Who have been popular third-party candidates?


Quick Answer

Popular third-party candidates include Millard Fillmore, John Breckenridge, Teddy Roosevelt, Robert LaFollette and Ross Perot. All of these men were able to garner at least 16 percent or more of the popular vote in their respective presidential elections.

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Full Answer

Teddy Roosevelt is the most popular third-party candidate on the list. He got 27.5 percent of the popular vote in the election of 1912 when he ran on the Progressive Party ticket. In the election of 1856, 21.5 percent of the vote went to Millard Fillmore, who ran on the Whig ticket. In the following election, John C. Breckenridge achieved a similar result for the Southern Democrats by garnering a little bit more than 18 percent of the vote. Ross Perot managed to earn almost 19 percent of the popular vote as a member of the Reform Party in 1992. In 1927, Robert LaFollette who, like Roosevelt, ran on the Progressive ticket, received just slightly over 16.5 percent of the vote. Although third-party candidates rarely win elections, and have never won a presidential election, in recent years they have been able to affect the outcomes of some Senate races by drawing enough interest to detract from a major-party candidate's voter base, thus swinging the election.

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