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The Most Viable Third-Party US Presidential Candidates

Updated 11 May 2020 1.6k views14 items

List RulesOnly third-party presidential candidates who received at least 5% of the popular vote or one electoral vote.

In 21st-century America's tightly controlled two-party political system, grabbing a measure of the spotlight during a presidential election is almost impossible. Money, media coverage, and thereby votes are hard to come by. Countless obscure political parties exist within the United States, but none of them have been able to grab a lasting foothold within the system.

Still, that hasn't stopped people from trying. Wealthy industrialists, aggrieved mainstream politicians, and individuals on the fringes of the cultural discourse have attempted to break through the two-party glass ceiling, often using periods of political and social instability to wedge themselves into the national conversation. Some have been more successful than others. The two largest and most notable third parties, the Libertarians and the Green Party, will once again field candidates in the 2020 presidential election. Their chances of winning are slim, but they can certainly play a spoiler role in the process to determine our next commander in chief.

Below is a list of the most successful third-party candidates in American history, listed in chronological order.

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