When Ron Paul supporters aren’t faking attacks by Democrats, discussing their UFO abductions or whatever else they do, they do what they can to keep him relevant. Paul lost his chance to be the next GOP flavor of the week when he allowed speculation about him running as a third party candidate.
I’m not opposed to third parties. I think we should have multiple parties or even people running with no party identification. The problem is that more candidates mean it takes a smaller plurality for one to win. If we really want multiple candidates, we need a better runoff system in this country. Three way races in a general election just allow losers to win with 40% of the vote.
In fact, the broken presidential presidential primary/caucus system could benefit from a defined process where two candidates from all parties are decided at once. Why is it that there has to be one Democrat and one Republican running in every election?
The Tea Party was pragmatic. They used the Republican primaries to give their candidates the chance at an established campaign organization in the general election. Sometimes it worked, sometimes the GOP threw a fit and torpedoed their own party. Mitt Romney supporter Lisa Murkowski even ran as a third party candidate. She was the Democrats’ favorite Republican.
Liberals have all but given up on running anyone to the left of Obama. Some groups are trying to run their own entirely new third party candidate. In the end, this election is a referendum on Barack Obama. A more liberal candidate may draw votes away from Obama, but they will also give Democrats a safety choice, instead of making the hard decision of voting for the Republican who will get him out of office. Almost any other party candidate will take away from the eventual Republican nominee, be they on the right or in the center.
It may not be an exciting choice to vote for a Republican against Obama, but if you don’t like that guy, vote him out in 4 years, too. That’s what Democracy looks like.