“2020 Will the Pandemic Keep Third Parties Off the 2020 Ballot?”

Bill Scher for Politico Magazine:

For America’s third parties, this is nothing less than an existential crisis. Without ballot access, national pollsters won’t feel obligated to include Green and Libertarian candidates in their surveys; voters will be less aware of their nominees and platforms; journalists will be less likely to pay any attention to them; and the probability diminishes that either the Libertarians or Greens can reach the holy grail of 5 percent of the popular vote—the point at which they would finally qualify for federal campaign matching funds.

But for the Democratic and Republican Parties, the absence of third parties from the ballot in key states makes 2020 genuinely unlike any presidential election in recent memory—minimizing the chances for “spoiler” candidates, while giving both major parties something they did not have in 2016: a two-person presidential race and a simpler path to victory.

Now, don’t count out the Libertarians and Greens just yet. There are multiple fronts in the fight ahead, as they see it, and they’re prepared for battle on each one….

Since the third parties are not expecting uniform assistance from state executive and legislative branches, they are gearing up for more court battles. “We’re prepared to sue everywhere that we have to,” Fishman said, adding that he feels “very confident that we’re going to win all of those court cases” since “there’s never been a stronger case that the petition requirement is unreasonable.”

Experts in election law who were consulted for this story were more skeptical.


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