Photo courtesy of Flickr
Story and video by Andrew Wigdor / Assistant News Editor and Stephen Barnum / Contributing Writer
Students and citizens in the workforce alike have seen an unfortunate dilemma in 2016. Registered and capable voters remain uncertain on who to vote for come November. Many have claimed that neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton are fit to lead the nation. According to an Associated Press poll taken in July, 81 percent of Americans claimed that they would fear the election of one of the major-party candidates.
What many people do not know is that there are other options available. The two leading third party candidates that have been practically unseen by most of the country are former Governor of New Mexico, Gary Johnson, and physician, activist and politician, Jill Stein.
Gary Johnson is the Libertarian nominee for President of the United States. His platform involves cutting down on wasteful spending without large tax increases. Johnson also believes that stricter term limits must be set in most government positions, and the importance of keeping the government out of people’s personal lives.
Stein is the Green Party presidential nominee. She wishes to transition America to 100 percent clean, renewable energy by 2030. Some of her other beliefs are actually very similar to the popular Democratic candidate, Bernie Sanders. She believes that public college and Health Care are a right to all citizens, as well as a $15 dollar minimum wage.
Johnson and Stein have seen increased numbers in national polls since their last run in 2012. While her highest 2016 poll only reached 7 percent of the vote nationwide, Stein only garnered .36 percent in the 2012 election. Johnson had a similar result, showing his highest polling to reach around 12 percent in 2016, after receiving less than one percent of the vote in 2012. Despite both of their polling upticks, neither could reach the percentage needed to enter the upcoming first debate on Sept. 26.
With much of America complaining that there are no viable options, millions of people continue to dismiss these third party candidates. Is it simply party blindness or are they only comfortable with the popular candidates? “Sidelines” decided to ask MTSU students what their opinion was on this election’s third party candidates.