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Who's lonely?

Reader comment on item: Blowback from Criticizing Trump

Submitted by Michael S (United States), Jul 28, 2016 at 11:56

Hello, Daniel

I can see by the number of responses, that you're anything but lonely.

On a practical level, I don't see a snowball's chance in Hades of the election going to the House of Representatives. That would require a third party candidate actually winning a STATE, which won't happen. Let me run through historical Presidential elections, in which third party candidates have had strong showings and/or won a state:

1. 1992. Ross Perot and the Reform Party won 18.9% of the popular vote, and NO STATES. Polls leading up to the election showed him to be highly competitive, and capable of coming in first or second; but the voters closed ranks as the election drew near, supporting the major parties. The net result was a loss for the Republicans. I voted for Perot, because I was disgusted with GHW Bush's "Read my lips" lies, and his support for a "New World Order".

2. 1968. George Wallace and the American Independent Party won only 13.5% of the popular vote, but five states with 46 electoral votes. He was able to win in Deep South states, because of his highly regional appeal. Nationwide candidates like Perot are not able to do this; and neither can the Libertatrian and Green Party candidates in 2016. Ne net result was to give the election to Richard Nixon.

3. 1960. Harry Byrd won zero percent of the popular vote, but two states and 15 electoral votes. Even though the Dems and Reps were split 50:50 in the electoral vote, this was not enough for Byrd to become a "kingmaker" because Kennedy controlled big states like Texas and Illinois. I imagine many Mexicans voted from Texas graveyards, and Cook County voters turned out in massive numbers at unusual hours to accomplish this, which shows that entrenched parties with strong local machines trump third parties any day.

4. 1948. Strom Thurmond and the Dixiecrats won four states and 39 electoral votes, with only 2.4% of the electoral vote. Like Wallace and Byrd, he accomplished this through regional appeal. Truman won the election handily, though the morning newspaper had declared Dewey the winner. If the race were as evenly divided as the press thought it would be, perhaps Thurmond's electors would have had a voice. It wasn't, and they didn't.

5. 1924. "Fighting Bob" La Follette Sr. and the Progressive Party won 16.6% and 13 electoral votes, all from his home state of Wisconsin. He had strong local appeal, and my grandfather voted for him; but Coolidge won by a landslide.

6. 1912. Teddy Roosevelt and the Progressive or "Bull Moose" party won 27.4% of the popular vote, six states and 88 electors. He managed to outperform the Republican incumbent, Taft, in all three categories, in what was clearly a grudge match. Woodrow Wilson won by an electoral landslide, haveing won less than 42% of the popular vote.

Roosevelt was an egomaniac kamikaze, who committed political suicide and took his former party down with him. If the Ted Cruz were anywhere near as popular as "Bully Bully" Teddy, this is what would happen in 2016. Even Jeb Bush couldn't win his own state of Florida in the primary against Trump; so I seriously doubt he could win it or any state in the general election.

The last and only time a "third party" candidate won an election, was when Abraham Lincoln won an electoral landslide in 1960. In that election, the opposition was fragmented among several independent candidates; and Lincoln's Republicans were essentially a reincarnation of the Whigs, and the Federalists before them. Gary Johnson is not Abraham Lincoln.

I honestly LIKE Donald Trump; and I will be happy if and when he is elected. Seeing that a parade of candidates I DIDN'T like have won the Presidency since Ronald Reagan, however, I have learned not to get too excited about these things. In the end, God will give us a President in line with His plan for the US. Unfortunately, I fear His plan is for judgment and destruction -- the sort of thing a President Hillary is likely to produce. I would like to be wrong in this.

So, who's lonely?

Shalom shalom :-)

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Daniel Pipes replies:

Your historical review is interesting but not terribly relevant given the unusual nature of this election.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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