But despite an active political presence, only two parties – Democrats and Republicans – dominate the modern American political process, between them running all the candidates who have become presidents since the mid-1800s. People usually vote for a third-party candidate because they are trying to send a message to the big parties. This protest vote is often heard. Democrats and Republicans have accepted reforms and programs that originally seemed radical when presented by third parties. The eight-hour day, women`s suffrage and the regulation of rail fares are good examples. Historically, third parties end up failing to stand out at the local and state levels, usually because one of the major parties siphons off its talent by taking up some of the issues that are important to party supporters. Populists, progressives, and socialists managed for a while to win local and state elections and even a few seats in Congress, but their numbers were too small to have a dominant influence. Third parties do not have the financial resources to launch effective campaigns. Today, the cost of running the office is staggering. The two main parties consolidate their dominance in the political system by hosting high-profile primaries and national conventions subsidized by taxpayers` money. They exclude third-party candidates from most debates, especially those from national offices. For example, although he gained about 5% support in the polls, Ralph Nader was unable to participate in the 2000 presidential debates.

In fact, he wasn`t even allowed to sit in the audience, even if he had a ticket! Ideological and single-stake parties can cover both ends of the political spectrum. In the presidential elections from 1904 to 1920, Socialist Party candidates received between 400,000 and 900,000 votes. More recently, the most influential “party of ideas” is the Libertarian Party, which unites social liberals and economic conservatives in an alliance against government activism in all areas of life. Although it has rarely been possible to win a position, the party has continued to grow; Candidate Harry Browne appeared on the ballot in all states during the 2000 presidential election. In addition, political parties are formed around individual issues – the American Party (also known as the Know-Nothing Party) campaigned for an end to immigration to the United States in the 1850s, and the Prohibition Party, which ran candidates until the 1950s, rejected the consumption of alcoholic beverages. This section contains any party that has a liberal platform of the left, progressive, social democratic, democratic-socialist or Marxist. This article contains the parties that undertake primarily to grant privileges or special considerations to members of a race, ethnic group, religion, etc. Third parties, despite their limited presence in Congress, have had a major impact on U.S. politics and political debate – currently, only one U.S. senator and one member of the House of Representatives are independent. Perhaps the most important obstacle faced by third-party candidates is the winner-takes-all system.

In most states, the presidential candidate with the largest share of the vote receives all of the state`s electoral votes. Debates in other state and federal elections often exclude independent and third-party candidates, and the Supreme Court has upheld such tactics in several cases. The Presidential Debates Commission (CPD) is a private company. [13] Independent Ross Perot was included in all three debates with Republican George H. W. Bush and Democrat Bill Clinton in 1992, largely at the behest of the Bush campaign. [Citation needed] His turnout allowed Perot to rise from 7% before the debates to 19% on election day. [14] A third-party candidate sometimes reaches a portion of the electorate in a given election, highlights an issue nationally, and constitutes a significant portion of the public`s votes. Major parties often respond by adopting this issue in a subsequent election. After 1968, under President Nixon, the Republican Party adopted a “Southern strategy” to win the support of conservative Democrats who opposed the civil rights movement and the resulting legislation, and to fight third parties with Southern agendas. This can be seen as a reaction to the popularity of segregationist candidate George Wallace, who received 13.5% of the vote for the American Independent Party in the 1968 election. Third parties often represent political groups that separate from the major parties on political issues.

These renegade third parties were the most successful in winning popular and electoral votes. In 1912, former Republican President Teddy Roosevelt ran for the Bull Moose Party against incumbent Republican William Howard Taft in the White House. Contrary to Harry Truman`s civil rights program, Strom Thurmond defeated the Democratic Party in 1948 and became the candidate of the State Rights Party. Similar concerns led George Wallace of Alabama to run for president in 1968 under the banner of the American Independent Party. Why do only two parties dominate in a democracy? What about the other 52 parties, many of which brought ideas and policies that became pillars of American politics and law? The answer, according to historians and scholars, is the political process that has marginalized third parties, and the nature of the parties themselves. There are more than 54 political parties in the United States, 37 of which have run for president. Ralph Nader`s candidacy for the Green Party attracted far fewer votes in the 2000 election than Perot did in 1992, but may have ultimately had more influence. It`s hard to say how many of Nader`s supporters wouldn`t have voted if he hadn`t been in the race. But Nader`s liberal profile certainly received more votes from Vice President Al Gore than from Texas Governor George W. .