What Would an Obama Victory Mean for the Third Parties?
This election has been one of the most unusual, to say the least. I cannot remember a time when one candidate apparently has such a large lead for so long a time. The republican party has had so much dissension and desertion in the ranks. So, if Barack Obama does go on and win the election this Tuesday by as large a margin, what impact would the heavy losses incurred by the Republicans have on the third parties?
One thing that has become apparent is the fact that many voters are beginning to think of themselves as conservatives, liberals or middle of the roaders than as Republicans and Democrats. Think about it. All throughout the campaign there have been stories about Republicans trying to win over conservative Democrats and Democrats targeting the more liberal and middle of the road Republicans. Furthermore, the third parties, in particular the Libertarian and Constitution Parties, have been getting more attention.
So, what would happen if a good percentage of the ultra right wing of the Republican Party end up really dissatisfied with the way the Republican Party ran the election? What if they feel that the Republican Party is moving too far to the middle or left. Would they stay with the party or would they turn their support to third parties?
It is something to think about. Republican Congressman Ron Paul has already made a break with the party. He has run on the Libertarian line for President in the past and this time around; he is one of the most prominent Republicans who decided to not support the party’s candidate. Unlike many, who supported Obama, he supported the candidate of the Constitution Party.
The leaders of the Republican Party are going to have a tough time reuniting all the fractions. There is a lot of dissension, not only among the leaders, but the rank and file as well. Many feel deserted, especially on the conservative side. They will have a choice to make. Either stick with the Republican Party and have the faith that it will turn things around and give them a voice, or will they switch to a third party that they feel is more in line with their thinking?
What if that were to happen? It would make the Republican Party weaker and change the face of the party as well. If a good number of conservatives were to switch to a third party, the Republican Party would have more middle of the roaders, and the third party would become stronger.
This in not to say that a third party candidate could win the next Presidential election, that would be a real long shot, but let’s look at the possibilities in the next Congressional elections two years from now. What would happen in a district where the voters are largely very conservative and a good portion of them switch to say the Libertarian Party? Could the next Congress include one or more third party members?
Let’s go back to Congressman Ron Paul again. He is running unopposed unopposed for his seat as a Republican. What if he was running right now as a Libertarian ? He would not be unopposed, the Republicans would have run someone against him, but I think that there is a high probability he would win.
Third party candidates have won local elections in many places and the next natural step is the national level. This is one thing, I am going to follow in the next two years. See when the public opinion is heading. What are the possibilities ? Remember, at one point in time, the Republicans and Democrats were the third parties, the new kids on the block.