What if you could vote third party without helping Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton? It’s possible

September 6th, 2016 by in News

This article was originally published on OregonLive.


Many voters are grappling with this: They’re loyal Republicans or Democrats, but they just can’t pull the lever for their party’s nominee this year. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are the most unpopular major-party nominees ever.

These disaffected voters could go for Gary Johnson, but that would only help out their party’s rival major-party candidate, who they dislike even more than your own. And they really don’t want to do that.

Well, some backers of the Libertarian Party nominee actually understand this dilemma, and their super PAC has figured out a workaround. It’s called Balanced Rebellion: a website that will connect a Democrat or Republican with a member of the other major party, allowing both to vote for Johnson. “It’s like Tinder but not gross,” says an Abe Lincoln impersonator in an amusing five-minute video on the Balanced Rebellion site.

“If you decide to vote for Johnson, we’ll match you with someone from the opposite party to balance out your vote,” Lincoln says. “Meaning, if you’re a Florida Democrat who hates Trump and Hillary, we match you with a Florida Republican who hates Trump and Hillary. If you both vote Johnson, neither Trump nor Hillary gets an advantage. Only America!”

This political ad for Johnson offers a unique appeal: offering major-party voters a guilt-free way to abandon their traditional loyalties in November. So, if the idea catches fire, could Johnson actually win the presidency?

Don’t count on it. Balanced Rebellion insists that two-thirds of voters aren’t happy with Trump or Clinton. That’s somewhat true, depending on how the question is asked in polls, but it doesn’t mean most of those unhappy voters are interested in even considering a third-party candidate. Right now, Johnson has an outside shot—way outside—to nab the electoral votes in Utah, a traditionally Republican state where Trump, the Republican nominee, is particularly unpopular. Beyond the Beehive State, Johnson appears to be on track to finish a distant third.

Which doesn’t mean a vote for Johnson is wasted. A double-digits showing (he’s polling at around 10 percent nationally at the moment) would be a huge boost for the Libertarian Party, setting the stage for a concerted push toward—and increased public debate about—transforming the U.S. into a true multi-party system.

Watch the Balanced Rebellion video below:

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