Shepard Smith epitomized the media when he interviewed Ralph Nader at around 1:00 am, after Obama gave his acceptance speech. Shepard Smith from Fox News insulted a great American by literally calling Mr. Ralph Nader irrelevant to his face several times. He accused Ralph Nader and his supporters of being “reduced to irrelevant”.
You got to love the media, first they ignore and black out Third Party candidates such as Ralph Nader prior to the election, and then a simpleton invites him for a 1 minute segment after the election results are in just to insult him.
So let's analyze some of the election results from the point of view of the Third Party Vote.
In 2004, Libertarian Party Candidate, Michael Badnarik earned .32% of the total vote with 397,265 votes and in 2008, Libertarian Candidate Bob Barr earned 523,686 votes which equals to .40% of the total vote.
In 2004, Constitution Party candidate, Michael Peroutka earned .12% of the total vote with 143,630 votes and in 2008, Constitution Party candidate Chuck Baldwin earned 199,057 votes which equals to .15% of the total vote.
In 2004, Green Party candidate David Cobb earned .10% of the total vote with 119,859 votes and in 2008, Green Party candidate Cynthia McKinney earned 161,694 votes which equals to .12% of the total vote.
These were the 4 top minor candidates that were on enough ballots to potentially win the Presidency by electoral map. In all four cases, they increased their vote count from the 2004 election.
It is worth noting that the Constitution Party Candidate, Chuck Baldwin broke the record for most votes for a Constitution Party presidential campaign. This can be most certainly attributed to Ron Paul's endorsement. The previous record was Howard Phillips’ 1996 campaign in which he received 184,820 votes.
Also worth mentioning, Bob Barr is just the second Libertarian candidate for President to receive more than 500,000 votes.
And Ralph Nader had his second best showing running for President out of his 4 runs dating back to 1996.
As far as the rest of the minor candidates are concerned, they follow this trend of exceeding vote totals from the 2004 election cycle. Notable examples are Charles Jay who in 2004 earned 946 votes but in 2008 earned 2,422 votes. We also saw 2 new candidates in 2008 with name recognition that saw their names pushed on some ballots, such as Ron Paul earning 40,454 votes and Alan Keyes earning 47,836 votes.
It is true that given the enormous voter turnout, logic would dictate that the raw numbers should of course be higher for the Third Party candidates as well, so you then have to look at the percentage of the total vote for each Third Party candidate in 2008 as compared to the percentage of the total vote for each Third Party candidate in 2004 election cycle. As you can see from the above 4 Top minor candidates, in all four cases, these percentages did increase, even if it was ever so slightly.
Perhaps, the most interesting phenomenon worth examining is the dramatic increase in write-in votes that occurred in this 2008 election as 227,616 write-in votes were actually counted and tabulated which represented .17% of the total vote. In 2004, only 36,585 write-in votes were registered representing only .03% of the total vote.
Just as there is a host of economic indicators such as Gross Domestic Product, unemployment rate, new home sales, to name just a few, which shows us a picture of our economic health or allows analysis of such, so there are indicators to measure the Third Party movement.
One of the indicators of measuring progress on the movement of Third Parties in America is the presidential election results as indicated above. This is probably the most popular indicator because it is the simplest, but it does not necessarily show you the full picture as there are many other indicators including, but not limited to Party membership, Party growth, fundraising, media exposure and success at the local level.
For example, in my own state of Florida, I know of many Libertarian candidates that won election in the November 4th 2008 election. Tray Lunquist was running for West Volusia Hospital Authority Group A Seat 1 in Florida and won with 59% of the vote with 42,892 votes. Jeff Hunt who was running for Duval County Soil & water Board Group 2 in Florida and won with 51.4% of the vote with 148,515 votes. Bruce Reichert was running for Collier County Soil & Water Board Seat 1 in Florida and won. J. Adam Mitchell was running for Collier County Soil and Water Board Seat 4 in Florida and won. Howard Horowitz was running for Palm Beach Soil & Water Conservation Group 4 in Florida and won. Jack Tanner was running for Lee County Soil and Water Conservation District Seat 4 in Florida and won. Another great example is Cara Jennings, a Green Party member, who won re-election to Lake Worth City Commission Seat 2, District 2 in Palm Beach County Florida.
It is my contention that the Third party movement is alive and well in America.
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