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Should Ron Paul launch a third party run if he doesn't win the Republican nomination?
November 21st, 2011
03:55 PM ET

Should Ron Paul launch a third party run if he doesn't win the Republican nomination?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Keep your eyes on Ron Paul...

Because the Texas Congressman could have a major effect on the 2012 presidential race - whether or not he's the nominee.

Paul - who probably has the most passionate supporters of all the Republican candidates - is not ruling out a third party run.

He says he has no intention of mounting a third party bid for the White House, but - and it's a big but - he's not ruling it out.

A recent poll shows Paul getting 18% of the vote in a three-way contest against President Obama and Mitt Romney. And most of Paul's support would come at the expense of Mitt Romney.

That's why some Republicans call it a "nightmare scenario." They worry that a Ron Paul run would benefit President Obama - maybe even securing him a second term.

We've seen it before: When Ross Perot ran as a third party candidate in 1992 - the conventional wisdom was he handed Bill Clinton the election. Without Perot in the race, President Bush would have likely won re-election. Ralph Nader has also made several third party runs.

Plus, it's worth pointing out that our electoral system is stacked against a third party ever winning the White House.

Meanwhile - don't count Ron Paul out of the race for the Republican nomination quite yet.

Some say he could be a real threat in the early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire.

One poll shows Paul in a virtual four-way tie for first place in Iowa... and he's polling in the top three in New Hampshire.

Some experts say they wouldn't be surprised if Paul wins the Iowa caucuses and then shakes up the race even further in New Hampshire.

Ron Paul has been talking sense for a long time.... with the country now circling the drain, maybe more people are ready to listen.

Here’s my question to you: Should Ron Paul launch a third party run if he doesn't win the Republican nomination?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST

January 21st, 2010
06:00 PM ET

What will it take to get a viable third party going in U.S.?

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(PHOTO CREDIT: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The independent voter is one of the main reasons Democrats lost Ted Kennedy's long-held Senate seat in Massachusetts this week.

A survey conducted by one GOP pollster found Republican Scott Brown won 64 percent of independents... compared to 34 percent for the Democrat Martha Coakley.

One short year ago - it was these same independents who overwhelmingly backed Barack Obama and launched him into the presidency.

But with the Democrats now in control of Congress and the White House for the past year, independents are sick and tired of feeling ignored by their so-called representatives.

These critical independent voters are mostly white, middle-class and middle-aged suburbanites, and they're sick of high unemployment, bank and auto bailouts, government spending and taxes, among other things.

So what we're seeing in places like Massachusetts, and also in those governors' races in New Jersey and Virginia, is swing voters swinging the other way.

It's sort of like watching large groups of people rushing from one side of the Titanic to the other, causing the ship to lurch alternately from port to starboard - left to right.

We just went through this a year ago when they all ran away from the Republicans and to the Democrats.

Fact is, neither option is any good. Both parties stink. Our government is broken and no longer serves the needs of the people. Time for real change.

Here’s my question to you: What will it take to get a viable third party going in this country?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST

August 15th, 2008
05:50 PM ET

Why isn’t there more support for third party candidates?

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Third party presidential candidates: Ralph Nader (Independent Party), Bob Barr (Libertarian Party), Cynthia McKinney (Green Party). (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Americans are disgusted with our dysfunctional government, right? They overwhelmingly disapprove of Congress and the president, and for straight 6 months now, at least 80% of us say we're dissatisfied with where this country is headed.

So if the system is indeed broken, it seems like lots of Americans wouldn't want to vote for either the Democrat or the Republican in November. However, a new Gallup Poll finds that only 2% of registered voters name a third-party candidate when asked who they'll back for president.

2%... that's compared to 83% who name either Barack Obama or John McCain. The third-party candidates this time around include Bob Barr for the Libertarian Party, Independent Ralph Nader and Cynthia McKinney for the Green Party.

In 1992, Ross Perot got almost 20% of the vote, one of the best showings ever for a third-party candidate. In fact, Perot may have been the reason why Bill Clinton won the first time around. But, when it comes down to it, the way the two-party system is set up often makes it very difficult for third-party candidates to get any traction. It's an uphill battle to get on the ballot and to get the kind of money necessary to compete.
Here’s my question to you: Why isn’t there more support for third party candidates?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST