Third-Party Candidacies Enjoy a Surge Unlike Any Since 1934
A lot of pundits have drawn comparisons between the current midterm election cycle and the GOP wave year of 1994, but the University of Minnesota’s politics blog argues that an equally apt comparison could be made with the year 1934:
While self-identified Republicans may enjoy an enthusiasm gap over Democrats, another defining moment of the 2010 election cycle is the large uptick in third party candidacies.
A Smart Politics analysis of more than 17,000 general election U.S. House contests since 1932 finds there are more third party and independent candidacies in the 2010 election cycle than in any midterm election since 1934.
In total, there are 443 such candidates on ballots across the nation, up 42.4 percent from 2008 and 56.5 percent from the last midterm election in 2006.
The Libertarian Party leads the way in the third-party surge with 153 candidates across the country, followed by the Green Party with 58 and the Constitution Party with 39. Among such third-party candidacies, only independent Rhode Island gubernatorial candidate Lincoln Chafee looks poised to win on Tuesday, though Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s write-in re-election bid in Alaska and former Rep. Tom Tancredo’s Constitution Party challenge for governor in Colorado are not out of the question either.
On the whole, though, these third-party challenges — predominantly coming from conservatives — could help tip the election to the Democrat in a few tight races tomorrow.