2008 Criteria for including Third Parties on
The Green Papers website as Major Third Parties


Those Third Parties (Parties which- unlike the Democrats and Republicans did not receive Electoral Votes through winning a plurality of a State's [or the District of Columbia's] Popular Vote) receiving a minimum of 2/10ths of 1 percent of the nationwide Popular Vote in any Presidential Election between 1976 and 2004 and which fielded candidates in the previous presidential election (2004) are hereby defined as "Major Third Parties" for the purposes of "The Green Papers" website, subject to an additional criterion (which will be described below).

(NOTE: Excluded from this definition re: Major Third Parties are the following non-Party so-called "Independent" bids for President which also received at least 0.2% of the nationwide popular vote between 1976 and 2004:

  • Eugene McCarthy in 1976
  • John Anderson in 1980
  • Ross Perot in 1992
  • Ralph Nader in 2004

[NOTE: while it is true that John Anderson called his organization the "National Unity Campaign" and Ross Perot's first bid was under the guise of "United We Stand", neither of these campaign organizations were, in any way, true political Parties. In addition, although Ralph Nader did gain ballot access in several States for 2004 via having been nominated in those States by a number of Third Parties (Populist, Reform, Peace and Justice, etc.) acting locally, his nationwide campaign was that of an Independent candidacy.])

The Third Parties whose candidate for President of the United States did receive a minimum of 0.2% of the nationwide Popular Vote in at least one Presidential Election between 1976 and 2004 were as follows:

  • GREEN PARTY 1996 & 2000
  • LIBERTARIAN PARTY 1976 thru 2004
  • REFORM PARTY 1996 & 2000

However, the AMERICAN INDEPENDENT PARTY (along with other lineal successors to the AMERICAN INDEPENDENT PARTY of George Wallace in 1968, such as the AMERICAN PARTY) has been, for all intents and purposes, defunct since the 1992 election; the CITIZENS PARTY has not been active in national presidential politics since the 1984 election,; while the NEW ALLIANCE PARTY has not fielded a national presidential ticket since 1992. This leaves, as potentially Major Third Parties under our "0.2% of the popular vote in any election 1976-2004"-based definition: the GREEN, the LIBERTARIAN and the REFORM Parties.

In addition, however, we also now apply an additional criterion before finally accepting, for purposes of this website, a given Third Party as a Major Third Party and that is this:

In order to be considered a Major Third Party by 'The Green Papers', a Third Party [again, not Democrat or Republican] which has received at least 0.2% of the nationwide Popular Vote in at least one Presidential Election between 1976 and 2004 must have also been on the ballot (voters having the ability to cast a"write-in" do not count), in enough jurisdictions, back in 2004, so as to allow that Third Party to have been able to, however theoretically, actually win the Presidency in the most recent Presidential Election. Put another way: a Third Party- even if it has received at least 2/10ths of 1 percent of the vote between 1976 and 2004- cannot be at all considered "Major" unless it had also gained the ability to win at least 270 (a majority) of the 538 Electoral Votes via actually having been on the ballot in enough jurisdictions (the 50 States plus D.C.) containing at least said 270 Electoral Votes in the most recent Presidential Election.

Under the above additional criterion, the REFORM PARTY (which only appeared on the ballot in 5 jurisdictions having a total of but 52 Electoral Votes in 2004) no longer qualifies as a current Major Third Party for purposes of 'The Green Papers'; whereas the LIBERTARIAN PARTY (on the ballot in 49 jurisdictions with 527 Electoral Votes in 2004) and the GREEN PARTY (on the ballot in 28 jurisdictions with 286 Electoral Votes in 2004) do so qualify- and, therefore, are hereby defined- as Major Third Parties for purposes of this website.


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