Not happy with your choices for president of the United States in 2012? Feeling angry at both Republicans and Democrats? Rejoice! There will be a third party alternative. A well-funded non-profit called Americans Elect is hard at work getting qualified for ballot access, and taking aim at all 50 states.
Americans Elect has already qualified to be on the ballot in key swing states of Florida, Ohio, Michigan, and 10 others including California. Apparently funded by wealthy hedge fund managers, the organization expects to qualify for ballot access in every state, and to hold an online primary election in April to select its candidates for president and vice-president. Voters can register on-line to vote in the primary.
Former New Jersey Governor Christie Todd Whitman is on the Americans Elect board of directors. Among the names being discussed as possible third party presidential candidates are Representative Ron Paul, former Governor Jon Huntsman, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer is actively seeking the Americans Elect nomination.
How will this third party affect the outcome of the 2012 presidential election? Anything can happen in a three-way race. If Americans Elect succeeds in getting on the ballot in every state, there will be at least a possibility that its candidates could win. The more likely result, however, is that the third party will affect the outcome of the race between the two major parties by drawing votes that would otherwise go disproportionately to one of the major party candidates.