Why Are Third Parties Unsuccessful in America?

The United States has a long history of failed third-party candidates, and the general consensus is that third-party candidates are spoilers for main-party candidates, according to CNN. A prime example of this was Ralph Nader taking votes from Al Gore during the close 2000 presidential election.

The core problem of this, according to CNN, is that third-party candidates can't break through the barriers established by main political parties. Core issues involve raising money and simply getting on the ballots in some states. Ralph Nader and Ross Perot both managed to participate in presidential elections despite the numerous problems of being a third-party candidate. Ralph Nader failed to capture a considerable margin of the popular vote, but Ross Perot managed to capture 19 percent of the popular vote. This is a typical end for third-party candidates. They tend to lose, hence adding to the perception problem of noncentralized parties.

The second problem comes from the media, reports The Washington Times. Third-party candidates have major problems getting added to debates and being given media airtime. Without media time, no candidate is successful. This does nothing but feed the popular perception that these candidates are a waste of votes, and it keeps the public in the dark about these political participants.