Wednesday, November 07, 2012

The Other Candidates

Despite the common attempt to pretend that there are two and only two options on the table, every election year there are actually quite a few presidential candidates; people who are not enthusiastic Donkeys or Elephants generally vote as they do not for lack of options but out of electoral realpolitik. But this was a very good year for third-party candidates.

The Libertarians, under Gary Johnson, had one of their best years ever: they hit over a million ballots and at one percent of all ballots cast they were just short of their 1.1 percent high in 1980; if they could get just one Electoral College vote (which they've done once, in 1972 under philosopher John Hospers), they would hit the Third Party Trifecta. The national numbers don't mean much, except as a measure of participation, but Johnson caught over 3% of the actual vote in New Mexico, nearly 3% of the vote in Montana, about 2.5% of the vote in Alaska.

Jill Stein, of the Green Party, came in fourth, with about 0.3% of the ballots cast, with something like 400,000 total; she got 1.3% of the vote in Maine, about 1% of the vote in Alaska, and about 1% of the vote in Oregon. And she did it having been arrested at least three times during her political campaign (for various sorts of protests); I'm not sure if this is a record, but it's bound to be pretty close.

Even Rosanne Barr and Cindy Sheehan managed to get almost 50,000 people to vote for their Peace & Freedom Party ticket.

Here's a list of all the Presidential candidates who had some kind of ballot or write-in status in the 2012 election.


  1. Brandon, I can't help but notice that "Santa Claus" was an unrecognized write-in candidate in Nevada.

  2. branemrys5:27 PM

     It's a man whose legal name is Santa Claus, though. He's quite a character; he's a bishop in a small break-off Anglican church claiming apostolic succession through an Old Catholic line.


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