Do Third Parties Really Split The Vote?

February 9, 2012   |  

After Rick Santorum’s 3 state sweep on Tuesday, I’ve started to wonder if “conservatives” really want more freedom in this country, or if they’re more concerned with just getting a Democrat out of the White House.  If GOP voters ultimately decide they want an authoritarian, big government RINO, I will be giving my vote to Gary Johnson.  And before you all start commenting about how I’m wasting my vote, or helping Obama, keep this in mind:  If the only 2 options on the ballot in November were Santorum/Gingrich and Obama, I would NOT vote.

The whole claim that 3rd parties split the vote is a moot point, especially when talking about the Libertarian Party.  In fact, I considered myself a liberal/democrat before I first learned about the Libertarian Party (10 years ago).  But don’t take my word for it, Gary Johnson sums it up quite well in his Washington Post interview with this:

Decker: Conventional wisdom is that a third-party challenger cannot be elected president of the United States. Certainly, a Libertarian candidacy siphons votes away from the GOP. Is that the point – to send a message of protest that Republicans need to be more principled, especially on fiscal issues?

Johnson: Conventional wisdom has never been a guiding principle in my life or career. Conventional wisdom held that a businessman who had never been in elected office could not run and win as a Libertarian-Republican in New Mexico. And conventional wisdom would argue against a former governor with a not-yet-healed broken leg making it to the summit of Mt. Everest. My candidacy is not about a message of protest. It is about defying conventional wisdom and giving voice to what I believe is a majority of Americans who today do not feel comfortable in either the Democratic or Republican Party.

Likewise, I do not accept the premise that my candidacy siphons more votes from Republicans than from Democrats.As I hold
online town halls, travel the country and read the emails and messages coming into our campaign every day, it is obvious that we are connecting with at least as many Obama voters as McCain voters from 2008. A lot of people who thought they were voting for change in 2008 are today very disappointed that what they achieved was only a slightly different version of the same business-as-usual they wanted to reject. The desire for a truly new approach cuts across all parties and independents alike.

Read the whole article here.

Follow Blake on Twitter @BlakeOates and check out his personal blog and podcast at

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