Saturday, July 19, 2008

Third Parties--their year?

According to what I've read, a major factor in Obama's upset victory over Clinton, the shoo-in candidate, was the electorate's need for change. Recent polls show Obama with a slight lead over McCain, with change also being a significant issue. However, there are still 3 1/2 months before election day, so that may change.

But, if this need for change does play an important role in the election and does give Obama the win, what will this mean for the other races? As low as Bush's ratings are today, I hear that Congress' ratings are even lower. Will this same perceived need for a change affect those races also? If this is true, then I can see this having an effect in one or more of the following ways:

1. Incumbents of both parties lose to political newcomers running for office for the first time.

2. Dissatisfaction spreads beyond the candidates to the political parties themselves and results in increased voting for third party candidates.

3. Both the incumbents and their opponents discover the need for change, which results in some strange campaigns in the next few months as everybody strives to demonstrate they are the ones to inaugurate a change.

I see No. 3 as the most likely outcome, but it would be interesting if it were No. 2 and we see third party members in Congress for the first time in decades.

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