Ballot Access News: “Although the election returns for 2018 are far from complete, it is possible to know now that the minor party and independent vote for the top office in each state this year is only 2.8%. This is the lowest percentage since 1982, when it was only 1.8%. The highest percentage since World War II was 2010, when it was 5.4%.”
New York Times: ‘At the start of this year, barely a quarter of registered voters in California said they were Republicans, down from more than a third in 1997. At the same time, the number of voters in the state who say they have no party preference has more than doubled, to about 25 percent. This strongly suggests that most people who have left the Republican Party have not become Democrats and would be open to a center-right political party.”
“If a new California-based party can win votes and legislative seats, it could send a signal to politicians around the country that moderation can be a bankable political strategy, helping to break the vise grip of tribal politics that has turned so much of national politics into a blood sport and made it impossible for Congress to pass substantive bipartisan legislation.”
“If a third party has a chance anywhere in the United States, it’s in California. The state allows the two candidates who get the most votes in a so-called open primary, regardless of party affiliation, to advance to the general election.”
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“We may be beginning to see the end of a two-party system.”
— Gov. John Kasich (R), in an interview on This Week.
David Brooks: “All of this would be survivable if the mentality was going away in a few years. But it is not going away. The underlying conditions of scarcity are only going to get worse. Moreover, the warrior mentality builds on itself. As the right pulverizes the left, the left feels the need to pulverize back, and on and on. This is a generational challenge. Trump will be succeeded by some other warrior.”
“Eventually, conservatives will realize: If we want to preserve conservatism, we can’t be in the same party as the clan warriors. Liberals will realize: If we want to preserve liberalism, we can’t be in the same party as the clan warriors.”
“Eventually, those who cherish the democratic way of life will realize they have to make a much more radical break than any they ever imagined. When this realization dawns the realignment begins. Even with all the structural barriers, we could end up with a European-style multiparty system.”
A new NBC News/GenForward poll finds a strong majority of millennials — 71% — say the Republican and Democratic parties do such a poor job of representing the American people that a third major party is needed.
“Sixty-three percent of millennials disapprove of the way President Trump is handling his job as president. But millennials also hold a variety of political institutions in poor regard, and 65% think the country is on the wrong track overall.”
“Some disaffected Republicans and Democrats who say extreme views are co-opting their parties have decided to carve out a middle ground in Utah politics,” the Deseret News reports.
“Taking a centrist approach, the group announced the formation of the United Utah Party at the state Capitol on Monday… it is working to gather the 2,000 signatures needed to become a registered political party in the state. It hopes to have that done in time get a candidate on the ballot for the 3rd Congressional District special election to replace Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz, who is stepping down June 30.”
“I do not want to talk about the pee pee.”
Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball: “Ultimately, what happened to Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party and Jill Stein of the Green Party is what happens to most third-party candidates: They fade at the end. Johnson flirted with 10% national support for much of the race but ended up with just 3.3% of the national vote, while Stein got 1% despite reaching nearly 5% in the RealClearPolitics average in early summer.”
Third party candidates want to be serious contenders, so John Oliver considers them seriously as potential presidents.
“Hillary Clinton and her Democratic allies, unnerved by the tightening presidential race, are making a major push to dissuade disaffected voters from backing third-party candidates, and pouring more energy into Rust Belt states, where Donald Trump is gaining ground,” the New York Times reports.
“With Mrs. Clinton enduring one of the rockiest stretches of her second bid for the presidency, her campaign and affiliated Democratic groups are shifting their focus to those voters, many of them millennials, who recoil at Mr. Trump, her Republican opponent, but now favor the Libertarian nominee, Gary Johnson, or the Green Party candidate, Jill Stein.”
Gary Johnson’s campaign said “that he will be on the ballot in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, marking the first time in two decades a third-party presidential ticket has appeared on every state ballot,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
270 to Win: “As of now, Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson is on the ballot in 43 states + DC, with efforts underway to get access in the remaining seven states. Green Party nominee Jill Stein is on the ballot in 35 states + DC.
“Johnson’s ballot access represents 487 of 538 electoral votes, while Stein is at 425.”
Weekly Standard Editor William Kristol wrote on Twitter over the weekend that there will be an “impressive” independent candidate on the ballot in November with “a strong team and a real chance” to defeat Donald Trump.
Trump responded: “Bill Kristol has been wrong for 2yrs — an embarrassed loser, but if the GOP can’t control their own, then they are not a party. Be tough, R’s!”
He added that an independent candidate would mean conservatives can “say good bye to the Supreme Court.”
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus denounced efforts to draft an independent candidate to run against Donald Trump as a “suicide mission” that could “wreck” the United States for generations, the Washington Post reports.
Said Priebus: “They can try to hijack another party and get on the ballot, but, look, it’s a suicide mission for our country because what it means is that you’re throwing down not just eight years of the White House but potentially 100 years on the Supreme Court and wrecking this country for many generations.”
Jim Vandehei: “Normal America is right that Establishment America has grown fat, lazy, conventional and deserving of radical disruption. And the best, perhaps only way to disrupt the establishment is by stealing a lot of Donald Trump’s and Bernie Sanders’s tricks and electing a third-party candidate.”
“Mr. Trump’s vulgar approach to politics is a terrific middle finger to the establishment but a terrible political and governing paradigm. Same goes for Sanders-style socialism. But if someone turned the critique, passion and disdain shared by the two movements into a new one, they could change the system in meaningful ways. Only an outside force can knock Washington out of its governing rut—and the presidency is the only place with the power to do it.”
Politico: “Three influential leaders in the conservative movement have summoned other top conservatives for a closed-door meeting this Thursday in Washington D.C. to talk about how to stop Donald Trump and, should he become the Republican nominee, how to run a third-party ‘true conservative’ challenger in the fall.
“The organizers of the meeting include Bill Wichterman, who was President George W. Bush’s liaison to the conservative movement, Bob Fischer, a South Dakota businessman and longtime conservative convener, and Erick Erickson, the outspoken Trump opponent and conservative activist who founded RedState.com. … The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, two days after winner-take-all Florida and Ohio vote in what many Republican operatives believe will determine whether Trump is on an unstoppable march to the nomination or is likely to stall out short of the 1,237 delegates he needs.”
Jeff Greenfield notes “there’s one traditional sign of the season that has yet to appear: the emergence of a movement for an independent or third party presidential run. At a time when discontent with politics as usual is peaking, and when the structural barriers to a third-party run have effectively disappeared, the silence is deafening and in sharp contrast to the previous cycles.”
“This sure feels like a fertile soil for the growth of an alternative to the two parties that have won every election for the last 155 years; especially when there’s a substantial—let’s not call it ‘healthy’—prospect of a general election campaign between Clinton II and Bush III… And more important, two long-standing barriers to an effective third-party campaign have now been dismantled.”
Wonk Wire: Are moderate Republicans vanishing?
Gerald Seib: “Listen to the early sounds of the 2016 presidential campaign, in which candidates of the left and the right sound almost identical populist, anti-Wall Street, antiestablishment themes, and the idea doesn’t seem so crazy. When you have Republican presidential contenders opposing free-trade agreements, and at least one backing an increase in the minimum wage; when Democratic firebrand Bernie Sanders (technically an independent to begin with) is speaking to overflow crowds; and when left and right come together to halt a prominent national-security program backed by the foreign-policy establishment—well, something is going on.”
Jimmy McMillan, former gubernatorial candidate of the fringe The Rent Is Too Damn High party, “has been slapped with an eviction notice ordering him out of his $872-a-month rent stabilized East Village apartment,” the New York Daily News reports.