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The Atlantic has a thought-provoking piece out today, “How to Protest the Major Parties Without Throwing Away Your Vote“, where the author proposes two main options for making a mark outside the two-party system:
1) Postpone your calculated support for someone you don’t like until you’re standing in the election booth. Before then, support the third-party nominee you’d like to see win. If a pollster asks who you support give their name, not the major-party candidate you may wind up voting for in the end. Doing so doesn’t squander your vote on someone who won’t win, but could be the difference between a Libertarian or Green Party candidate being included or excluded from TV debates.
2) Think about whether or not you live in a swing state. If so, maybe it makes more sense to vote Republican or Democrat. But if you live in a state like California, where the Democrat will obviously win, or a state like Utah where the Republican is obviously going to win, your vote is going to have a lot more impact if you’re part of a third-party surge that signals disaffection to others.
Adding, “If Republicans or Democrats notice a third party getting traction — that is to say, 8 or 10 or 15 percent of the vote — they’ll start co-opting its issues.”
What strategy do you have, if any, for voting?