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Patine's Anti-Duopoly Ranking of Outstanding Mirth and Merriment


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I dedicate this ranking to @Patine. It only includes elections since 1860. 

It's a list of the top 5 elections for 3rd/other party voting and a list of the top 5 elections with the least 3rd/other party voting:

Most 3rd/other party voting:

  1. 1872, 40.1%  - This number is so high because the Democrats failed to field their own official candidate and opted to endorse the 3rd party candidacy of Horace Greeley of the Liberal Republican party. This is a little misleading because Greeley was also the "Democratic Party" candidate in some locations. Nevertheless, this is the best a 3rd party has ever done as far as the popular vote. 
  2. 1912, 35% - This number is a little misleading because Roosevelt split the GOP. However, a strong Socialist showing also adds to this number. 
  3. 1860, 30.7% - Also misleading because Breckinridge split the Democrats. Bell, mostly with remnants of former Whigs, put up a strong 3rd party showing. 
  4. 1992, 19.5% - Perot's showing actually the highest among a "legitimate" 3rd party. I define "legitimate" as a 3rd party that isn't just a splintering off of a major party and isn't a 3rd party endorsed by a major party. 
  5. 1924, 17.1% - La Follette was able to steal Progressives from both the GOP and Dem in the extremely progressive Wisconsin and nearby environs. This was made possibly because both major party candidates--Coolidge and Davis--were equally conservative. There was no outlets for Progressives. Had La Follette been more moderate, you'd probably have seen an even higher % than 17.1% since Liberals and Moderates probably reluctantly voted Coolidge or Davis, rather than vote for La Follette, who was viewed by many as too far left. 

 Least 3rd/other party voting: 

  1. Tie: 1864 and 1868, 0% - There was less than half a % that voted 3rd party or other in these elections. 
  2. (see the tie above in 1st place)
  3. Three-way tie: 1964,1940, 1952 about 0.5% - For in 164, I think those most likely to vote 3rd party -- RW Populists and LW Populists -- were happy with LBJ or Goldwater. In 1952, Eisenhower was kind of an independent, well-liked, was ideologically unknown. The 1940 election surprised me the most. However, I think I can take a guess. FDR clearly showed progressive bonifides. Huey P Long's movement was gone with his death and incapability of his successors. Southern Democrats had not yet officially started moving from the party because FDR was somewhat weak on Civil Rights (unlike Truman would be). Anti-FDR voter probably unified behind former-Democrat, non-politician Wendell Wilkie, who probably also appealed to 3rd party voters. 
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1 minute ago, Patine said:

The jab of a title aside, this is an interesting set of statistics. But what about the Greenback/Populist Party in 1892? They got six to eight States' EV's. Or were they just such low pop agrarian States won by small margins and divided Democratic and Republic totals, the popular vote percentage was notably low?

Yeah there was basically no one living there. I’ll find where it ranks when I get back to my cpu again. 

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@Patine The 1892 election, which is the one you are talking about, had the 7th most 3rd/other party voting with about 11%, of which just over 8% went to the Populists. Those states were mostly states that barely had enough population to become states. Crazy to think about Populists winning several states with 8% of the vote and Perot winning 0 states with almost 20% of the vote.

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1 minute ago, Patine said:

The Nullfiers back in 1832 were a very distinct case in this matter, because they got all of South Carolina's EV's, but because the South Carolina Legislature elected EC members for the State until 1860, they were the only Third Party to get EV's with no relevant popular vote.

This is the same situation in 1960 (I think it was 1960). The States Rights party received no official votes, but got EVs from the electors in the states who didn't like a Catholic president. 

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1 minute ago, Patine said:

Was that former long-standing West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd's brother?

It was Harry F Byrd, no relation to Robert Byrd, who isn't a real Byrd at all, since he was adopted by the Byrd's as a child. Different Byrd family too. 

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