The Clamor For a Third Party

What it surprise you if I told you that 53% of Americans think there should be a 3rd Party? Would you think that was a huge sign that there is room for Bloomberg to make a run as an Independent? If it would let me refer you to this:


That was the vote Ross Perot received in 1996 when, as now, 53% of Americans said to pollsters there should be a 3rd Party. Remember that when Broder, Fineman and the DC Gasbags trumpet that poll result.

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    Didn't we elect Kang in 1996? (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by chemoelectric on Sun Jul 01, 2007 at 12:36:14 AM EST
    Like Kang and Kodos said, it's a two-party system. Even when we here in Minnesota elected a third-party governor, it made no permanent difference. If you want a third party, change the system; do that and you can have parties galore, depending on the changes you make. But I suspect that's not 'really' what people want; they 'really' want Democrats, but we need the genuine article and a functioning political infrastructure, and we don't have at least the latter, for reasons that aren't clear (Broder being just a symptom of this).

    1992: Perot 39%, Bush 31%, Clinton 25% (1.00 / 1) (#33)
    by fairleft on Sun Jul 01, 2007 at 03:40:02 PM EST
    It's disingenuous to emphasize Perot's 1996 numbers while pretending his 1992 campaign and its popularity never existed. In 1992 Perot received 19% of the vote, but had been on his way to winning the election before he dementedly dropped out of the race (and then later re-entered), as the the June 1992 numbers in my subject above demonstrate. In fact, his poll numbers showed the public's starving desire for third party 'non-politician'. A similar desire exists now, after the Democrats' May capitulation,  and I'd love to see someone truly anti-neocon feed it. Here's the relevant wikipedia:

    The public's unease about the deficit and fears of professional politicians allowed the independent candidacy of billionaire Texan Ross Perot to explode on the scene in the most dramatic fashion--at one point Perot was the leader in the polls. Perot crusaded against the national debt, tapping vague fears of deficits that has been part of American political rhetoric since the 1790s. His volunteers succeeded in collecting enough signatures to get his name on the ballot in all 50 states. In June, Perot led the national public opinion polls with support from 39% of the voters (versus 31% for Bush and 25% for Clinton).[5] Perot severely damaged his credibility by dropping out of the presidential contest in July and remaining out of the race for several weeks before re-entering. He compounded this damage by eventually claiming, without evidence, that his withdrawal was due to Republican operatives attempting to disrupt his daughter's wedding. His presence, however, ensured that economic issues remained at the center of the national debate.

    It's dishonest to argue about 1992 (none / 0) (#34)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jul 01, 2007 at 06:25:20 PM EST
    when you have no poll numbers for what Americans desired with regard to 3rd parties in 1992.

    If I had polling on that point for 1992, I would have highlighted it.

    I imagine it was around 70% for 3rd parties.

    Since the comparison is to polling TODAY, when Bloomberg might rn, the proper comparison is 1996, when 53% of Americans wanted a third party, as thery purportedly do today.

    Before you accuse people of being disingenuous, make sure you understand the post.

    You embarrass yourself when you write before you think.


    American public were well on their way (none / 0) (#35)
    by fairleft on Sun Jul 01, 2007 at 11:23:07 PM EST
    to electing a 'third party' candidate, Perot, in June of 1992. Except for his demented dropping out of the race, maybe he would've been elected. Similarly today, if a wealthy guy/gal with a good sales pitch came on the scene, he/she'd stand a good chance of getting elected President. And, instantly, that phenomenon would establish a new political party in the U.S.

    1992 political history is relevant for Bloomberg and for those who want a real third party in this country. 1996 is irrelevant.


    If you do not have the polling for (none / 0) (#36)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jul 01, 2007 at 11:26:16 PM EST
    3rd Party support in  1992, then there is nothing for you to use as a measuring sticv.It is disingenuous of you to compare Bloomberg/2008 with Perot 1992 without that.

    Of course there is some polling to consider. Perot reghistered as you say. Bloomberg registers at 16%.

    Perot lost half of his support. Bloomberg would too.

    8% seems about right to me.


    Bloomberg is very NOTPerot (none / 0) (#38)
    by fairleft on Sun Jul 01, 2007 at 11:45:09 PM EST
    Perot lost his support mainly because he dropped out of the race for a month, but perhaps also because of Vice Presidential candidate Stockdale, who was incompetent on TV.

    But (from what I gather) Bloomberg is far from the populist salesman Perot was. He won't connect with the left-out working and lower middle class like Perot did, or with the 'peace/labor' Democrats who've been abandoned by their party.


    I agree (none / 0) (#39)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jul 02, 2007 at 12:20:46 AM EST
    8.4% (none / 0) (#2)
    by selise on Sat Jun 30, 2007 at 05:53:04 PM EST
    that's still enough to change the outcome of the election.

    we're entering dangerous territory - many people who, in 2004 and 2006 voted D, may not this time. they may stay home or vote third party.

    especially if there is an attack on iran and congress only acted to facilitate it (see h.con.r.21)

    lecturing the fence sitters or yelling at them is not likely to help.

    pressuring the Ds (in whatever way we can) to step up to their responsibilities might (environment, iraq, iran, oversight).  it's very hard, and the good guys might lose... but, if people could see that there are congress critters fighting for them - i think it would help motivate the fence sitters.

    Bloomberg wants to be a spoiler? (none / 0) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jun 30, 2007 at 05:55:52 PM EST
    I don't think that is his ambition.

    Spoiler? (none / 0) (#21)
    by LarryE on Sat Jun 30, 2007 at 11:14:01 PM EST
    Probably not. But power broker?

    No power (none / 0) (#22)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jun 30, 2007 at 11:21:01 PM EST
    in being a spolier.

    How does bloomberg gain this power exactly?


    Simple (none / 0) (#24)
    by LarryE on Sat Jun 30, 2007 at 11:25:27 PM EST
    By drawing enough support that one party is (or perhaps both are) willing to cut a deal with him in order for him to throw them his support.

    How does he get that support? (none / 0) (#25)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jun 30, 2007 at 11:27:42 PM EST
    The lection occurs and there is a winner.

    Nobody needs him anymore.

    Simply impossible.


    Oh for pity sake (none / 0) (#43)
    by LarryE on Mon Jul 02, 2007 at 11:14:01 PM EST
    You can't be that dense. Just like Wallace was, just like Anderson was, just like Perot was, just like Nader was, he gets pushed during the campaign to drop out in favor of someone else.

    It's likely that any one of those guys could have cut some kind of deal. (Do you really think that when John Anderson was polling at 25% he couldn't have made some deal with the Carter campaign in return for endorsing Carter?) None was willing to, none wanted to. That doesn't mean no one can or would; it doesn't mean Bloomberg couldn't or wouldn't.

    It's also true that if Bloomberg could build an organization that could survive beyond a personality cult (which is where the previous four I mentioned failed), even after the election he could still be a power broker based on what he could be offered in exchange for his support in the next election.

    Is that a likely scenario? No. But that wasn't the question. The question was how he could be a power broker. And I just gave you two ways how.


    Third parties are not created equal (none / 0) (#3)
    by roy on Sat Jun 30, 2007 at 05:55:11 PM EST
    Perot was a doofus.  He would have been a doofus running as a Republican, and he didn't stop being a doofus when he ran as a member of the Reform Party.  Maybe his failure tells us more about doofuses than about third parties.

    I think Bloomberg would be a lousy president, but he's not a doofus.

    Also, the question from the poll seems poorly chosen.  We have a third party, and a fourth, and a fifth, on up to some number I haven't bothered to count.  Were the poll respondents saying that a third party we already have is serving some needed purpose, or that we need a new or newly legitimized third party?

    (That said, yeah, no third-party or independent candidate has a chance)

    My point was (none / 0) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jun 30, 2007 at 05:56:46 PM EST
    your parenthetical.

    Then I'm almost 10% on-point (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by roy on Sat Jun 30, 2007 at 05:58:51 PM EST
    That's a new record for me.

    Heh (none / 0) (#7)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jun 30, 2007 at 06:04:45 PM EST
    1992 Perot phenomenon is relevant (none / 0) (#37)
    by fairleft on Sun Jul 01, 2007 at 11:31:01 PM EST
    and should teach us that a well-funded 'third-party' candidate, in a time of deep rejection of both major parties, who resonates with that rejection can be successful. The deeply felt rejection of both political parties is definitely part of the situation right now.

    In 1996 Perot was a laughingstock for most Americans and his electoral numbers are irrelevant.


    I wonder what those poll results would be (none / 0) (#8)
    by Edger on Sat Jun 30, 2007 at 06:09:24 PM EST
    if that 53% had been asked to donate 50 bucks towards to fund presidential and congressional campaigns by a new party.

    301,139,947 x 53% = 159,604,172 x $50 = $7.9 Billion

    The .9 Billion (none / 0) (#17)
    by Edger on Sat Jun 30, 2007 at 07:54:52 PM EST
    could be used to buy testimony from Cheney against Bush.

    Half on conviction and jailing of Bush, half on his voluntary renunciation of US citizenship and his arrival in Paraguay or some other place beginning his permanent exile.


    I saw Singer's post on Clinton just now (none / 0) (#9)
    by andgarden on Sat Jun 30, 2007 at 06:10:23 PM EST
    I didn't even have to check to see that you'd have a reaction. At least I'M not "delusional." ;-)

    Hey (none / 0) (#10)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jun 30, 2007 at 06:16:00 PM EST
    Delusional is cool. Calling a comment stupid, that's out of line.

    Further off Topic (none / 0) (#11)
    by andgarden on Sat Jun 30, 2007 at 06:21:48 PM EST
    The "ticking time bomb" has now apparently been identified on the dkos "about" page. Hmmmm.

    No comment (none / 0) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jun 30, 2007 at 06:32:59 PM EST
    Me either, frankly (none / 0) (#13)
    by andgarden on Sat Jun 30, 2007 at 06:34:23 PM EST
    just didn't like my encounter with him yesterday. I'll leave the topic there.

    Not our problem (none / 0) (#14)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jun 30, 2007 at 06:36:02 PM EST
    Leave it for others.

    53% think there should be (none / 0) (#15)
    by Warren Terrer on Sat Jun 30, 2007 at 07:00:03 PM EST
    a third party. But among that 53% there is little consensus on what platform that third party should have and who should run as its presidential nominee. That's what Broder, Fineman and the DC Gasbags conveniently ignore.

    T.A.P. (none / 0) (#16)
    by Dadler on Sat Jun 30, 2007 at 07:44:27 PM EST
    The Art Party.  Imagine, Create, Serve.  

    Brought to you by the makers of free American brain cells.  And by the Fry-Daddy deep fryer.

    BTD (none / 0) (#18)
    by HeadScratcher on Sat Jun 30, 2007 at 09:04:29 PM EST
    conveniently ignores the 19% vote Perot garnered in 1992 with all of his poor campaigning, quitting and then starting to run again, etc...

    His run may have put Clinton in the White House and denied Bush reelction.

    Does Bloomberg have a chance? I don't think so. But, what the 53% of the people are saying is that they are open to the thought of someone, anyone, running a coherent 3rd party challenge. And that's the point the columnists are making. It's enough to tilt the election one way or the other.

    What if Gore ran as an Independent? He bypasses Hillary and runs with the grassroots? Does he have a chance?

    I don't have polling for 1992 (none / 0) (#19)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jun 30, 2007 at 09:08:39 PM EST
    Do you?

    Perot didn't get 19%. (none / 0) (#27)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jul 01, 2007 at 09:24:28 AM EST
    On the clamor for 3rd Parties (none / 0) (#29)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jul 01, 2007 at 09:36:35 AM EST
    53% in 1996, 53% now.

    I wonder if the two of you even understood the post.

    Amazingly obtuse the two of you seem to be.


    Sorry (none / 0) (#30)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jul 01, 2007 at 10:37:14 AM EST
    .... I had forgotten that Clinton won with a plurality...Link

    Perot didn't get 19% (none / 0) (#28)
    by Edger on Sun Jul 01, 2007 at 09:32:51 AM EST
    He only got 18.9%.

    18.9 is nothing to sneeze at.... (none / 0) (#40)
    by kdog on Mon Jul 02, 2007 at 08:23:45 AM EST
    in a 3-man race.  Imagine what he could have scored if he wasn't such a weirdo.

    George Will actually had something intelligent (none / 0) (#20)
    by Alien Abductee on Sat Jun 30, 2007 at 09:54:39 PM EST
    to say about Bloomberg, third parties, and "post-partisanship":

    But we have different parties because people differ, in goals and sensibilities. We have separation of powers because the Founders thought tension and conflict between the political branches would be inevitable, even healthy.

    The two major parties are sensitive market mechanisms: What makes Bloomberg think they are failing to supply something the public strongly demands? Where the parties are failing to "get things done," it is because people disagree about what ought to be done. It is said, with exquisite vacuousness, that Bloomberg represents "post-partisanship." If so--if he is not a partisan of any large, controversial causes--why is he needed?

    Competition is supposedly the heart of everything successful about America. Partisans should be fighting tooth and nail over their opposing political solutions and may the best answers win. Strange how the people calling for bipartisanship now are the ones who've been screaming the loudest about how we need a marketplace of unbridled competition for everything else.

    Nothing changes... (none / 0) (#23)
    by LarryE on Sat Jun 30, 2007 at 11:23:14 PM EST
    ...it seems. I remember some years ago, it was probably around the time of John Anderson's run in 1980, I saw a political cartoon of a little guy labeled "American voter" in a cage labeled "Two party system."

    The door opens, he steps out with a smile. He then looks around in fear, and runs back into the cage and locks himself in.

    The truth is, Americans do want more choices, they do want third, even fourth, parties. There's nothing new about that. But they're unwilling to take the risks necessary, to change the forms to which they have become accustomed, to achieve it. Probably afraid of being sneered at as "Anderson voters." Or "Perot voters." Or, worst of all, the horror of being called a "Nader voter."

    So Why (none / 0) (#31)
    by squeaky on Sun Jul 01, 2007 at 11:49:36 AM EST
    Do you think BBerg is running, or do you think that he will not.

    He is not Perot in that he has name recognition, so the comparison is not great. BZloomberg can increase his name recognition for his media empire by running and losing.

    Since Nader has already indicated that if no third party runs he will, Bberg has a guilt free opportunity to be the "spoiler" and run instead of Nader.

    I think he will not (none / 0) (#32)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jul 01, 2007 at 12:02:14 PM EST
    Republican Spoiler in NJ (none / 0) (#44)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 05, 2007 at 10:19:19 AM EST
    A new Quinnipiac poll of New Jersey finds that Mike Bloomberg would have a potential spoiler effect against the Republicans in New Jersey. While Rudy Giuliani beats all Dems in the state in head-to-head match-ups, Bloomberg turns in to a tied race between Rudy and Hillary Clinton at 36% each, with 18% for Bloomberg.

    via TPM


    53% of the country is comprised of morons (none / 0) (#41)
    by eric on Mon Jul 02, 2007 at 08:57:27 AM EST
    I would wager that many of these "53% of Americans" are clueless, "independent", low information voters that I wouldn't trust to park my car.

    Thanks for the vote of confidence E..... (none / 0) (#42)
    by kdog on Mon Jul 02, 2007 at 09:28:08 AM EST
    But I must disagree...I think the voters who identify themselves as Democrats or Republicans are the clueless and uninformed ones that can't see that their democracy has been bought and monopolized.

    Or power freaks (none / 0) (#45)
    by Edger on Thu Jul 05, 2007 at 10:25:42 AM EST
    who want to be doing the buying and monopolizing?