The Fix: Third Party

Ralph Nader wants a billionaire to run for president. And he has a list.

Ralph Nader wants a billionaire to run for president. And he has a list.

It's no secret that Ralph Nader has always been a big fan of the idea of third party presidential candidates. In fact, Nader -- who himself was one of the best-known third-party candidate in recent American electoral history -- released a list Monday of 20 millionaires and billionaires who he thinks should give real thought to mounting a presidential bid in 2016.

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Gary Johnson’s third-party presidential bid: A real factor or just a footnote?

Gary Johnson’s third-party presidential bid: A real factor or just a footnote?

Gary Johnson, the Republican-turned-Libertarian Party presidential candidate, won’t come close to matching the vote totals of President Obama and Mitt Romney next month. Nonetheless, he’s a variable in a handful of battleground states that could determine the outcome of the election. 

Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson spoke with The Washington Post’s Brook Silva-Braga and responds to five key debate questions.

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Americans Elect and the death of the third party movement

Americans Elect and the death of the third party movement

It ended with a whimper, not a bang.

Late Thursday night, Americans Elect, a much-ballyhooed group dedicated to securing ballot access for a serious third-party presidential candidate in 2012, issued a statement acknowledging failure.

“As of this week, no candidate achieved the national support threshold required to enter the Americans Elect online convention in June,” the statement read. “The primary process for the Americans Elect nomination has come to an end.”

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Ron Paul and the GOP’s third-party nightmare scenario

Ron Paul is a powerful man.

The Texas Republican Congressman says he has no intention of launching an independent run for president if he loses the GOP presidential primary next year. But, if he happens to change his mind, polling suggests he could have a major impact on the identity of the next president.
Republican presidential contender Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) speaks at a restaurant at the Polk County GOP summer picnic event held at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2011. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll shows that an independent bid from Paul would garner 18 percent of the national vote. Perhaps more important, it would swing the popular vote toward President Obama by a large margin — 44 percent to 32 percent in a hypothetical three-way matchup that also includes former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

In a head-to-head race with Romney, Obama leads by a far more narrow 49 percent to 43 percent.

“Dr. Paul has strong crossover appeal, and could do very well as an independent,” Paul campaign manager Jesse Benton told The Fix. “He has, however, decided to remain in the GOP, as he has for over 20 years in Congress, and use that appeal to beat President Obama as the Republican nominee.”

But, what if Paul doesn’t wind up as the GOP nominee? It’s not hard to see how a Paul third-party candidacy could create a nightmare scenario — albeit an unlikely one — for Republicans.

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People want a third party. Until they don’t.

People want a third party. Until they don’t.

One look at the deep dissatisfaction coursing through the American electorate — record disapproval numbers for Congress, President Obama at the lowest ebb of his time in office — and it becomes clear that a desire for something/someone else in politics is as strong as it’s been since, at least, 1992.

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