Beliefnet News

Beliefnet News


How could a Third Party candidate affect Obama’s re-election chances?

Marine One takes off from the White House lawn

What if Barack Obama’s poll numbers begin to lag? What if prominent black preachers or key Jewish leaders announce they cannot support him? What if it appears Obama is losing key swing states?

Will the President’s strategists began looking to conservatives to keep him in the White House?

Absurd? Well, don’t be so sure. Dissatisfied conservatives may be Obama’s magic bullet. In 1992, Ross Perot siphoned off enough conservative support for George H.W. Bush to put Bill Clinton over the top. Of 103,758,177 votes cast, 58,848,371 or 57 percent, went to Bush and Perot – compared to Clinton’s  44,909,806, a mere 43 percent. But Clinton won the White House.

H. Ross Perot

Why? The conservative house was divided with 39,104,550 for Bush and 19,743,821 for Perot. So, Clinton took the oath on Inauguration Day.

In 1996, Perot handed Clinton a second term. Had Perot supporters voted for Republican challenger Robert Dole, Clinton would have been defeated. He would have won the popular vote by the narrowest of margins,  47,401,185 to 47,282,763, but Dole would have won several key states’ electoral votes, such as Texas, to win 310 to 228, sending Clinton home to Arkansas.

Four years later, it was Clinton’s vice president, Al Gore, who lost to a third-party candidate, this time liberal Ralph Nader. Gore won the popular vote, but lost in the Electoral College. Had Nader supporters voted for Gore, the vice president would have won Florida and New Hampshire – and the presidency.

Ralph Nader

It’s not as if it hasn’t happened before. In 2008 Libertarian Party candidate Bob Barr siphoned off enough conservative votes in North Carolina to give that  historically Republican state to Obama. In 1912, Theodore Roosevelt’s Bull Moose Party drew away hundreds of thousands of voters who would have supported incumbent William Howard Taft. With the Republican vote split between Teddy and Taft, Democrat Woodrow Wilson won with only 41 percent of the vote.

“Third party candidates can’t win, but they can continue to divide,” notes J.B. Williams of the website Conservative Crusader. So, don’t think that a third-party candidacy isn’t a vital part of election planning this time around.

“Most Americans have never heard of Virgil Goode, a former party-switching congressman with a distinctive Virginia drawl who conceivably could decide the presidential election,” writes Jim Kuhnhenn for the Huntington Post. “But he is well known to President Barack Obama’s team of political advisers.”

“Virgil Goode was a Democrat, an independent and a Republican before being nominated as the Constitution Party’s nominee for Continued on Page 2



Advertisement
Comments Post the First Comment »
post a comment

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

Hispanics turning evangelical, Jews secular
Worship service attendance is up in New York City, but down among young adult Jews, according to recent studies. On the other hand, fewer Spanish-speaking teens are attending Catholic mass, but more are showing up at Evangelical churches. [caption id="attachment_12343" align="alignleft" width="48

posted 3:10:30pm Nov. 05, 2013 | read full post »

Billy Graham: I know where I'm going
“Daddy thinks the Lord will allow him to live to 95,” said Franklin Graham recently. It was not a prophecy but a hope, Franklin explained, that he would live to see the beginning of a Christian re

posted 10:02:01am Oct. 24, 2013 | read full post »

Are All These Christians' Complaints of Persecution Just So Much Empty Whining?
The headlines are alarming: “Catholic-Owned Company Wins Religious Freedom Court Decision,” “Death Toll Rises to 65 in Boko Haram Attack on Students,” “Little Sisters Catholic Charity Victimized By Obamacare,” “Christians Sought Out, Murdered in the Kenyan Mall Massacre,” “Judicial

posted 2:41:26am Oct. 07, 2013 | read full post »

How can Christians defend themselves against today's random violence?
So, a crazed gunman opens fire and you’re caught in the middle. How can you survive? Heroes come in all sorts of packages. And they wield all sorts of defensive weapons. Such as guns and Jesus. Sometimes both at the same time. [caption id="attachment_12246" align="alignleft" width="480"] Ant

posted 2:53:48pm Sep. 27, 2013 | read full post »

Does Sunday Morning Church Really Need All This Glitter, Showmanship and Gimmickry?
What’s wrong with church today? Are we in danger of turning worship into a flashy concert? Of watering down the message so nobody is offended? Of forgetting the simplicity of the Gospel? I grew up with a preacher’s kid. He was a fake following in the footsteps of his flimflamming father who d

posted 11:26:20am Sep. 20, 2013 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.