In the US political system, the majority of all elections include players only from the biggest two parties: Democrats and Republicans. However, there are third-party candidates that often make ballots at local, state, and federal levels, though they rarely win at any level. In fact, no third-party candidate has ever won a US Presidential election!That said, third-party Presidential candidates – and 3rd party candidates in other races – often play a role in the outcomes of the races, as they are considered “spoilers.”
In this way, all third-party candidates – even the ones without significant national name recognition – affect elections. And the impact of third parties on Presidential elections in particular cannot be overstated, even if they themselves don’t have great election betting odds to win the Presidency.
If you want to wager on a third-party candidate for the upcoming 2020 November general election, you can do so at any of the top-rated offshore sportsbooks listed here. Remember, while it is legal to bet on politics, there are no domestic books that currently take this kind of action. These sites won’t list all third-party 2020 candidates (as there are technically hundreds of 3rd parties in the US), but they will often have Libertarian Party and Green Party hopefuls listed alongside the main Democratic Party and Republican Party players.
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Simply put, a 3rd party candidate is anyone running for office under a banner other than “Democrat” or “Republican.” The main third parties in the US have – over the last few decades – been the Libertarian Party and the Green Party, though there are countless others across all levels of government.
Voting for third-party candidates is often an act of defiance, as the public is aware that such votes won’t result in their chosen pols actually winning. Typically, 3rd party nominees together account for 4-7 percent of the total popular vote in a given Presidential election.
For example, in the 2016 election, third-party candidate Gary Johnson ran as a Libertarian and took approximately 3.28% of the vote, while Jill Stein (Green Party) took just over one percent. All told, 2016 3rd party candidates together earned 5.7% of the total US vote. So while these candidates may not win elections, 3rd party election results certainly impact the broader race(s).
The Libertarian Party is an offshoot of the GOP, but it skews further to the right. The Libertarian platform advocates for limited government (particularly at the federal level) and increased individual rights and responsibilities. In the mainstream, Libertarians are the most “individualistic” voters, and they tend to siphon off votes that would otherwise go to Republican candidates.
Right now, Virginia’s Jacob Hornberger is the presumptive Libertarian nominee, though you won’t find his odds posted anywhere just yet. Amusingly, his most notable competition in the Libertarian primary is performance artist Vermin Love Supreme (who has run for President four times previously) and exiled cybersecurity expert John McAfee. As they aren’t credible challengers, Hornberger should be a lock for the November ballot.
The Green Party is the polar opposite of the Libertarian Party, as it skews to the far left within the Democratic side of the US political spectrum. The group has an emphasis on socialism, increased government oversight of day-to-day issues, environmental activism, and more. Many “Progressive Democrats” toe the Green Party line without going totally over, which is why the Green Party is viewed as a liability for the DNC during major elections.
The front-runner and presumptive nominee for the Green Party Presidential nomination is Howie Hawkins of New York (who is also a member of the Socialist Party USA), though California’s Dario Hunter is hot on his trail and could end up being his running mate. You can’t get Presidential election odds on Hawkins just yet, but those should be posted sooner or later, and this page will be updated when they are.
This category is a bit of a misnomer, as most people use “third-party” and “Independent” interchangeably. Further, there is no actual Independent Party, so anyone who is not a Democrat or a Republican can credibly be called an Independent, even if they belong to some other fringe 3rd party. You will see a list of potential candidates that could be included in the listings of independent presidential candidate odds should they decide to run.
For the 2020 general election, there are three potential candidates of note that may run for President and who haven’t declared any party alignment for the purpose. These include the following:
The billionaire owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks and star of ABC’s Shark Tank reality show. Mark Cuban is allegedly a Republican, but he’d likely run as an Independent.
Governor of New York. Andrew Cuomo is a Democrat, but given that Joe Biden is the presumptive Democratic nominee, it’s not out of the question that Cuomo would run as an Independent – if he decides to run at all.
Member of the US House of Representatives for Michigan’s 3rd Amash was a Republican and then an undefined Independent before declaring himself a Libertarian in 2020. However, he has not participated in the Libertarian primaries, and though he has announced an interest in running for President, it is unclear what third-party ticket he would join.
Right now, the 2020 3rd party Presidential candidates haven’t been decided on for the lesser groups, as their own primaries are still underway, and voters won’t see them on any ballots until November. However, the best offshore betting sites will have their odds posted before that, and with the ease of browser-based mobile betting, you won’t even need any third-party apps to place your wagers!
The following candidates from lesser-known Independent parties are most likely run for President in 2020:
Yes and no. Technically, George Washington won as an Independent in 1788 and 1792, albeit he was aligned with the Federalist Party of the time. In the modern American system, no third-party candidate has done well in the general election, which is why betting lines on any such politician would be astronomical. While the payout would be amazing and life-changing, there’s virtually no chance that someone other than a Democrat or Republican will win a Presidential race any time soon. Ross Perot was the last Independent to earn more than five percent of the national vote in a Presidential election (1992).
Pretty much nil. It’s never happened, unless you include the campaigns of George Washington, which most historians do not. However, with the Trump presidency and the new reality of America in the age of the coronavirus, anything is possible, and you’re sure to get a massive payout if you bet on a third-party candidate and they actually manage to win.
Most of the time, no offshore betting site will have 3rd party Presidential hopefuls on their odds boards. However, this will change as major elections near, and by the time November 2020 rolls around, you can expect to see Libertarian and Green Party candidates alongside their mainstream counterparts.
Yes! However, it’s rare on the national political stage. There are only a few members of Congress that represent third parties (i.e. Bernie Sanders and Justin Amash), simply because such elections are largely dominated by the Democrats and Republicans.
There’s no law against it, but it’s not likely to happen, simply due to the two-party system that is currently in place in the United States. Hopefully, third parties will start to gain ground, but it will have to happen at the local level and trickle up, as national politics is virtually on lock for the elephants and asses.
Usually, they’re simply muscled out. Neither Democrats nor Republicans like third-party candidates, as they view them as liabilities. It is easier for third-party or Independent candidates to win local city or county elections, and it gets harder at each higher level. These candidates don’t raise money like their DNC and GOP counterparts, they don’t have the name recognition, and they generally suffer from a lack of mainstream appeal.
The reason that 3rd parties are relevant is because they do indeed have an effect on elections. This is because third parties typically siphon off fringe voters that would otherwise cast their ballots for Dems or GOPers. As a general rule, for example, the Libertarian Party is to the right of the Republican Party but cannibalizes the GOP vote, so they actually help the Democrats, whom they philosophically oppose. The same is true for the Green Party: It is to the left of the mainstream Democrat Party, but it actually helps the GOP by splitting an otherwise unified Democrat vote.
There aren’t that many in recent history, but the most famous third-party candidates were George Washington (albeit his 3rd party status is debatable), Teddy Roosevelt (Progressive Party, 1912), George Wallace (American Independent Party, 1968). The most recent third-partier of note was Ross Perot (Independent) who ran against Bill Clinton and George H. W. Bush in 1992. Perot was the last third-party nominee to earn more than 5% of the national vote.
Yes and no. For Democrats and Republicans, third-party candidates are anathema. However, the people need a means to protest the iron grip of the informal two-party system so that other ideas and attitudes can find some footing in government.
The closest third-party candidate to ever run for POTUS was Teddy Roosevelt in 1912 when he ran under the banner of the Progressive Party against the establishment Democratic and Republican nominees. Roosevelt actually finished with more electoral votes than his GOP counterpart, though he still lost the election to Democrat Woodrow Wilson. That year, Roosevelt got 4.12 million votes, accounting for 27.86% of the electorate. Ross Perot, in 1992, got 18.9% of the vote, but he accrued many more total votes than Roosevelt, with 19.74 million.