We could still see a third-party shocker in 2012.
The Daily Beast's Douglas Schoen says Americans Elect, which is trying to become a viable third-party in 2012, could play a big role this year. The group will be on the ballot in all 50 states. Plus, the electorate seems to be ready to embrace something that doesn't fit into the usual Republican vs. Democrat mold.
He says there's even a chance the group could actually win.
The mood of the country is toxic. Congressional ratings are at an all-time low. Just 13 percent approve of the way Congress is doing its job while 84 percent disapprove, according to the Washington Post/ABC poll released last month. Three quarters disapprove of the performance of Republicans in Congress, and 62 percent disapprove of Democrats’ performance in Congress. And Rasmussen Reports found that just 5 percent of voters feel that Congress is doing an excellent or good job, while 70 percent say its job performance is poor.
Dissatisfaction with the state of our country is at record levels. Seventy-eight percent of Americans are dissatisfied with the way they are currently being governed, according to Gallup. In 1992, when Ross Perot ran for president—the last centrist candidate to make a serious run as an independent—58 percent were satisfied, while 39 percent were dissatisfied. Despite the relatively high satisfaction among voters compared with today, Perot still received 19 percent of the vote in 1992, given a campaign that was at best quirky.
Simply put, the American people are still looking for alternatives, and poll data show they are looking for outsiders and fresh faces, not insiders and politicians.
Given the widespread disaffection with the political parties, the increasing number of independents, and the widespread support for an alternative ticket to be on the presidential ballot, there is a clear opportunity for the Americans Elect ticket to succeed and win the election.