The Effects of Third Party Politics on Presidential Elections

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fairly respectable...don't count on the accuracy of the in-text documentation This paper's so good you should put it on the web so everybody can see it

Although citizens of the United States have the opportunity to vote for many

different offices at the national, state, and local levels, the election of the president of

the United States every four years is the focal point of the American political process.

The American political system has maintained a two-party system since its inception.

Political scientists argue that a two-party system is the most stable and efficient

means of running a democratic nation as a mono-party system leads toward tyranny,

and a multi-party system creates over-diversification and gridlock (Mazmanian 6). The

Constitution of the United States does not in any way limit the structure of the political

system to two parties. In fact, there has been no presidential election where there

were only two candidates; however, third-party candidates are rarely represented in a

majority of the states, and those that were on the ballot in a majority of states have

never been successful.

However, on a few occasions, third party candidates have

been able to make a significant impact on the presidential election process such as

George Wallace in 1968 and H. Ross Perot in 1992.

Through nineteenth century there was little deviation from the traditional two-

party system. Until then, political candidates were utterly dependant upon the political

infrastructure of an established party for their campaigns. Until the development of

mass media technologies, including radio and television, political candidates had no

direct means of communicating with the public and were thus dependant on the

communications systems of the major parties. Thus, third party movements lacked

the capabilities to run an effective campaign against the major parties.

However, mass media has changed the...