Third party candidates didn't have visibility to win, political science professor says
Voting third party, predictably, wasn't a popular choice for many Hoosiers.
Third party candidates got around 5 percent of the vote in Indiana — nothing compared to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton's high numbers.
But the deck is stacked against third parties to start off with, said Joseph Losco, director of the Bowen Center for Public Affairs.
"They don't have the resources; they don't have the visibility," Losco said. "Our two-party system is set up as a 'winner-take-all' system and that discourages third parties."
That doesn't mean no one votes for third parties — in 1992, Ross Perot got about 19 percent of the popular vote.
But third parties tend to fade away the closer the election gets, Losco said.
"People may think they want that third party until they get into the voting booth and they say, 'Well, do I really want to, in many ways, throw away my vote?'" he said.
But those who vote for a third party don't feel that they are throwing away their vote, even though, statistically, their candidate doesn't have high chances of winning.
About a week before Election Day, 12 percent of respondents to a Daily News poll said they were voting for Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party representative Jill Stein.
Kiah Beeman voted for Johnson, and she said she wished people didn't demonize the third party vote so much. Beeman believes Johnson is the best candidate, and that he will work with people of all parties, rather than just the party he aligns with.
"I think that Johnson will work for what he believes is best for our country," Beeman said. "I also think that he is the best candidate to preserve and protect our personal freedoms and follow the Constitution as it was written and intended by our Founding Fathers."
Beeham wasn’t happy with Trump (R) or Clinton (D), which is why she decided to vote for Johnson.
Similarly, junior telecommunications major Jack Hiatt chose to vote for Johnson because he didn’t like Clinton.
“I trust that [Johnson] has my best interests at heart,” Hiatt said. “Even if I don’t line up with him on all the issues, I trust him more than the other candidates.”
In Hiatt’s opinion, this election has shown the breakdown of the electoral system. It’s brought out the worst in people, he said, and has been polarizing for citizens — even more than it has in the past.
Voting for a non-Democrat or Republican is important, Hiatt said, and he hopes to see more third party candidates in the future.