[ View the story "Voting against the machine" on Storify] Voting against the machine Could third-party voters decide the US presidential election?
Storified by The Stream · Wed, Oct 24 2012 10:54:27
In the highly contested US presidential campaign between President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney, many voters are disappointed with the positions of the two candidates. A key number of these, around
five per cent
of likely voters, plan to back third-party candidates, while others may not vote at all.
Analysts say the election could
end in a tie
due to the
electoral college voting system
, with both candidates winning 269 out of 538 electoral college votes.
Currently there are 32
for a potential electoral tie. The map below shows one possible outcome.
This map from the New York Time's
blog shows a small number of states that do not decisively lean Democratic or Republican, in which an individual vote could theoretically determine the winner of that state's electoral votes. Ohio's position as a key swing state means that individual votes have a higher "relative value", explaining both candidates' focus on the state.
While Obama's 2008 presidential campaign generated a lot of excitement, Democratic supporters have been less enthusiastic this election. One political group backing the President
actor Samuel L. Jackson for a motivational campaign ad based on his popular book, "Go The F**k to Sleep".
Wake the F**K Up (NSFW)schleplabs
Democracy Prep Citizen-Scholars: Vote for Somebody!DemPrepPublicSchools
This video outlines the existence of third parties in the US, which could have a major impact in swing states like
Virginia and Colorado
Vote for a Third Party Over Republicans or Democrats⎢Civics In a Minute⎢TakePart TVtakepart
Libertarian Party candidate, Gary Johnson, is seen as a
to Republicans in some swing states. This campaign ad outlines Johnson's opposition to the US presence in Afghanistan and military strikes on Iran.
GARY JOHNSON The War Stops Heregovgaryjohnson
#Johnson2012 #nowthatsadebate Props to all the 3rd Party candidates, but @GovGaryJohnson has my vote!Brad Tayloe
In a much distributed
from The Atlantic, Conor Friedersdorf lays out the progressive case for not supporting Barack Obama despite the perceived risk of electing a conservative president.
There is no such thing as a perfect political party, or a president who governs in accordance with one's every ethical judgment. But some actions are so ruinous to human rights, so destructive of the Constitution, and so contrary to basic morals that they are disqualifying. Most of you will go that far with me.Why I Refuse to Vote for Barack Obama - Conor Friedersdorf - The Atlantic
This video sarcastically argues that individual votes do not matter.
Voting For President - 8 Reasons Why Your Vote Doesn't Mattertheunlearningchannel
Wall Photos | FacebookFacebook
Many netizens have expressed their dismay with the US political system.
That last tweet doesn't mean that I am a Democrat - it only means that a protest vote against Obama should NOT go to the Romney camp.Jen Kirkman
I have never cast a non-protest vote, and that's not going to change this year.John Aziz
Its sad to not be able to vote for someone because you like them, but have to pick between the lesser of two evils. @BarackObama @MittRomneyKelly Phillips
If you're a Democrat and you either stay home or vote for a 3rd party, you're voting for Romney and all of the subsequent hell he'd deliver.Bob Cesca
Remember, a vote for a third party may as well be a vote for Romney. #votedems #obama2012AntiRepublicnWarrior
watching the vice presidential debate. i feel like they should have a third party who is there just to fact check all their statements.Scooter Braun
Let independent and third party candidates debate!!!!!!!Jesse Ventura
I am glad to know that mitt agrees with Obama so much. No, really. Why vote?Glenn Beck
The first third-party debate between candidates Jill Stein, Gary Johnson, Virgil Goode, and Rocky Anderson prompted comparisons with the two-party debates. Organisers promoted the hashtag "#NowThatsADebate", which netizens used to express their disapproval of third party candidates not being allowed into the main presidential debates. Here are some of their tweets:
Third party candidates!! #theyexistCarolyn Newberry
There are 90 million voters who don't plan on voting. Those are voters saying NO to politics as usual. They have choices! #NowThatsADebateJill Stein
Refreshing to think "I like these candidates, who do I like most?" Vs "who is the lesser of two evils?". #NowThatsADebateJeff DiGiovanni
I wonder what the reaction of Americans would be if they were exposed to these ideas in a general debate of all candidates#NowThatsADebateDan Carlin
Love that #nowthatsadebate is trending! Yay, we're not completely doomed =)Traci Marie-Sun
3rd parties are the answer to the United State's problems! Vote 3rd party, save our country. #NowThatsADebateJaroπ $wab
#thirdpartydebate is just like the mainstream debate except the candidates can say things that are true. #NowThatsADebateMatt Gubser
"Military industrial complex." Now there's a term that you won't hear in the 2 party presidential debate. #NowThatsADebateJulie Borowski
#IAdmitThat we can do better in the US. We have better people that aren't sold to corporations running for President. #NowThatsADebateBenAustin