove to be a trouble for the candidates who do not achieve the eligibility criteria. Since the amount of money a candidate gets increases exponentially with an increase in the number of votes, third party candidates with less voting bloc may be at a disadvantage during the coming elections.
Campaign resources; without adequate resources, a third party contender is in a grim situation. Previously this has been a challenge for many candidates and the same may repeat in the 2016 elections. As a rule, independent candidates have always had fewer resources than their counterparts in the republican and democratic parties. The disparity is the resource distribution, from previous elections, will be a problem for the third party candidates. The resources include, but not limited to money, organizational structure of the party and experience party leader. There is the need for effective and strong grassroots organization and few minority candidates have had them. Therefore, candidates in the upcoming elections might have to face them.
Media coverage; it is an essential resource that for the past elections, only candidates from the main parties have benefited from. Media coverage generates name recognition and rendering legitimacy essential for the attracting votes. Previously, media coverage has centered on the major political parties, and this will be a big problem for the 2016 if the same thing repeats itself.
In addition, ill attitude towards the third party candidates, candidates are likely to perform poorly because most people believe they will do so. Therefore, this will likely be a problem facing the candidates for the 2016 elections. The perception that third party aspirants always loses may likely play a part in increasing troubles for the candidates because the voters may be unwilling to cast their votes in their favor. The voters may realize that the third party votes are a waste of votes, thereby, increasing their troubles in the upcoming elections.
Since independence, third parties have had problems in capturing the highest seat. This is due to a combination of well-orchestrated laws that aim at delegitimizing them as inferior and cannot achieve the presidential seat. The chances of the parties are minimal and in the history of America, no candidate has ever become a president from an independent or minor party. Therefore, third parties had few chances in capturing the presidential seat. However, they have a chance in shaping the country’s election.
As a norm, in the election college, the election college votes goes to the candidate who receives the plurality of votes. Since in the recent past, the election college has awarded the votes to the Republican or the Democratic parties, the third party has a chance in determining the ultimate receiver of the votes. This is through, splitting of segment votes in favor of a candidate with the same or nearly same manifestos thus shaping the country’ political system. This is, therefore, is the only chance for the third party candidates to contribute to the next government.
Alexander, Robert M. 2012. Presidential electors and the electoral college an examination of lobbying, wavering electors, and campaigns for faithless votes. Amherst, NY: Cambria Press. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&scope=site&db=nlebk&db=nlabk&AN=498433.
Berlatsky, Noah. 2010. Does the U.S. two-party system still work? Detroit: Greenhaven Press.
Gillespie, J. David. 1993. Politics at the boundary third parties in two political -party United States of America. Columbia, S.C.: University of Carolina Press.Bottom of Form
Maisel, Louis Sandy, and Mark D. Brewer. 2012. Parties and elections in America: the electoral process. Lanham, Md: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
Rapoport, Ronald, and Walter J. Stone. 2008. Three is a group the dynamic of third party, Perot Ross, & Republican resurgence. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Top of FormRapoport, Ronald, and Walter J. Stone. 2008. Three is a group the dynamic of third party, Perot Ross, & Republican resurgence. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
 Berlatsky, Noah. 2010. Does the U.S. two-party system still work? Detroit: Greenhaven Press.
 Gillespie, J. David. 1993. Politics at the boundary third parties in two political -party United States of America. Columbia, S.C.: University of Carolina Press.Bottom of Form
 Maisel, Louis Sandy, and Mark D. Brewer. 2012. Parties and elections in America: the electoral process. Lanham, Md: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
 Alexander, Robert M. 2012. Presidential electors and the electoral college an examination of lobbying, wavering electors, and campaigns for faithless votes. Amherst, NY: Cambria Press. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&scope=site&db=nlebk&db=nlabk&AN=498433.
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