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La Time:Op-Ed: McManus: The third-party wild card


Rdskns2000

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John B. Anderson in 1980 and H. Ross Perot in 1992 both ran as independent centrists, and while they weren't the only reason the incumbents lost (Ronald Reagan won a majority of the popular vote in 1980), they were certainly a factor.

What kind of factor, exactly?

I've yet to see any study suggesting that Anderson took any substantial number of votes from Carter in 1980. And it has been conclusively demonstrated that Perot had no effect at all on Bush's reelection prospects in 1992. Why people continue to believe that particular political-urban myth is beyond me.

And, we're done in one.

Third parties with real impact are fun to talk about, kind of like the Loch Ness Monster is fun to talk about. Both end up with about three-fifty in their hand when all is said and done.

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