According to a 2017 Gallup Poll, 60% of Americans believe America is in need of a third party to challenge Republicans and Democrats.
This isn’t new though. According to the poll data, these results have been unchanged since 2013. Since 2003, the poll has fluctuated from 40% and higher.
The question becomes, if America wants a Third Party this strongly, why is the Libertarian Party struggling?
1) Districting Not Conducive To Third Parties
We’ll start with an area that is out of the Libertarian Party’s control, which is districting.
Both Republicans and Democrats accuse each other of Gerrymandering, the practice of purposefully drawing voting districts around constituency demographics that benefit them in an election cycle. They’re both right, because they both engage in this to their benefit and will continue to.
Due to this structural disadvantage, the Libertarian Party only has a chance in statewide elections that are determined by the popular vote, such as US Senate or Gubernatorial races. Unfortunately The Libertarian Party hasn’t been popular.
A great example of this is New York Gubernatorial Candidate Larry Sharpe in 2018. Sharpe ran a well structured campaign, fundraising well for a Libertarian and providing positive messaging in his platform.
Yet, Sharpe fell slightly below the Green Party Candidate Howie Hawkins in the election, despite much better fundraising and slightly better polling than Hawkins leading up to the election.
This was a temperature check for the upcoming political climate.