In a close election like this one, it’s hard to go third-party. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump aren’t a first-choice for many, and yet beyond isolated geographic examples, there hasn’t been much interest in third-party candidates.
The first thing to remember is that your vote counts most if you cast it for the winning candidate. And the candidate most likely to win is Hillary Clinton. If you can’t fathom voting for Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump is the candidate second-most likely to win. You wouldn’t be alone if you didn’t like either, however.
Despite this, many are choosing not to vote for third-party candidates for fear it will throw the election to the one liked less or feared more.
Is this fear justified? If you live in a swing state, the answer is more likely to be yes. While there is an increasing number of swing states this year, if you live in one of the states that are solidly red or blue, your vote is not likely to swing the election. It’s here that a third-party vote could matter more.
That vote could be for a third-party candidate, it could be a vote against the quality of the choices or it could be cast in the unlikely hope neither candidate reaches the needed 270 electoral votes and the election is decided by the House. Either way, a third-party vote cast in these states could matter more than one cast for either of the two major party candidates.