Presidential Candidates- Reality Check
There are four major candidates in the race for President of the United States in 2016. A major candidate is one who will be on the ballot on all 50 states and is polling more than 2% of the votes leading up to the election.
The most recent election in which a candidate other than one of the two major parties had a significant effect on the election outcome was in 1992 when businessman Ross Perot ran as an independent against incumbent George HW Bush, and Democrat Bill Clinton. In that election, Perot captured 18.9% of the vote nationally, but failed to capture any electoral votes. Since Mr. Perot made no secret that one of his primary reasons for running was a strong disdain for President Bush (both were Texas oil men), it is safe to postulate that the vast majority of votes for Perot would have gone to Bush if it had been a two man race. If that is true, the election outcome is likely have been different.
With that as a backdrop, the 2016 Presidential race has some similarities. The most recent polls show the race tightening between Trump and Clinton with each capturing more than 40% of the vote. Gary Johnson (Libertarian) is at 13% and Jill Stein (Green Party) is at 4%.
Ms. Stein is running something less than a truly national campaign and is likely to never capture more than her current average level of support. Gary Johnson on the other hand is running a strong advertising campaign nationally, and could end up in a position similar to Mr. Perot in 1992. If that happens, given the built in bias of the Electoral College assignment of state votes for Democrats, Mrs. Clinton will become President of the United States.
For those considering a vote for either Mr. Johnson or Ms. Stein, I offer this simple reality. Many of you are voting against Hillary Clinton for one reason or another. You should recognize the fact that neither Gary Johnson nor Jill Stein is going to be the next President.
There are at least 70% of the votes already decided between the two major parties. Those are the votes that are going to support a party nominee, not matter who it is. The most Mr. Johnson could get is 30%. That number of votes will never result in more than a few electoral votes if any. If Johnson should capture a few states, and get some electoral votes, that would only cause the election to be thrown to the House of Representatives according to the Constitution. While many assume the Republicans controlling that body would elect Donald Trump (most likely) they are not required to do so. There is still a strong opposition to Mr. Trump among establishment Republicans, and we could actually end up with a President that no one had voted for. That, in my opinion would be a national disaster.
For supporters of Mr. Johnson and Ms. Stein, the reality is that no matter how strongly you believe in the causes supported by your candidate, the best you can hope for is creating a political minefield where all the charges are laid down by inside the beltway elitists whose only concern is their continued power.
Is that the America you want to create?