Thursday, October 27, 2011

Americans Elect: What Impact?

McManus: The third-party wild card - There is likely to be a wild card in the 2012 election with the group Americans Elect planning to hold a national primary election on the Internet. (By Doyle McManus, LA TIMES)

American voters have fired two modern presidents after just one term, Jimmy Carter in 1980 and George H.W. Bush in 1992. Both suffered because the economy was in poor shape, and both faced disaffection within their own parties. But there was another thing those candidates had in common: They both faced relatively strong third-party candidates in the November election.

John B. Anderson in 1980 and H. Ross Perot in 1992 both ran as independent centrists, and while they weren't the only reason the incumbents lost (Ronald Reagan won a majority of the popular vote in 1980), they were certainly a factor.

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