Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2013


In this paper, I attempt to assess the viability of a third-party presidential candidate in the current American two-party system. I first discuss the challenges facing third parties in the United States and the reasons for the American two-party system. I then investigate successful third-party campaigns in order to determine how these challenges can be overcome. I then use these examples to generate solutions to third-party obstacles, and incorporate those solutions into hypothetical campaign materials for a fictional third party candidate. I then collect and analyze the results of a survey of American voters in order to assess whether and how a third-party campaign might succeed in the current American political environment. Finally, I present a series of actionable suggestions for overcoming obstacles to third party success.