Third Party: Should it be a Choice?

When voters consider their options for President, they often narrow their focus to the Democratic and Republican parties. This presidential election, for the first time in decades, two additional parties have a chance to capture a significant portion of the popular vote. These groups, the Libertarian and Green parties, collectively represent about ten percent of U.S. voters. Gary Johnson has been selected as the respective nominee for the Libertarian party, and Jill Stein for the Green party.

Although a meager ten percent may seem insignificant compared to the overwhelming majority of the Democratic and Republican parties, it still inarguably proves that nearly one in ten Americans are willing to support a group other than the two major parties.

The recent influx in third party support could also spell trouble for other candidates, namely Hillary Clinton. Both third party candidates represent more liberal political policies, and offer additional options for those disillusioned with Hillary Clinton and the Democratic party. However, the Libertarian and Green parties are also a threat to Republican nominee Donald Trump. Ten percent, while nowhere near a majority for the Green and Libertarian parties, are also critical votes for Trump. Recently, although rising in the polls, he has been unable to claim a solid lead over Clinton.  

Next week, Trump and Clinton will take the stage to debate in the first of four presidential debates. Despite Johnson and Stein’s requests to participate, the Commision on Presidential Debates (CPD) has stipulated that a candidate must earn at least 15% in the polls to be eligible for the debate stage.

In my opinion, what do these networks have to lose? If anything, a third party would attract more attention to the already highly viewed debates. Additionally, the inclusion of the Libertarian and Green parties would allow the American people to evaluate all of the candidates before their trip to the polls. It’s time for the both major tv networks and the two major parties to set aside their own agendas, and instead focus on the best interest of the American people.

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