May 3, 2011

Poll: 80% Say They Would Consider Voting for a Third Party or Independent Presidential Candidate in 2012

Findings from a new Reason-Rupe poll, as described by Reason:
With the 2012 election season ramping up, frustrated voters appear ready to look beyond Democratic and Republican candidates. Eighty percent say they will or may consider voting for a third-party or independent presidential candidate in 2012. And an even higher number of independents (89 percent) and GOP voters (86 percent) say they will or may consider candidates outside of the two major political parties.
The willingness to look beyond Democrats and Republicans stems, in part, from voters’ lack of trust in them. When asked which political party they trust to govern responsibly, the leading answer was “neither,” at 35 percent, followed by Democrats at 31 percent and Republicans at 23 percent. The survey also found 58 percent of voters believe they’d either see “no difference” or be “better off” if Congress were only in session every other year.


Dale Sheldon-Hess said...

80%. Same number as this time last year.

And how many third-party candidates won elections in 2010?

US House: 0
US Senate: 0
Governors: 1

"Willing to consider voting for" is not enough to change anything.

TiradeFaction said...

Clearly 3rd parties need better campaigning skills :P Though I don't think I'd get much arguments from 3rd party activists there.

TiradeFaction said...


Don't forget state legislature

Vermont Progressive Party won some seats in Vermont's legislature, and Independents won some in various state legislatures.

Dale Sheldon-Hess said...


True; but I don't have all that data at hand ;) But the % is still frightfully low, so the point still stands. Even if 80%--80%!!--of voters are "considering", that doesn't translate into winning much of anything.

P.S. Love the icon. Better *parties* in the *middle* for sure?

d.eris said...

If nothing else, these sorts of poll results show the depth of the discontent and disgust with the major parties. While they don't necessarily demonstrate a decisive attitude in favor of third parties and independents, they reveal a stated openness to alternatives to the Democrats and Republicans. Organizing these folks is of the greatest importance.

TiradeFaction said...


Agreed! I think Rich Whitney polled pretty well in the last election, then ended up getting a disappointing 2.7%, from his fairly impressive (for a third party candidate) 10.4%

D.eris is right though, 3rd parties and indies should take advantage of this by trying to change the mindset of voters in their favor (directly or indirectly) absent of any grand (or not so grand) electoral reforms. Some good party building on a local level wouldn't hurt either.

As for the mainstream *parties*, they are just *silly cows* who are *together*

Dale Sheldon-Hess said...

Now we've rightly and properly confused the metaphor; I brought this on myself though. "Party" and "the middle" have nothing to do with political parties or the political middle. The "silly cows" were a hyper-advanced race that mysteriously disappeared.

To make this diversion all somewhat relevant, it's better, I think, to remember that humans are *many bubbles*, not like Orz, who is *fingers*. We are individuals with our own wants and desires, not a single entity who only appears in many separate bodies.

If we were *fingers*, voting wouldn't be necessary the "I" that is all of us would know it's own desire. But we are *many bubbles*, and so need some way to translate our separate desires into one when conflicts, inevitably, arise.

And plurality voting is a pretty crappy way to do that. :)

TiradeFaction said...

That..was an awesome metaphor. I may have to steal it one day (I kid). My apologies on my crappy Orz speech.

Anyway though, by plurality voting, I agree! Though third parties themselves should investigate ways to party build even in the current system, as we won't be getting Range/Approval Voting anytime soon. (Or will we?)

d.eris said...

And btw, Dale, the survey from last year that you linked to via the Whig blog did not find that 80% supported a third party. That poll found that 80% agreed there were serious problems with the two party system, and 31% said a third party would be good for the country. 52% agreed that there were serious problems with the two party system, but said they were willing to stick with Democrats and Republicans.

TheKnifer said...

Actually, the *silly cows* were not an advanced race that mysteriously disappeared, they were what annoyed the Orz. The Vux and the Androsynth for example, were *silly cows*, or so we can decipher. The original developers afaik never gave us a lexicographical translation list.

By the way, a third party political site is the last place I would ever figure to hear Star Control mentioned ;) The Internet is truly a strange place.