The Curse of 3rd Party Candidates
Last week’s show on healing our Republic from The Thomas Jefferson Hour podcast came to mind this morning. In that show, David didn’t do a really good job of explaining my position on Rank Choice Voting (as it’s done in Australia and some California cities now). I don't blame him, it a difficult voting concept for Americans.
Essentially, RCV prevents what appears to have happened last night: 3rd Party poisoning of the well for your second most liked choice. http://www.fairvote.org/rcv/#rcvbenefits
Both my wife and I were precinct Election Officials last night. And spot checking precinct results this morning combined with comments we heard while working the polls yesterday, it seems pretty clear that Clinton was done-in by people voting for 3rd party candidates (as the GOP was by Ross Perot).
If you include the result “no vote cast in this race," and write-ins along with 3rd party candidates actually on the ballot, it appears Clinton would have won (that's just preliminary, but all the spot-checking of results I’m doing are pretty consistent.
When we closed the polls last night the number of Write-Ins was unprecedented for our precinct:
Bernie Sanders led, with
“can't decide," and
following Sanders in numbers. Plus the illiterate write-ins for Mickey Moose, various actors and historical figures.)
It's the curse of 3rd party candidates.
The way elections works in America, if you vote 3rd party, you're crippling your next most likely choice for candidate.
Rank Choice Voting allows voters a chance to support 3rd parties and register disapproval with the current parties without actually crippling a (more or less acceptable) mainstream candidate.
So far in every precinct I check, if one adds the 3rd party votes and write-in votes to the Clinton totals, they equal or exceed Trumps. It will be interesting to see if analysis holds up my observation that Clinton was crippled by 3rd Party syndrome.