Home Uncategorized Real Clear Politics Article Surveys Difficulties for New Political Party Success in the U.S.
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Real Clear Politics Article Surveys Difficulties for New Political Party Success in the U.S.

Scott Conroy, a national politics reporter for Real Clear Politics, has this article about why it is so difficult for a new political party in the United States to take root, even when there is widespread antipathy for each of the two older major parties. Conroy was a network TV reporter in 2012 who covered the Mitt Romney presidential campaign full-time.

The analysis says that given the U.S. winner-take-all system, combined with a separate election for president (as opposed to a parliamentary system), it is virtually impossible for a new party to arise. But this ignores the fact that in the 19th century, when the United States had the same election structure, three times one major party died off and was replaced by another. The Federalist Party died after 1820, to be replaced in 1825 by the National Republican Party (which ran John Quincy Adams for president in 1828, and Henry Clay in 1832). The National Republican Party died off and was replaced by the Whig Party in 1835. It died off during the Civil War, having already been replaced as a major party by the Republican Party.

The article has interesting information about Americans Elect.

7 Responses

  1. Demo Rep

    For any new folks -

    Nonstop minority rule gerrymanders in the USA since 1776.

    Since the 1964 SCOTUS gerrymander cases –
    1/2 votes x 1/2 gerrymander areas = 1/4 control.
    MUCH worse math in primary elections.
    I.E. EVIL and vicious ANTI-Democracy special interest gang OLIGARCHS control most of the laws

    – always tending towards even worse EVIL Prez/Guv/Mayor tyrants in the various regimes.

    Result – insane govt debts, UN-declared wars, etc.

    P.R. and nonpartisan App.V. — before it is too late.

  2. DSZ

    “But this ignores the fact that in the 19th century, when the United States had the same election structure, three times one major party died off and was replaced by another.”

    But that was before the widespread use of government printed ballots.

  3. Baronscarpia

    As with most articles, commentary, blog posts (in this space, for instance), etc. on third party viability, this piece pretty much ignores the elephant sitting over there on the sofa. That is, specifically, without significant, radical campaign finance reform, we’ll forever be counting county water commissioner elections as an indication of the “rise of third parties.” All the analysis of voters’ assessment of candidacy viability, inclusion in debates, etc., just so much eyewash. This is a pay to play system we have, and in order for it to change you’d have to get the current players to agree to give up some chips. Isn’t going to happen, especially when the USSC is staffed with a majority of suck ups to moneyed power brokers.

    Don’t care for that fact of life? Then dig a deeper whole in the sand and try inserting your head again.

    • Joshua H.

      Or maybe, just maybe, voters might one day stop voting like idiots and actually do some research and take advantage of the fact that they still have some free political speech in this country. Big money doesn’t FORCE people to vote Democrat or Republican, many people just choose to do so out of fear or ignorance. The Democratic and Republican Parties’ grip on power can’t last forever, not with a significant portion of the population becoming more and more riled up against them with each new revelation of corruption.

      • Baronscarpia

        Joshua -

        Some day go to the FEC site. They offer a searchable database. Pick the name of an incumbent Republican or Democratic candidate for a House seat, and look at the money that flows into their campaign, and THEN…and this is the important part…look at where that money flows OUT to. Then decide whether “maybe” works for you.

        Or…maybe do some research on the so-called “money” seats that are assigned by leaders of both parties to freshman office holders to make sure they get sufficient exposure to banks, insurance companies, big pharma to bankroll their reelection bids. Then decide whether “maybe” works for you.

        Look…I’m actually very sympathetic to the idea of getting out of the two party trap that we’re in. But MONEY is what purchases elected offices in this country. That is the ONLY issue that counts.

        No maybe about that, I’m afraid.

  4. Joshua H.

    Big money will fight any attempt at reforming campaign contributions. The fight will be long and difficult, although I just recently found out that a group in Maine is trying to get a petition signed to repeal Citizens United via a Constitutional Convention. The Green Party’s website has some more info about it.
    However, I still believe that, if the public were better educated about their choices on the ballot, they’d start voting more for third parties. After all, it is not corporate interests and their campaign contributions that physically vote candidates into office (except for the members/workers that vote), but the people. This is where I, as a journalism major in college, intend to try and change things.
    I do applaud any efforts to reform campaign contributions; the more attacks against the corrupt system, the better. I’m glad you’re sympathetic towards alternative parties and candidates.

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