During this election cycle, IVN covered third party candidates to ensure voters could access information about the wide range of choices they had at the ballot box.
Gary Johnson, from the Libertarian Party, received 1,139,562 votes which represents 0.9% of the popular vote. He is the third party candidate who has done the best this year, but fell far short of the 5% needed to receive public funding for the 2016 Libertarian candidate. He is, however, the most successful Libertarian Party candidate in the history of the party.
Jill Stein received 396,684 votes, representing 0.3% of the popular vote. Dr. Stein and Gov. Johnson are the only candidates to reach more than 0.1% of the votes. They were the only two candidates with their name on most of the ballots, with 48 states and 1 write-in for Gov. Johnson and 38 states and 7 write-in for Dr. Stein.
She performed best in: Maine, 1.3% of the votes, Oregon 1.1%, Alaska 1.0%, Arkansas 0.9%, West Virginia 0.7% and Idaho 0.7%.
Rocky Anderson, of the Justice Party, received 34,521 votes which represents <1% of the popular vote. The Justice Party was created this year, making it the first time a Justice Party candidate participated in a general election. Rocky Anderson managed to be on the ballot in 14 states and and be in write in 19.He performed best in: Utah with 0.5% of the votes, Idaho with 0.4%, Vermont with 0.4%, Connecticut with 0.4% and Oregon with 0.2% of the vote.
Virgil Goode, of the Constitution Party, received 4,130 votes,which represents <1% of the popular vote. He was on the ballot in 26 states and as a write-in in 13 states.
He performed best in: South Dakota with 0.7% of the votes , Wyoming with 0,6%, Virginia with 0.4%, North Dakota with 0.4% and Idaho with 0.3%.
These were the candidates that were on the ballot in an important number of states. Many other candidates were on the ballot in a couple of states. The top performers were: Roseanne Barr with 50,000 votes, mostly in California; Thomas Hoefling with 28,982 votes, mostly in California and Colorado.
No third party candidate received more than 1% in the 2012 election, highlighting the strength of the two main parties.
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It is interesting to see that Johnson has done the best out of any Libertarian candidate, but fell so short of his 5% goal. Hopefully this is reflecting a shift in mentality.
To bad there is not a way to capture all of the independent votes. I wrote in Tj TJ O'Hara candidate backed by the modern whig party.
They made the difference. Those Libertarians showed the Republican Party and America who's boss. Good, now everyone will see the Consequences of the Progressive World Order and Liberalism. You will be given reality, not prosperity.
I highly commend IVN's work to give fair exposure to minor party candidates in these elections and to feature candidates like Gary Johnson and Jill Stein in very substantive ways. That's the type of work I have been clamoring for a long time now from the mainstream media but seldom get. Kudos to IVN for taking democracy and voter choice seriously.
Was 2012 a successful year for third parties? It depends. Local election results might yield better results then the national numbers that Johnson, Stein, Goode, Anderson and others got. Not sure yet how third party candidates for local office fared in local races nationally as I don't have those numbers. But I've read reports of success by locally-based efforts such as the Vermont Progressive Party.
As a resident of Aberdeen, South Dakota, I was proud my county (Brown) had the largest support in the state for Gary Johnson with 2.5% (I hoped for more, but it is what it is). However the state only had 1.59% support for Gov Johnson.
I'm not surprised Goode had the largest support here in SD. Even though overall his vote totals were small, the Constitution Party does have some support here. Most of the support I'm seeing is from conservatives (SD is a VERY red state) that are tired of non-conservative Republicans. This creates an opening for conservative-leaning 3rd party candidates here in SD.
However since SD only has 3 electoral votes its unlikely for SD to be a target of campaigns. Both the Libertarian and Constitution Party's need to focus on local elections if they really want to do better. Of course this is true nationally. But since this is a low-population state there may be more bang for the buck here.
Take a look at the article on Gary Johnson's affect on the election, you'll see that his constituency wouldn't have given romney the lead regardless