That’s right. Your options are not limited to McDonald’s and Burger King — there are all sorts of burger joints in the mix.
Food metaphors aside, modern politics does in fact offer more than the blue and red sides. While the 2016 presidential election’s “lesser of two evils” narrative inspired some to apathy, it also pushed many to consider those third parties, and provided more third party candidates than we’ve seen in a century.
Now, to be clear, while the political parties below exist, none have achieved automatic ballot access in all 50 states for state elections — yet.
The following third parties have access in at least 10 states for the upcoming 2018 election:
- Constitution Party (13 states)
- Green Party (19 states)
- Libertarian Party (37 states)
- Various parties calling themselves “Independent” or “Independence” parties (14 states)
In addition to the above, there are 22 more third parties with ballot access in 1-4 states each, making it easy to join a third party, find political consonance, and send a message to the major parties.
According to a 2016 Pew study, only 29% of American voters were Republican and 33% were Democrat – leaving 34% independent. Pew reported that of the independents surveyed 44% “lean Republican” and 48% “lean Democrat,” but did not give them the option to consider a third party.
The political options of the day seem limited, increasingly oppositional, and unrepresentative of the electorate. Third parties, as varied as they come, could be the answer to the political dissonance many appear to feel with the major parties.