The American people are now very favorably inclined towards the idea of an independent presidential candidate challenging both Barack Obama and the eventual Republican nominee next year. According to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll an overwhelming 61 percent favor the idea of such a challenge, while only 32 percent hold an unfavorable opinion of a possible independent run.
The result is not surprising. The American public is experiencing near record levels of dissatisfaction with America’s two major political parties. Thousand of Americans have been protesting in the streets for weeks, and Congress’ job approval is at its lowest level ever. So it’s logical that the majority of Americans are at least open to the idea of totally new and different leadership. The American people are clearly upset with Washington and the two parties that have been running the country.
While it is still very unlikely that we will see a non-Democrat/Republican presidential candidate develop the massive fundraising apparatus, the broad base or popular support and the logistical operation necessary to become even a minor force in the upcoming election, it wouldn’t be for the lack of popular desire for more options.
This poll clearly shows the reason we don’t have more than two political parties nationally isn’t because the American people think our current choices are sufficient. The reason we face the choice of only a Democrat or a Republican in almost every election is that the two parties have worked together to rig the election laws to favor either of these parties, or both, but not others. The two parties worked together to reduce choice so they only need to be slightly less worse than each other to win an election.
In Presidential elections in countries like Ireland or France voters have multiple parties and candidates running, because their election laws make it possible to have more viable candidates. France uses a traditional run off system, and Ireland uses instant run off voting for its presidential elections. These systems help reduce the “spoiler effect” issue that plagues third party candidates in the United States Presidential elections.