Analyst: Third Party Candidate Could Be Major Factor In Election

Some Democrats and Republicans are searching for options other than Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump for this presidential election, given both candidates’ low popularity ratings. Experts say while third-party and independent candidates have zero chance of winning the White House, their participation can affect the contest. John Clark, a professor of political science at Western Michigan University, says this is definitely one of those years.

“This may or may not be that kind of super-close election, but there’s every reason to think that it’s not going to be a huge landslide,” Clark said. “If that’s the case, then siphoning off votes from one of the major-party candidates could mean that one of these minor-party candidates is a spoiler.”

A poll last week showed in a four-candidate race, Clinton was ahead of Trump, 44 to 38%. Libertarian Gary Johnson had 10% of the vote, and Green Party candidate Jill Stein got 4%.