Ballot Access News: Profound thoughts on tolerance for minor/third parties

from Ballot Access News
Lesson of 2004 and 2008: Major Parties Perform Better When They Tolerate Minor Party Opposition
November 4th, 2008

There are many, many historical markers from tonight’s election. One that must not be forgotten is this: major parties that disrespect voters by trying to eliminate minor party and independent candidates, live to regret it.

In 2004, the Democratic National Committee spent millions of dollars to prevent voters from voting for Ralph Nader. Democrats lost the presidential election of 2004.

In 2008, the Pennsylvania Republican Party spent lavishly to prevent voters in Pennsylvania from voting for Bob Barr. Republicans lost the presidential election in Pennsylvania and nationally.

Also in 2008, the Maine Democratic Party became the one state Democratic Party in the country that acted to eliminate competition in a U.S. Senate race. Maine Democratic Party officials challenged the ballot position of Herb Hoffman, an anti-war independent. But the voters of Maine then re-elected Republican Susan Collins with a stunning 59% of the vote against Democratic nominee Thomas Allen.

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