US History/Third Parties

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Third Parties of the United States[edit]

Though the United States government is overwhelmingly based on a two-party system, there have been times in history when minor third parties have rose to prominence and affected the government.


Party Presidential Candidates, if any Number of Votes for candidate Notes
1 Nullifier
  • 1832 - John Floyd
  • 1832 -               0
  • Although John Floyd did not run for president, the Nullifier Party supported him, and South Carolina gave its eleven electoral votes to him.
2 Anti-Masonic
  • 1832 - William Wirt & Amos Ellmaker
  • 1832 -    100,715
  • Ironically, Wirt was a former Mason
  • Wirt received seven electoral votes from Vermont
3 Liberty
  • 1840 - James G. Birney & Thomas Earle
  • 1844 - James G. Birney & Thomas Morris
  • 1848 - Gerrit Smith & Charles C. Foote
  • 1852 - William Goodell & Samuel M. Bell
  • 1856 - Gerrit Smith &
  • 1860 - Gerrit Smith & Samuel McFarland
  • 1840 -        6,797
  • 1844 -      62,103
  • 1848 -        2,545
  • 1852 -        
  • 1856 -        
  • 1860 -        
4 Free Soil
  • 1848 - Martin Van Buren & Charles F. Adams
  • 1852 - John P. Hale & George W. Julian
  • 1848 -    291,501
  • 1852 -    155,210
  • Martin Van Buren had previously been president, having formerly been elected as a Democrat.
  • The derogatory term "spoiler" emerged after the 1848 election.  Democrats called the Free Soilers "Free Spoilers" because the Free Soil Party, which gained more than 10 percent of the vote, appealed so greatly to antislavery Democrats.
5 Prohibition
  • 1872 - James Black & John Russell
  • 1876 - Green Clay Smith & Gideon T. Stewart
  • 1880 - Neal Dow & Henry A. Thompson
  • 1884 - John Saint John & William Daniel
  • 1888 - Clinton B. Fisk & John A. Brooks
  • 1892 - John Bidwell & James B. Cranfill
  • 1896 - Joshua Levering & Hale Johnson
  • 1900 - John G. Woolley & Henry B. Metcalf
  • 1904 - Silas C. Swallow & George W. Carroll
  • 1908 - Eugene W. Chafin & Aaron S. Watkins
  • 1912 - Eugene W. Chafin & Aaron S. Watkins
  • 1916 - Frank Hanly & Ira Landrith
  • 1920 - Aaron Watkins & D. Leigh Colvin
  • 1924 - Herman P. Faris & Marie C. Brehm
  • 1928 - William F. Varney & James A. Edgerton
  • 1932 - William D. Upshaw & Frank S. Regan
  • 1936 - D. Leigh Colvin & Claude A. Watson
  • 1940 - Roger Babson & Edgar V. Moorman
  • 1944 - Claude A. Watson & Andrew Johnson
  • 1948 - Claude A. Watson & Dale H. Learn
  • 1952 - Stuart Hamblen & Enoch A. Holtwick
  • 1956 - Enoch A. Holtwick & Edwin M. Cooper
  • 1960 - Rutherford Decker & E. Harold Munn
  • 1964 - E. Harold Munn & Mark R. Shaw
  • 1968 - E. Harold Munn & Rolland E. Fisher
  • 1972 - E. Harold Munn & Marshall E. Uncapher
  • 1976 - Benjamin C. Bubar & Earl F. Dodge
  • 1980 - Benjamin C. Bubar & Earl F. Dodge
  • 1984 - Earl Dodge & Warren C. Martin
  • 1988 - Earl Dodge & George Ormsby
  • 1992 - Earl Dodge & George Ormsby
  • 1996 - Earl Dodge & Rachel Bubar Kelly
  • 2000 - Earl Dodge & W. Dean Watkins
  • 2004 - Earl Dodge & Howard Lydick, Gene Amondson & Leroy Pletten
  • 2008 - Gene Amondson & Leroy Pletten
  • 2012 - Jack Fellure & Toby Davis
  • 1872 -        5,607
  • 1876 -        6,945
  • 1880 -      10,269
  • 1884 -    147,482
  • 1888 -    249,819
  • 1892 -    270,879
  • 1896 -    124,896
  • 1900 -    210,864
  • 1904 -    259,102
  • 1908 -    254,087
  • 1912 -    208,156
  • 1916 -    221,302
  • 1920 -    188,787
  • 1924 -      55,951
  • 1928 -      20,095
  • 1932 -      81,905
  • 1936 -      37,646
  • 1940 -      57,903
  • 1944 -      74,758
  • 1948 -    103,708
  • 1952 -      73,412
  • 1956 -      41,937
  • 1960 -      46,203
  • 1964 -      23,267
  • 1968 -      15,123
  • 1972 -      13,497
  • 1976 -      15,961
  • 1980 -        7,212
  • 1984 -        4,242
  • 1988 -        8,002
  • 1992 -           935
  • 1996 -        1,298
  • 2000 -           208
  • 2004 - Amondson: 1,944, Dodge: 140
  • 2008 -           643
  • 2012 -           519
  • Although the Prohibition Party never obtained the presidency, its primary issue of prohibiting alcohol became the law of the land with the ratification of the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.  The amendment went into effect on 17 January 1920.
  • The nationwide prohibition of alcohol ended with the passage of the Twenty-first Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified on 5 December 1933, which repealed the Eighteenth Amendment.
6 Libertarian
  • 1972 - John Hospers & Tonie Nathan
  • 1976 - Roger MacBride & David P. Bergland
  • 1980 - Ed Clark & David H. Koch
  • 1984 - David P. Bergland & James A. Lewis
  • 1988 - Ron Paul & Andre Marrou
  • 1992 - Andre Marrou & Nancy Lord
  • 1996 - Harry Browne & Jo Jorgensen
  • 2000 - Harry Browne & Art Olivier
  • 2004 - Michael Badnarik & Richard V. Campagna
  • 2008 - Bob Barr & Wayne Allyn Root
  • 2012 - Gary Johnson & Jim Gray
  • 1972 -        3,674
  • 1976 -    172,553
  • 1980 -    921,128
  • 1984 -    228,111
  • 1988 -    431,750
  • 1992 -    290,087
  • 1996 -    485,759
  • 2000 -    384,431
  • 2004 -    397,265
  • 2008 -    523,715
  • 2012 - 1,275,971
  • Hospers and Nathan each received one electoral vote, making Nathan the first female in American history to receive an electoral vote
7 Green
  • 1996 - Ralph Nader & Winona LaDuke
  • 2000 - Ralph Nader & Winona LaDuke
  • 2004 - David Cobb & Pat LaMarche
  • 2008 - Cynthia McKinney & Rosa Clemente
  • 2012 - Jill Stein & Cheri Honkala
  • 2004 -    119,859
  • 2008 -    161,680
  • 2012 -    468,907
8 Workers World
  • Gloria La Riva
  • Monica Moorehead
9 Socialist Workers
  • Farrell Dobbs
  • Fred Halstead
  • Linda Jenness
  • Róger Calero


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