ADVERTISEMENT
About Our People Legal Stuff
3rdParty_Voting.jpg

Johnson and Stein are seeing their support wane. This theory says that dip was inevitable.

0
Hurricane Matthew is still causing deadly floodwaters to rise in the Carolinas

WATCH  | Gary Johnson and Jill Stein are experiencing the so-called "third party fade." According to the RealClearPolitics polling average, Johnson is polling at about 7.1 percent, down from a high of 9.2 in September. Stein has gone from a high of 4.8 over the summer to around 2 percent.

 

Screen Shot 2016-10-11 at 11.18.10 AM.png

Historically, third party candidates tend to see their support peak in the summer, and drop as Election Day gets closer. A political science theory called Duverger's Law explains why. 

What is Duverger's Law?

Named for French sociologist Maurice Duverger, the theory says that a country's electoral system determines how many major parties the country will have. In "winner-take all" systems, like we have in the United States, two-party systems tend to emerge. 

Unlike a proportional system, where parties are assigned legislative seats that reflect to the percentage of votes they get, winner-take-all systems elect whoever gets the largest number of votes. In other words, the minorities parties get no representation.


Picking the lesser of two evils 

In a two-party system, it's possible for the party least preferred by voters to win.

Here's how: According to Duverger, voters begin to realize that voting for a weaker party might actually be helping the candidate they like the least to win.

Faced with this choice, they end up choosing the more viable, "lesser of two evils." Over time, thirds parties are forced to either fuse with a major party or get shut out entirely.   

It's a self-perpetuating cycle

Polls suggest Americans are hungry for a third party that would compete with the Republicans and Democrats.

But for third parties to win in this country, they need to be able to convince voters that they have an actual shot at winning -- that voting for them is not a waste.

And in our electoral system, that's just not possible. 

Hurricane Matthew is still causing deadly floodwaters to rise in the Carolinas

WATCH  | For the news you need, check out our 60 Second Circa.

Comments
Read Comments
Comments
ADVERTISEMENT
Facebook Twitter Instagram Pinterest Linked In List Menu Enlarge Gallery Info Menu Close Angle Down Angle Up Angle Left Angle Right Grid Grid Play Align Left Search Youtube Mail Mail Angle Down Bookmark