Can’t Vote for Trump or Clinton? Here Are Some Third Party Options
Policy + Politics

Can’t Vote for Trump or Clinton? Here Are Some Third Party Options


Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have something in common as they look ahead to a November showdown: Both would enter the general election with the some of the highest unfavorable ratings in modern political history.

A CNN/ORC poll released Wednesday found 57 percent of Americans have a negative opinion about Trump, while only 39 percent view him favorably. Feelings about Clinton are more evenly split, with 49 percent unfavorable and 48 percent favorable.

Related: Anti-Trump Republicans Desperately Seeking a White Knight

The numbers are likely to creep higher over the next six months as the former secretary of state and the real estate mogul wage an all-out war for the White House.

What is the uninspired voter to do? Hold your nose and pull the lever? Move to Canada?

Well, there’s another option: Support a third party candidate.

The last major third party nominee was Ross Perrot, the businessman who ran for president in 1992 as an independent and garnered 18.9 percent of the general election vote. And of course the Green Party nominated Ralph Nader in 2000, much to Al Gore’s regret.

Related: Kasich Makes It Official: Trump Is the GOP’s Last Man Standing

The tumultuous spectacle that has been the 2016 presidential campaign has some lesser-known contenders hoping to catch lightning in a bottle. Here are three of the leading alternative parties:

The Green Party
The party’s 2012 nominee, Massachusetts physician Jill Stein, is running again.

The 65-year-old, who has proposed a "Green New Deal" that promises to create 20 million living wage jobs, earned 469,015 votes in the 2012 general election when she ran against President Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

The Libertarian Party
The well-established group is already on the ballot in over 30 states and could make all 50 by the time Election Day rolls around.

Who the Libertarian nominee might be is less clear. Former New Mexico Governor and 2012 standard-bearer Gary Johnson is facing off against software entrepreneur John McAfee, who originally entered the presidential race under the banner of the Cyber Party. (Of potential interest to libertarian-minded voters: In 2012, McAfee was named a person of interest in the murder of his neighbor in Belize.)

Related: Bernie Sanders’ Fading Candidacy Gets a Boost from Indiana Win

Libertarians will pick their nominee at their four-day convention in Orlando in late May, hoping to build on the 1 percent of the vote Johnson garnered in 2012.

The Constitution Party
Founded in 1992 with a “focus of returning government to the U.S. Constitution’s provisions and limitations,” the Constitution Party is on the ballot in well over a dozen states.

The group has a leg up on other third party contenders since its 2016 ticket is already in place following its convention last month in Salt Lake City. Tennessee resident and Vietnam veteran Darrell Castle is the presidential nominee and Scott Bradley is the vice presidential pick.