Though their chances of winning the White House are slim, third-party candidates make a huge impact on the presidential race. North Iowa Area Community College political science instructor John Schmaltz says third party candidates traditionally hurt the incumbent party. For example, in 1992, Ross Perot did a lot of damage to George Bush Senior.Green Party candidate Ralph Nader is a candidate who sits to the left and he’s capturing some of democrat Al Gore’s supporters. Schmaltz says Reform Party candidate Pat Buchanan is probably the only third-party candidate this time who is -not- making a difference.Schmaltz says third party candidates often bring up important issues which mainstream candidates try to steer away from. One example is the abolition of slavery, which was pushed by the Free Soil Party — a third party.Other third-party candidates include Iowan John Hagelin, running on the Natural Law Party ticket, Libertarian Party candidate Harry Browne and Howard Phillips of the Constitution Party.
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