Not a Vote Wasted: a Look Into Third Party Votes in 2012 Presidential Election

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Not a Vote Wasted: A Look Into Third Party Votes in 2012 Presidential Election
While most of the country was tied up with the competition going on during the 2012 Presidential Election between the Democrat and Republican Presidential candidates, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, many other Americans were rooting for the underdogs. The gap between Romney and Obama in the popular vote was more significant than you'd think. Growing support for third party candidates don't have the major political parties worried, but evidence shows that they should think about gearing up for competition in future Presidential elections. With Gary Johnson, Libertarian Party 2012 Presidential candidate, ahead in the national popular vote amongst the third parties and the Green Party holding the majority of offices as compared to other third parties, the mainstream parties may have to begin gearing up against growing and very real additional competition.

According to 2012 Presidential Election results, Incumbent Barack Obama received 50.6% of the national popular vote, with 47.8% for Republican Candidate Mitt Romney, and 1.6% for third party votes and write-ins. That is a .3 point increase for third parties despite the lower voter turnout this year (Bryan 1), which is more than most were anticipating. More than half that, at almost 1% in the national popular vote, (Wachtler 2) goes to Libertarian Party candidate and former New Mexico Governor, Gary Johnson and his running mate, James "Jim" Gray. While this may not seem like much, it is more than the results for all the other third parties combined, making the Libertarian Party the leading third party and most likely the eventual real competition of the mainstream parties or perhaps even the next mainstream party, decades or even just years from now. America is due for a new mainstream party. One must remember that the United States was not always run by Republicans and Democrats, but by Federalists, Anti-Federalists, Whigs, and...
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