A Spoiler Spoiled

Running as an independent candidate, U.S. businessman Ross Perot campaigns for president in 1992. (Photo by Arnold Sachs/Consolidated News Pictures/Getty Images)

Imagine how baffled the casual American voter must have felt on Thursday when the country’s best hope for a centrist third-party presidential option officially threw in the towel on the campaign.

In this year of all years.

The story of why No Labels believed it could mount a credible independent candidacy is so simple that it can be told entirely with numbers. First: Both major-party nominees are below 43 percent in favorability.

Second: The share of Americans who identify as independent stands at 43 percent, a solid plurality of the total electorate and tied for an all-time high.

Third: 63 percent of adults now say that the two major parties do such a poor job of representing their interests that a third party is needed. That’s the highest figure recorded by Gallup since it began asking the question in 2003.

This content is available exclusively to Dispatch members
Try a membership for full access to every newsletter and all of The Dispatch. Support quality, fact-based journalism.
Already a paid member? Sign In
Comments (148)
Join The Dispatch to participate in the comments.
Load More