3rd Party versus 4th party Presidential contests

If the 3rd and 4th place candidates were your only choices, who would you pick?

As a whole, they show that third party voting tends to act as a dodge — because when face to face with a decision on actualities, I will have to side easily with the damnable major party candidate.

The early Prohibition candidates may bear some looking into, as the politics are not aligned as they are in current day “conservative” versus “liberal” — the women pushing Prohibition entwining their stance with suffrage, for instance. And so an election like 1880 bears looking into — if at first I am thinking “why, the populist, of course” — I have to step back and appreciate that Weaver’s rhetoric was taking on terroristically segregationist and anti-Semitic overtones.

1912 may provide the hardest decision of two palatable candidates. The 1928 and 1932 elections between “near beer” socialism and Communism — pre- Popular Front at that! — is amusing enough (Go Norman Thomas!). — I guess a better choice in least having a Socialist as against 1948 and 1952’s “Red Soviet funded ” third candidate versus Segregationist. (I will go ahead and throw the vote to Wallace — and see how Europe configures itself.)

What do you do with 1964? I gather one is shifting about trying to find meaningful differences. The next two come back to that Segregationist versus Communist jazz. (Socialist Labor fighting it out with Socialist Workers for fourth place, each getting its turn — so call them a draw.)

But… Alright… 1976 onward goes… Libertarians now the closest to a constant with the different factions asserting control at different times (and edged out of the running in the 1996 – 2000 interval) — with big name independents their sparring partners at the top end (McCarthy, Anderson, Perot) mixed with a couple cult candidates in 1984 and 1988 — and in the closing slope Nader and/or Greens as their sparring matches.

McCarthy, Anderson, Bergland, Paul, Perot, flip a coin, Nader, Nader, Nader, Johnson, Johnson, Hawkins.

Got a problem with that?

1872: Charles O’Conor (Straight-Out Democratic) vs. James Black (Prohibition)
1876: Peter Cooper (Greenback) vs. Green Smith (Prohibition)
1880: James Weaver (Greenback) vs. Neal Dow (Prohibition)
1884: John St. John (Prohibition) vs. Benjamin Butler (Greenback)
1888: Clinton Fisk (Prohibition) vs. Alson Streeter (Union Labor)
1892: James Weaver (Populist) vs. John Bidwell (Prohibition)
1896: John Palmer (National Democratic) vs. Joshua Levering (Prohibition)
1900: John Woolley (Prohibition) vs. Eugene Debs (Socialist)
1904: Eugene Debs (Socialist) vs. Silas Swallow (Prohibition)
1908: Eugene Debs (Socialist) vs. Eugene Chafin (Prohibition)
1912: William Howard Taft (Republican) vs. Eugene Debs (Socialist)
1916: Allan Benson (Socialist) vs. James Hanly (Prohibition)
1920: Eugene Debs (Socialist) vs. Parley Christiansen (Farmer-Labor)
1924: Robert La Follette (Progressive) vs. Herman Faris (Prohibition)
1928: Norman Thomas (Socialist) vs. William Foster (Communist)
1932: Norman Thomas (Socialist) vs. William Foster (Communist)
1936: William Lemke (Union) vs. Norman Thomas (Socialist)
1940: Norman Thomas (Socialist) vs. Roger Babson (Prohibition)
1944: Norman Thomas (Socialist) vs. Claude Watson (Prohibition)
1948: Strom Thurmond (States’ Rights) vs. Henry Wallace (Progressive)
1952: Vincent Hallinan (Progressive) vs. Stuart Hamblen (Prohibition)
1956: T. Coleman Andrews (States’ Rights) vs. Eric Hass (Socialist Labor)
1960: Harry F. Byrd (States’ Rights) vs. Eric Hass (Socialist Labor)
1964: Eric Hass (Socialist Labor) vs. Clifton DeBerry (Socialist Workers)
1968: George Wallace (American Independent) vs. Henning Blomen (Socialist Labor)
1972: John Schmitz (American Independent) vs. Linda Jenness (Socialist Workers)
1976: Eugene McCarthy (Independent) vs. Roger MacBride (Libertarian)
1980: John B. Anderson (Independent) vs. Ed Clark (Libertarian)
1984: David Bergland (Libertarian) vs. Lyndon LaRouche (Independent)
1988: Ron Paul (Libertarian) vs. Lenora Fulani (New Alliance)
1992: Ross Perot (Independent) vs. Andre Marrou (Libertarian)
1996: Ross Perot (Reform) vs. Ralph Nader (Green)
2000: Ralph Nader (Green) vs. Pat Buchanan (Reform)
2004: Ralph Nader (Independent) vs. Michael Badnarik (Libertarian)
2008: Ralph Nader (Independent) vs. Bob Barr (Libertarian)
2012: Gary Johnson (Libertarian) vs. Jill Stein (Green)
2016: Gary Johnson (Libertarian) vs. Jill Stein (Green)
2020: Jo Jorgensen (Libertarian) vs. Howie Hawkins (Green)

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