As we approach November 8, the major news networks such as CNN and Fox News are heavily focused on only two presidential candidates. However, many people do not support either candidate and are planning to not vote at all.
Although, there are other options besides Hillary and Trump: third-party candidates.
Third parties are political parties that are neither Democratic nor Republican that run alongside the Democratic and Republican candidates. The general consensus is that third party candidates cannot win, however Theodore Roosevelt was a third-party candidate. Roosevelt created the Progressive party after he failed to be nominated as the Republican party candidate.
Gary Johnson is the official Libertarian party candidate for this election. The Libertarian party is fiscally conservative but socially liberal. Johnson is currently polling at around 8% according to Real Clear Politics.If elected, he pledges to militarize the Mexico-United States border so that immigrants from Mexico will not enter the country illegally. He also plans to legalize marijuana, and eliminate the federal department of education, among others.
Google Trends shows that after Ted Cruz announced that he was withdrawing from the election in early May, the amount of searches for Gary Johnson began to increase. Studies also show that Johnson agrees with Bernie Sanders on around 73% of current issues, and many Bernie supporters are turning to Johnson rather than Clinton.
Jill Stein is the official Green Party candidate for this election. The Green party is an alternative to the Democratic Party that supports environmental and economic justice. She is currently polling at around 3% in the national polls, according to Real Clear Politics.
If elected, she plans to “abolish student debt to free a generation of Americans from debt servitude, and to guarantee tuition-free, world-class public education from preschool through university,” according to her official campaign website, Jill2016.com. She also plans to make energy completely green by 2030 and to legalize recreational marijuana.
Despite the disillusionment with the major party candidates, Johnson and Stein are both polling very low compared to Clinton and Trump (8% and 3%, respectively).
“Those political groups tend to have a lot less funding which means that they can spend a lot less money on pamphlets, advertising, and marketing because they’re just not getting the big donations,” Ms. Donnenfeld, AP Government teacher at AHS, said.