Third parties could cause voting upheaval in what's shaping up to be a tight presidential race in Pennsylvania

Benjamin Kail, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on

Published in Political News

"What's going to be interesting, if he does get on most ballots ... when people start to listen, see, and dig deeper, will they still have the same interest as they do just hearing there's a Kennedy on the ballot?" he said.

Ken Gormley, president of Duquesne University and a former constitutional law professor, said voters considering third-party candidates — or even sitting the election out because of dissatisfaction with the front-runners — should fully educate themselves on the potential outcomes.

When former President Theodore Roosevelt reentered the political fray and formed the Progressive Party to run against his successor, President William Howard Taft, in 1912, it "split the vote and elected Woodrow Wilson — who was totally opposed to all his policies," Gormley said.

More than a century later, voters backing Stein — who "had a passion for the environment and sustainability issues, specifically in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin" — may have tilted the 2016 race toward Trump, "who undid virtually every environmental policy they believe in," Gormley said.


"You have to realize you are making a decision, and if you thumb your nose to make some gestures, you're likely thumbing your nose at yourself," he said.


(Mike Wereschagin contributed.)

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