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Third Parties


Number of 2012 Presidential Candidates Approaches 250

From Dorothy Adams of Donna, Texas to William Zollinger of Eugene, Oregon, 239 Americans have filed for a presidential run, with dozens more added each month.

Sharron's Angle: Independents Find Little Success in Nevada US House Races

Only seven candidates from Nevada have run for the U.S. House as an independent since statehood; none have eclipsed 15 percent

Ex-Con Traficant Tops Independent & 3rd Party Candidates in Contested 2010 U.S. House Races

Former 9-term congressman and federal convict wins 16.1 percent in bid for his old seat - best among alternative party candidates in 2010 in districts contested by both Democrats and Republicans

Did an Independent Turn South Dakota's 2010 U.S. House Race?

B.Thomas Marking turns in the best performance by a South Dakota U.S. House independent or third party candidate in 80 years

Third Parties Leave Footprints in Minnesota's 2010 U.S. House Contests

Votes for third party candidates eclipse 5 percent in six congressional districts; most since DFL merger in 1944

Third Party U.S. House Candidates Spike to Largest Midterm Election Mark Since 1934

With an average of more than one candidate per district, it has been over 75 years since this many independent and third party U.S. House candidates appeared on midterm general election ballots

Dan Maes Poised to Set Record Low for GOP in Colorado Gubernatorial Election History

Tom Tancredo looks to land the best third party showing in Colorado since the 1890s

When Alaska and Delaware Come Full Circle

Republican Party leaders and Tea Party Express rail against Murkowski's write-in bid whilst supporting O'Donnell who similarly launched '06 write-in campaign after GOP primary loss

Run, Murkowski, Run? A Historical Review of Alaskan Statewide Write-in Campaigns

No Alaskan candidate for statewide office has won more than 27 percent in a write-in campaign

Third Parties Flourishing in Wisconsin State Assembly Races

Number of 2010 independent and third party Assembly candidates in Badger State reach highest level since 1974

Minnesota Third Parties to Set Modern Mark for Number of Midterm U.S. House Candidates in 2010

Independence Party leads the way with seven - the most third party U.S. House candidates to run in any election cycle since the DFL merger in 1944

You Say You Want a Revolution? Third Party Gubernatorial Candidates Thriving in 2010

Third party gubernatorial candidates rivaling 1994 for their best showing since the Great Depression

Will Minnesotans Elect a Plurality-Winning Governor for a 4th Straight Cycle?

Only one other state has elected plurality-winning governors into office four times in a row since World War II (Alaska); Minnesota has not done so in 114 years

Charlie Crist and the Long Odds of an Independent U.S. Senate Candidacy

Only six men have been elected to a first term in the U.S. Senate without major party backing since popular vote elections in 1914

Mike Parry Fends Off Critics, Engbrecht, and Srp to Hold 26th Senate District for GOP

Tri-County District split support among the three candidates; Roy Srp turns in best State Senate performance for IP since 2002

Will Roy Srp Help to Upend Mike Parry? The Independent Streak of MN Senate District 26

District has shown strong support for Independence Party candidates over the past decade

Bachmann vs Franken in 2014: A Dream Matchup?

Scenario could also be best chance for 3rd party revival in Gopher State

Putting a Bow on the 2008 Minnesota U.S. Senate Contest (A Historical Analysis)

With Governor Tim Pawlenty and Secretary of State Mark Ritchie signing the election certificate for the U.S. Senate seat on Tuesday evening, the 2008 Election is, after a 238-day wait, at last in the books. The 2008 U.S. Senate Election is noteworthy, of course, for its historic narrow margin of...

Hutchinson (’06) Performance Strong Predictor of Barkley Countywide Support in Minnesota Senate Race

As documented by Smart Politics last week, Independence Party candidate Dean Barkley took a very different path to reach 15 percent in the 2008 Minnesota U.S. Senate race than did 2002 Independence Party gubernatorial nominee, Tim Penny (who reached 16 percent in that race). Penny’s support was heavily skewed towards...

Getting to 15 Percent: Two Different Paths for Dean Barkley (’08) and Tim Penny (’02)

Independence Party nominee Dean Barkley’s U.S. Senate candidacy was of great interest to the media and political junkies leading up to the 2008 election. Could Barkley launch a Ventura-esque come-from-behind victory? Would his presence on the ballot hurt Al Franken more than Norm Coleman? Would he raise enough money to...



Political Crumbs

The Second Time Around

Former Republican Congressman Bob Beauprez became the seventh major party or second place gubernatorial candidate in Colorado to get a second chance at the office when he narrowly won his party's nomination last month. Two of the previous six candidates were successful. Democrat Alva Adams lost his first gubernatorial bid to Benjamin Eaton in 1884, but was victorious two years later against William Meyer. Democrat Charles Johnson placed third in 1894 behind Republican Albert McIntyre and Populist incumbent Governor David Waite but returned as the Fusion (Democrat/Populist) nominee in 1898 and defeated GOPer Henry Wolcott. Gubernatorial candidates who received a second chance but lost both general elections include Democrat Thomas Patterson (1888, 1914), Progressive Edward Costigan (1912, 1914), Republican Donald Brotzman (1954, 1956), and Republican David Strickland (1978, 1986).


How Are the Plurality Winners Doing?

Nearly 40 percent of plurality winners of U.S. Senate elections lose their seat in the next election cycle. Will that happen to any of the three such incumbents on the ballot in 2014? Recent polling suggests Democrats Al Franken of Minnesota, Mark Begich of Alaska, and Jeff Merkley of Oregon all currently have an advantage over their nominated/frontrunning GOP opponents, but each is flirting with plurality support once again. Franken led endorsed GOPer Mike McFadden 48 to 42 percent in a new SurveyUSA poll while the polling group showed Merkley with a 50 to 32 percent advantage over Monica Wehby. Begich led each of the three major GOP candidates in last month's PPP survey: 42 to 37 percent over Daniel Sullivan, 41 to 33 percent over Mead Treadwell, and 43 to 27 percent over Joe Miller.


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