2012 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 15/100ths of 1 percent of the nationwide Popular Vote in any Presidential Election between 1980 and 2008 and which fielded candidates in the previous presidential election (2008) are hereby defined as "Major Third Parties" for the purposes of 'The Green Papers', 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 0.15% of the nationwide popular vote between 1980 and 2008:

  • John Anderson in 1980
  • Ross Perot in 1992
  • Ralph Nader in 2004 & 2008

[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 both 2004 and 2008 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 0.15% of the nationwide Popular Vote in at least one Presidential Election between 1980 and 2008 were as follows:

  • GREEN PARTY 1996 & 2000
  • LIBERTARIAN PARTY 1980 thru 2008
  • REFORM PARTY 1996 & 2000

However, the CITIZENS PARTY has not been active in national presidential politics since the 1984 election; the NEW ALLIANCE PARTY has not fielded a national presidential ticket since 1992; and the REFORM PARTY was dropped as a Major Third Party on this website after the 2004 Presidential Election for having failed to get on the ballot in that election per the "additional criterion" outlined in the following paragraph.

Yes, indeed: we 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 0.15% of the nationwide Popular Vote in at least one Presidential Election between 1980 and 2008 must have also been on the ballot (voters merely having the ability to cast a "write-in" for the Party's candidates do not count), in enough jurisdictions, back in 2008, 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 15/100ths of 1 percent of the vote between 1980 and 2008- 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 (these being the 50 States plus D.C.) containing at least said 270 Electoral Votes in the most recent Presidential Election.

The CONSTITUTION PARTY (on the ballot in 37 jurisdictions having a total of 318 Electoral Votes in 2008); the GREEN PARTY (on the ballot in 32 jurisdictions with 368 Electoral Votes in 2008) ; and the LIBERTARIAN PARTY (on the ballot in 45 jurisdictions with 503 Electoral Votes in 2008) do so qualify under the above criterion and, therefore, are thereby defined as "Major Third Parties" for purposes of this website.

Thus, this leaves, as the Major Third Parties under our above "0.15% of the popular vote in any election 1980-2008, having run a national ticket in jurisdictions totalling at least 270 Electoral Votes in 2008"-based definition: the CONSTITUTION, the GREEN and the LIBERTARIAN Parties. Their being so defined as such by 'The Green Papers' will hold true through the Presidential Election of 2012.


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