Most Americans think there are only two choices for the presidency. And will thus vote for either Clinton or Trump.
They are wrong. There are two popular minor party contenders, and one will even be on all 50 state ballots.
In other election cycles, one could argue that a “third party” candidate has no reasonable chance to win — so, just ignore.
A self-fulfilling criterion?
Sure. But it works . . . for the major parties.
This cycle, however, it just doesn’t apply. A third party-candidate could indeed become the next president . . . even without capturing 15 percent nationally in the polls . . . or, get this, in the actual voting!
Founded and run by Republican and Democrat bigwigs, the private non-profit Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) is not an honest broker. The CPD’s 15 percent national polling threshold for inclusion in the debates neglects a crucial fact: presidential electors aren’t won nationally, but by winning states.
According to the latest Washington Post/SurveyMonkey poll, the Libertarian candidate, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, isn’t polling quite 15 percent nationally. But he is polling 25 percent in his home state, where Trump is at 29 and Clinton at 37 percent.
Yes, Johnson is within striking distance to win New Mexico’s five electoral votes.
If Johnson does win there, and Trump keeps it close, winning say Ohio and Florida, no candidate may gain a majority of the Electoral College. The presidential contest would be thrown into the House of Representatives, the first time since 1824! With each state delegation casting one vote, Johnson could serve as the compromise, even consensus, choice.
It seems to me that the next president ought to be in the debates.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.