The Founding Fathers were vehemently against a national party (faction) system, especially a two-party model. The first three presidents - George Washington, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson – delivered strong cautionary words against the threat of political parties (although Adams and Jefferson would eventually succumb to the lure of the party system). However, the first-past-the-post voting system practiced at all levels of elections in the country means candidates who win a plurality of the votes in any election become the sole legislative representative of the entire county/district/state. This virtually guarantees the rise and institutionalization of the two-party system as losing candidates/parties get zero representation regardless of their performance.

Countries which practice proportional representation voting system, such as Germany, Italy or New Zealand, have thriving multi-party systems as even minor parties are represented in the highest legislative bodies.

With the cards solidly stacked against smaller political parties, it is no wonder then that third party candidates have always struggled to compete against the big two (which began as the Federalists vs the Democratic-Republicans, before switching to the Democratic-Republicans vs the Whigs in the early 19th century, and finally settling with the Democrats vs the Republicans from the mid-19th century onward).

Even in the 1992 presidential election, when Reform Party candidate Ross Perot won an incredible 18.9% of the votes, the party did not receive even a single seat in Congress for their effort. Similarly, despite regular losses at state and federal level, Libertarian and Green parties’ candidates regularly win a significant share of the votes but cannot be awarded with any representation at state legislatures and Congress. Compare that to the third highest performing party in the 2013 Bundestag election in Germany, Die Linke (The Left). The party earned 64 of the 631 seats in the Bundestag after winning just eight percent of the votes.

As long as the country practices a first-past-the-post voting system, third parties will never gain sufficient strength to enable its candidates to win the presidency. Polling exclusions, presidential debate participation and ballot access legislations also create additional barriers to third-party candidacies. This is the harsh truth. However, third party candidates have played the spoiler role successfully before.

• In 1848, former president Martin van Buren failed to win the Democratic nomination. With the support of the abolitionist elements from the Democratic Party, van Buren established the Free Soil Party and ran as a third-party candidate. He only secured 10% of the votes, but it siphoned enough votes away from Democratic candidate Lewis Cass to enable Whig candidate Zachary Taylor to win the presidency.

• In 1856, another spurned former Democratic president Millard Fillmore ran under The Know-Nothing Party banner and won 21.5% of the votes - and eight states. He took away sufficient votes from John C. Frémont of the Republican Party, who was also running on the abolitionist platform.

• In 1860, two third-party candidates, John Bell and John C. Breckinridge, won 30.7% of the votes to ensure the victory of Abraham Lincoln (who only managed to win 39.65% of the votes, the second lowest in history).

• In 1912, former president Teddy Roosevelt’s third-party run under the Progressive Party ticket outperformed that of the incumbent Republican president, William Taft, consigning the latter to a humiliating third-place finish.

• In 1924, the Progressive Party again played the spoiler role, but this time, its candidate Robert M. La Follette took advantage of the split in the Democratic Party to win 16.6% of the votes and gifted the election to Republican Calvin Coolidge.

• In 1968, American Independent Party candidate George Wallace, a former Republican governor of Alabama, won 13.5% of the votes and the electoral votes of five states (46). It ultimately proved insufficient to derail Republican Richard Nixon’s eventual victory. However, Wallace’s candidacy is significant because he is the last third-party candidate to carry a state in a presidential election.

• In 1992, Ross Perot’s candidacy under the Reform Party very nearly upset the formbooks. By the middle of the year, Perot was actually leading the race in a few polls. However, he withdrew from the race in July allegedly due to homophobic threats made against his daughter. He reentered the race in October, and still managed to secure almost nineteen percent of the votes, mostly from the southern, Deep South and Bible belt states.

• In 2000, Green Party candidate Ralph Nader’s small 2.74% share of the votes proved sufficient to affect the outcome of a tightly-contested race between Republican George Bush and Democrat Al Gore.

So, is the role of third parties in American presidential elections, and politics in general, limited to the spoiler’s role? Bereft of wide-ranging political reforms, are third-parties consigned to irrelevancy? The answer is a resounding NO!

Third parties are still capable of influencing the direction and focus of American politics, as we have seen time and again throughout the nation’s history. The Free Soil Party moved the anti-slavery dialogue from the fringes into the mainstream; the Prohibition Party influenced national social and moral discourse and legislation for over half a century; the Reform Party pushed federal deficit into an election issue – there are many more examples.

Third parties provide fresh ideas and elevate issues into the mainstream political dialogue. The most notable recent example is the tea party and Ron Paul’s paleolibertarian movement. Although they are technically not political parties, the two movements were hugely influential in the 2012 presidential election and the 2014 midterms. Many have pointed out that the two movements were responsible for the renewed focus on fiscal conservatism and states’ rights – and even paved the way for the arrival of Donald Trump.

Essentially, third parties are national political laboratories, where ideas, issues and ideologies undergo experiments and evolutions before being elevated to the national stage. Some of these concepts even end up being co-opted by the big two.

So once again, third parties and third-party presidential candidates do have a strong and important role to play in American politics. We need them.




 Declared Third party and Independent Candidates 
     
  Candidates ordered randomly
  Candidates ordered alphabetically
  Presidential Candidates sorted by age Candidates ordered by age

 
2016 Independent Presidential Candidate
Management and Market Research
2016 Independent Candidate  Ed Baker
    (age 37) Declared 2016 Independent Candidate
Dissatisfied with the job done by entrenched career politicians from both parties, Ed Baker has bold ideas to resolve a variety of issues including crime, spending and immigration. Conservatives, independents and progressives can all find common ground with at least one of Bakers positions.

2016 Libertarian Presidential Candidate
Author, Publisher, and Radio/TV host; Libertarian Activist
2016 Libertarian Candidate  Darryl Perry
    (age 38) Declared 2016 Libertarian Candidate
The 36-year old author, publisher, and radio/TV host already has more than 15 years of political activity behind him. Perry is a textbook libertarian, advocating drastic reduction of the powers of the Federal Government, while granting more power to the individual.

2016 Libertarian Presidential Candidate
Actor and Business Owner
2016 Libertarian Candidate  Cecil Ince
    (age 40) Declared 2016 Libertarian Candidate
An actor who makes his living pretending to be other people, Cecil Ince's desire to be President is very real. He's a Libertarian who frowns on encroachments upon personal liberty, and worries that the United States is taking an unhealthy globalist attitude in world affairs.

2016 Independent Presidential Candidate
Conservative Christian and 2012 presidential candidate
Independent Presidential Candidate 2016 David Holcomb
    (age 41) Declared 2016 Independent Candidate
Residing in Springfield Nebraska, David is a lawyer who specializes in family law. Holcomb describes himself as conservative, Christian, pro-life, and pro-Second Amendment. His presidential run as an independent didn't gain much traction in 2012.

2016 Veterans Party of America Presidential Nominee
Aircraft Maintenance Professional
2016 Veterans Party of America Candidate  Chris Keniston
    (age 45) Declared 2016 Veterans Party of America Candidate
Chris Keniston is a former military man, the third in a line of military service members in his bloodline dating back to his grandfather. His primary focus is on the creation of jobs, and his proposals for accomplishing this concern encouraging business and reforming the existing tax code – including by repeal of the 16th Amendment.

2016 Independent Presidential Candidate
Software Engineer
2016 Independent Candidate  David Boarman
    (age 48) Declared 2016 Independent Candidate
David Boarman has always believed in the Christian God – he just never acted like it until the age of 44, when a personal crisis brought on an intense devotion to his faith. Today, he's running for President because he's convinced that's what Gods wants him to do. He's a right-wing candidate with a strong emphasis on religious freedom.

2016 Independent Presidential Candidate
Lead Minister of Saint Valentine's Christian Church
2016 Independent Presidential Candidate Martin Hahn
    (age 48) Declared 2016 Independent Candidate
If you ask Martin Hahn, Republicans and Democrats are too concerned with battling each other to busy themselves with getting the people's work done.

2016 Independent Presidential Candidate
Entrepreneur, human rights activist
Independent Presidential Candidate Paul Chehade
    (age 50) Declared 2016 Independent Candidate
The Delaware-born Chehade is an idealist. A successful entrepreneur, Mr. Chehade is also the chairman of the non-profit organization Solidary Foundation, which is dedicated towards providing food, education and other critical support services to needy communities the world over.

2016 Independent Presidential Candidate
Insurance Manager
2016 Independent Candidate  Daniel Zutler
    (age 53) Declared 2016 Independent Candidate
Daniel Zutler is not optimistic about the structure of the United States – he believes we live under a system that is irrevocably broken, impossible of repair. As such, he calls for starting over completely, based on the Constitution as it was originally written and intended. Most of his policies come down right-of-center.

2016 Independent Presidential Candidate
Computer Science and Political Studies expert
2016 Independent Candidate  Tami Stainfield
    (age 53) Declared 2016 Independent Candidate
After living in nine different states, visiting twenty-nine countries all over the world, and living and studying in Africa for more than five years, the independent candidate Tami Stainfield is definitely an Anti-Globalist who has traveled the globe.

2016 Libertarian Presidential Candidate
Author and CEO
Libertarian Candidate 2016 Steve Kerbel
    (age 54) Declared 2016 Libertarian Candidate
No fan of either the Republican or Democrat parties, Steve Kerbel holds to a defiantly Libertarian platform. He believes in personal freedom and accountability, with the absolute minimum of government necessary to keep the nation running. Kerbel is a pro-business candidate.

2016 Independent Presidential Candidate
Veteran and former Gymnast
2016 Independent Candidate  Terry W. Wheelock
    (age 55) Declared 2016 Independent Candidate
Terry Wheelock is a former competitive gymnast who believes he's got the moves to be the next president. He's his own candidate, running on a platform that fits on neither the left nor right side of the political spectrum – instead, he borrows ideas from each.

2016 Independent Presidential Candidate
Wall Street finance expert and serial entrepreneur
Independent Candidate 2016 Scott Smith
    (age 59) Declared 2016 Independent Candidate
With extensive experience working with money on Wall Street, as well as a prolific businessman, Scott Smith wishes to enact economic policies that veer right even of most dyed-in-the-wool conservatives. His goals are dubious, but his confidence is unshakable.

2016 Libertarian Presidential Candidate
Lawyer and Engineer
Libertarian Presidential Candidate 2016 Derrick Michael Reid
    (age 61) Declared 2016 Libertarian Candidate
A hard worker with a bright mind that has brought him great academic advancement, Derrick Michael Reid is more at home solving equations than discussing politics. He has some fervent political opinions, mostly focusing on personal liberty, but his difficulties in communicating them promise to be a liability.

2016 Independent Presidential Candidate
Ordained Bishop and God-First Man of Faith
Independent Candidate 2016 Bishop Julian Lewis, Jr.
    (age 62) Declared 2016 Independent Candidate
Having spent most of his life in the service of God, Julian Lewis, Jr places his faith before all else. He believes that the will of God can and does inform a leader's policy decisions, and he has even spoken unfavorably about the separation of Church and State.

2016 Libertarian Presidential Candidate
Former Governor of New Mexico
2016 Libertarian Candidate  Gary Johnson
    (age 63) Declared 2016 Libertarian Candidate
The ex-construction company owner governed New Mexico for eight years, during which time, the state’s deficit was wiped out - without the aid of any new tax increases. He also memorably vetoed over 750 pieces of legislations to keep a check on the state government’s spending.

2016 Libertarian Presidential Candidate
Veteran and Spiritual Visionary
2016 Libertarian Presidential Candidate Joy Waymire
    (age 63) Declared 2016 Libertarian Candidate
Joy Waymire is a Godly woman who believes the Lord has shown her the way, even to the point of healing a slew of incurable medical conditions from which she once suffered. Politically, she is a straight-laced Libertarian, calling for little government and maximum personal freedom.

2016 Green Party Presidential Candidate
Physician, Reformer, Environmental Activist
2016 Green Party Candidate  Jill Stein
    (age 66) Declared 2016 Green Party Candidate
Jill Stein is no stranger to national politics. As the Green Party nominee in 2012, she understands the rigors of a national campaign. Stein is a fierce advocate for the environment and believes that investments in green issues can propel the American people and economy forward.

2016 Constitution Party Presidential Candidate
Farmer and retired jet pilot
Constitution Party Presidential Candidate 2016 Chad Koppie
    (age 78) Declared 2016 Constitution Party Candidate
A salt-of-the-earth farmer from birth right up to the present day, Chad Koppie is a tried and true conservative. From gun rights to abortion opposition to the importance of faith, there are few surprises in his ideology, making him a good fit for heartland voters.

2016 Independent Presidential Candidate
Music Lover
Independent Candidate 2016 Brian Briggs
    (age unknown) Declared 2016 Independent Candidate
Brian Briggs fancies himself the “average guy” that America needs as President. An Independent, he is beholden to neither major party, and his platform borrows from both. He's on the right side of the spectrum on gun control and his feelings towards Obamacare, but he has leftist attitudes on workers' rights.

2016 Socialist Party USA Presidential Candidate
Community Organizer
2016 Socialist Party USA Presidential Candidate Dean Capone
    (age unknown) Declared 2016 Socialist Party USA Candidate
Dean Capone doesn't share much about his personal history, but he's vocal on his political beliefs. A proud Socialist, he calls for a Universal Basic Income, a strongly unionized workforce, and the nationalization of the penal system. He says that socialism is more popular than many people realize.

2016 Constitution Party Presidential Candidate
Ordained Minister
Constitution Party Presidential Candidate Scott Copeland
    (age unknown) Declared 2016 Constitution Party Candidate
An ordained minister and member of the religious Constitution party, Scott Copeland puts God first and believes that Judeo-Christian values are the foundation of the US. He's totally unambiguous, and it's easy to see both the sort of people who will support him, and those by whom he will be opposed.

2016 Constitutionist Party Presidential Candidate
Middle Class Citizen
Constitutionist Party Candidate 2016 James
    (age unknown) Declared 2016 Constitutionist Party Candidate
The Constitutionist Party's candidate doesn't offer much on his qualifications, be they academic or professional. But as his party's name implies, he's big on upholding the Constitution, which to him means limiting the power and scope of the federal government and respecting foreign nations to handle their own governmental affairs.

2016 Reform Party Presidential Candidate
Management consultant and semi-retired professional engineer
2016 Reform Party Presidential Candidate Ken Cross
    (age unknown) Declared 2016 Reform Party Candidate
A member of the Reform party and fiscal conservative, Kenneth Cross confidently asserts that he has been studying politics throughout his entire life. He is a trained engineer, who presently works as a management consultant, and has owned three different small businesses.

2016 Independent Presidential Candidate
Businessman
2016 Independent Presidential Candidate Robert Dionisio
    (age unknown) Declared 2016 Independent Candidate
Robert Dionisio is a prolific business owner, starting as a little boy when he would collect forgotten litter and earn money turning it in for recycling. A critic of both major political parties, he\'s nevertheless a right-leaning presidential candidate, with budget reform intentions and a strong support of gun rights.

2016 Independent Presidential Candidate
Veteran and Electrical Servicing Business Owner
2016 Independent Presidential Candidate Art Drew
    (age unknown) Declared 2016 Independent Candidate
Art Drew is a Vietnam veteran who has owned his own business. He's also from a rural farming area, where he learned hard work and an appreciation for people who cultivate the land. His policies are non-extreme, and find their most comfortable reception in the political center.

2016 Independent Presidential Candidate
Strong Believer in the Middle Road
Independent Candidate 2016 Mark Dutter
    (age unknown) Declared 2016 Independent Candidate
Mark J. Dutter is an Independent from Spearfish, South Dakota with a strongly centrist platform, he is disappointed in both the Republican and Democratic parties, believing that candidates from each caucus put party before country, are beholden to big business interests, or both.

2016 Libertarian Presidential Candidate
Licensed Physician
Libertarian Candidate 2016 Marc Feldman
    (age unknown) Declared 2016 Libertarian Candidate
A minor candidate without a large financial backing, Marc Allan Feldman questions the prevailing wisdom that deep pockets are a prerequisite to victory in politics, contending that “votes are not for sale”. He is a Libertarian and opposes the fiscal policies of both major parties.

2016 Transhumanist Party Presidential Candidate
Futurist, philosopher, speaker and journalist
Transhumanist Party Presidential Candidate Zoltan Istvan
    (age unknown) Declared 2016 Transhumanist Party Candidate
It's all about technology for Transhumanist Party founder and presidential nominee Zoltan Istvan. His main priority is the allocation of funding for research scientists to develop augmentations for the human body that will destroy disease, enhance natural senses, and even conquer the specter of death.

2016 Independent Presidential Candidate
The Real Grandmaster Jay
Independent Presidential Candidate 2016 John Fitzgerald Johnson
    (age unknown) Declared 2016 Independent Candidate
John Fitzgerald Johnson, also known as “The Real Grandmaster Jay” to fans of his musical work, is a civil rights activist with strong feelings on addressing police brutality. Politically left of center, he's also an advocate of woman's rights and greatly sympathizes with the plight of illegal immigrants.

2016 Independent Presidential Candidate
Executive Consultant
Independent Candidate 2016 Lynn Sandra Kahn
    (age unknown) Declared 2016 Independent Candidate
Lynn Sandra Kahn boasts over 30 years of experience in the fields of government reform and conflict resolution. She touts a comprehensive 7-track strategy for achieving the goals of her platform: Fix government, build peace.

2016 Libertarian Presidential Candidate
Anti-Virus Pioneer and Privacy Advocate
2016 Libertarian Presidential Candidate John McAfee
    (age unknown) Declared 2016 Libertarian Candidate
John McAfee has a questionable legal past marked by a murder investigation, but his professional contributions command respect. He developed the first commercial anti-virus software for computers, building a successful company on his accomplishment. He is running for president on a platform that emphasizes technology and privacy.

2016 Independent Presidential Candidate
Water Treatment Operator (Retired)
2016 Independent Candidate  James C. Mitchell, Jr.
    (age unknown) Declared 2016 Independent Candidate
Jim Mitchell, Jr is a pro-life, pro-gun rights conservative from Illinois. He's got a bone to pick with crime, and his methods are as novel as they are aggressive: mandatory military service for young people to starve off gang recruitment, and free government-distributed narcotics to collapse the illegal drug trade.

2016 Independent Presidential Candidate
Middle-Class Working Person
Independent Presidential Candidate 2016 Perry Morcom
    (age unknown) Declared 2016 Independent Candidate
Perry Morcom is no fan of the Electoral College; the Texas working man wants it eliminated, and the President chosen strictly by popular vote. He's also against congressmen and Senators serving more than eight years in office. Driven by compassion, he wants to help rather than deport illegal immigrants.

2016 Constitution Party Presidential Candidate
Counselor and founder of the Alaska Constitution Party
2016 Constitution Party Candidate  J.R. Myers
    (age unknown) Declared 2016 Constitution Party Candidate
Though born in Montana, J.R. Myers considers Alaska his home, and even sought the governorship of that state before now going for the big chair of President of the United States. He's also chasing two party nominations for the latter goal. He's a conservative fellow and a man of faith, without much for leftists.

2016 Independent Presidential Candidate
Educator and Man Of Faith
Independent Presidential Candidate 2016 Mark Pendleton
    (age unknown) Declared 2016 Independent Candidate
Mark Pendelton is a man of the people and a person of great faith. He has stumbled and made common mistakes, and that gives him the ability to connect with ordinary Americans. His mantra is “give me one term and I will put the government back in the hands of the people.”

2016 Independent Presidential Candidate
Entrepreneur
Independent Presidential Candidate Jeremiah Pent
    (age unknown) Declared 2016 Independent Candidate
Without going into details, Jeremiah Pent speaks at length about solving the nation's problems, especially social disunity and the staggering national debt. Like many other independents and third-party candidates, he worries that the Republicans and Democrats have become too powerful.

2016 Libertarian Presidential Candidate
Owner of Stonegait LLC
Libertarian Candidate 2016 Austin Petersen
    (age unknown) Declared 2016 Libertarian Candidate
From the farms of Missouri, Austin Petersen has risen to own and manage his own media company. His policies are solidly Libertarian, and he is even preparing for the formation of a “transitional government” to facilitate the switch to a more constitutionally-founded United States.

2016 Humane Party Presidential Candidate
Humane Party Nominee
Humane Party Presidential Candidate Clifton Roberts
    (age unknown) Declared 2016 Humane Party Candidate
Representing the Humane party, Clifton Roberts is all about animal rights. He himself is a vegan, and believes in banning the slaughter of animals for food. He also supports sustainable energy, environmental protection policies, and an end to the death penalty, among other left-wing initiatives.

2016 America's Third Party Presidential Candidate
Intellectually Gifted Entrepreneur
America's Third Party Presidential Candidate David Jon Sponheim
    (age unknown)
It's easy to think of incidents in American history that may have turned out better had the President at the time enjoyed an IQ score of 185, and that's just what David Sponheim brings to the table. Disillusioned with Democrats with whom he identified for decades, he's started his own party – and he has some big ideas.

2016 Independent Presidential Candidate
Woman of Faith
Independent Presidential Candidate 2016 Shawna Sterling
    (age unknown) Declared 2016 Independent Candidate
Shawna Sterling has opinions all her own, even on matters which might not generally be considered up for debate. She blames GMOs above all else for childhood obesity, and pledges to eliminate their use in school cafeteria food. Otherwise, she is generally conservative, with a strong faith and strict opposition to abortion.

2016 Independent Presidential Candidate
Citizen, entrepreneur, advocate for equal treatment for all
Independent Presidential Candidate Samm Tittle
    (age unknown) Declared 2016 Independent Candidate
Samm Tittle is an advocate for everything that made America great. As an experienced entrepreneur, Tittle understands that when given a job and an equal playing field, an individual can achieve great things. As a citizen politician, she believes in truth in government and equal rights for all.

2016 Independent Presidential Candidate
Bus Driver
Independent Presidential Candidate Benjamin Weigel
    (age unknown) Declared 2016 Independent Candidate
Benjamin Weigel is a Marine who saw action in Iraq, and retired from service due to his injuries. He remains strongly pro-military and believes the nation would be best served by a President who has served – which, he notes, most of Congress has not done. He is a right-of-center candidate.



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The 2016 Presidential Election is unlike any seen in recent times. In fact, it may well be the most important since 1860, for one very simple reason. The 45th President could potentially be selecting up to four new Supreme Court Justices to replace the aging Ruth Bader Ginsburg (82), Anthony Kennedy (79), Stephen Breyer (77) and recently deceased Antonin Scalia - almost half of the nine-person lineup of the United States Supreme Court. With a historical 25-year average tenure, these lifetime appointments will directly determine the political, ideological and socioeconomic direction of the country for the next three decades, and indirectly thereafter.

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Presidential Election 2016
Pawel Kuczynski
 
To preserve freedom of political expression, the electorate must be both free to choose and adequately informed. There are over 1000 presidential candidates registered with the FEC for the 2016 election. Most of these officially declared candidates are marginalized or completely ignored by mainstream media and lack the benefit of unlimited spending by Super PAC’s.

We profile all official candidates, from all political parties, on a level platform. Some may be nutcases, but most are respectable individuals with legitimate positions on the issues. Any officially registered candidates not included may be fictitious, or have insufficient available information from which to build a profile.

We don’t know if any of these candidates would make a better president than a career politician, just as there's no guarantee that any of the 2016 campaign promises will actually be kept.

Word of mouth and today's web of social networks empower 'We the People' to promote a candidate more effectively than any media conglomerate, and subsequently scrutinize their every detail in thousands of national online platforms.

Take a look at the candidates, visit their websites and if you find them worthy of being given a chance, share their candidacy with friends and family.

May the best person win!

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