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The Minor Parties What types of minor parties have been active in American politics? Why are minor parties important even though they seldom elect national.

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Presentation on theme: "The Minor Parties What types of minor parties have been active in American politics? Why are minor parties important even though they seldom elect national."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Minor Parties What types of minor parties have been active in American politics? Why are minor parties important even though they seldom elect national candidates?

2 The Odds Are Against Them It is difficult for third parties candidates to raise enough money to compete with the major parties. Only one candidate can win in a given district. Usually the winner is either Democratic or Republican. Third-party candidates must show they have support by getting voter signatures to even be placed on the ballot for national office.

3 Minor Parties in the United States Splinter Party Example: “Bull Moose” Progressive Party Economic Protest Parties Example: The Greenback Party Ideological Parties Example: Libtertarian Party Types of Minor Parties Single-issue Parties Example: Free Soil Party

4 Minor Parties in the United States

5 Why Minor Parties Are Important Minor parties play several important roles: “Spoiler Role” Minor party candidates can pull decisive votes away from one of the major parties’ candidates, especially if the minor party candidate is from a splinter party. Critic Minor parties, especially single-issue parties, often take stands on and draw attention to controversial issues that the major parties would prefer to ignore. Innovator Often, minor parties will draw attention to important issues and propose innovative solutions to problems. If these proposals gain popular support, they are often integrated into the platforms of the two major parties.

6 Third Parties Any party other than the two major parties can be called a “Third party.” No third party has ever gained control of the White House. Sometimes, third parties win seats in Congress or gain office in lower levels of government. When these smaller groups challenge the two major parties, they can change the outcome of elections. Their most important role is to influence policy on one or more issues. Ralph Nader, Green Party Candidate, 2000

7 Third Parties at the Turn of the Century In the late 1800s, the People’s Party, or “Populists” became popular. They had the support of farmers and workers who called for better working conditions. They never succeeded in getting a national candidate into office, many of their ideas on workers’ rights became laws in the 20 th Century.

8 The Republicans Split Former Republican President Theodore Roosevelt left the Republican Party and was nominated by the Progressive Party. It was nicknamed the “Bull Moose Party” because TR said he was “fit as a Bull Moose”. TR split the 1912 Republican vote, allowing Democrat Woodrow Wilson to defeat President William H. Taft.

9 Ideological Third Parties An ideology is a body of ideas put forth by a person or group. Minor third parties are often formed to support a specific issue. These rise and fall over time. Ideological parties want to change society in major ways. The Socialist and Communist Parties want to nationalize major industries. The Green Party calls for companies to respect the environment.

10 Cult of Personality Some third parties form from the efforts of famous people. If they cannot gain support from one of the major parties, they form their own. H. Ross Perot’s Reform Party was a force in the 1992 and 1996 elections. This party also placed pro wrestler Jesse Ventura in the governor’s mansion in Minnesota. These parties usually fade after their candidate is defeated.

11 Minor Parties in the United States Year Party Presidential Percent Electoral Candidate Popular Votes Vote Received 1832 Anti-MasonicWilliam Wirt 8% 7 1856 AmericanMilliard Fillmore 22 8 1860 Democratic John C. Breckenridge 18 72 (Secessionist) 1860 Constitutional UnionJohn Bell 13 79 1892 People’s (Populist)James B. Weaver 9 22 1912 Bull Moose Theodore Roosevelt 27 88 (Progressive) 1912 SocialistEugene V. Debs 6 0 1924 ProgressiveRobert M. LaFollette 17 13 Year Party Presidential Percent Electoral Candidate Popular Votes Vote Received 1832 Anti-MasonicWilliam Wirt 8% 7 1856 AmericanMilliard Fillmore 22 8 1860 Democratic John C. Breckenridge 18 72 (Secessionist) 1860 Constitutional UnionJohn Bell 13 79 1892 People’s (Populist)James B. Weaver 9 22 1912 Bull Moose Theodore Roosevelt 27 88 (Progressive) 1912 SocialistEugene V. Debs 6 0 1924 ProgressiveRobert M. LaFollette 17 13

12 Minor Parties in the United States Year Party Presidential Percent Electoral Candidate Popular Votes Vote Received 1948 States’ Rights Strom Thurmond 2% 39 (Dixiecrat) 1948 Progressive Henry A. Wallace 2 0 1968 American George C. Wallace 14 46 Independent 1980 National Unity John Anderson 7 0 1992 Reform Ross Perot 19 0 1996 Reform Ross Perot 8 0 2000 GreenRalph Nader 3 0 ReformPat Buchanan 0 0 2000IndependentRalph Nader 0 0 Year Party Presidential Percent Electoral Candidate Popular Votes Vote Received 1948 States’ Rights Strom Thurmond 2% 39 (Dixiecrat) 1948 Progressive Henry A. Wallace 2 0 1968 American George C. Wallace 14 46 Independent 1980 National Unity John Anderson 7 0 1992 Reform Ross Perot 19 0 1996 Reform Ross Perot 8 0 2000 GreenRalph Nader 3 0 ReformPat Buchanan 0 0 2000IndependentRalph Nader 0 0


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