Winning Isn't Everything

Ronald B. Rapoport

in The Oxford Handbook of American Political Parties and Interest Groups

Published in print January 2010 | ISBN: 9780199542628
Published online May 2010 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of American Politics

Winning Isn't Everything

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This article explores the factors that allow the emergence and continuity of third parties; the factors that allow them to succeed; and finally, at the long-term effects that third parties can have on the two-party system. It also mentions both factors that ‘push’ voters away from the two major parties and those that ‘pull’ voters toward third party candidates. It then investigates the issues of party formation and then moves on to consider bases of and barriers to third party electoral success. Third party success looks rather meager if one focus on the ability of a third party to become a permanent part of the party system either by displacing a major party or by establishing itself as a significant and consistent vote getter at the highest level.

Keywords: third party; party formation; electoral success; two-party system; push voters; pull voters

Article.  9331 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; US Politics ; Political Institutions

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