As we get closer to the faux election between the two plutocrat/war parties, the media frenzy builds as the race tightens, especially in swing states such as Florida. See latest Huffington Post poll showing Obama with 47.6% and Romney with 48%. For those that can do arithmetic that only adds to 95.6%. What about the other 4.4%? They are listed as "undecided" or "other". Who are the "other" voters favoring? We don't know because they didn't ask. This just shows the perceived importance of alternative parties/views in the duopoly US election system.
Coke or Pepsi, that's your only choice. In commerce wouldn't that be an unfair restraint of trade and subject to anti-trust litigation? No matter, this is politics and the duopoly is in control. They don't even allow third parties to attend debates, never mind participate in them. You might remember that Ralph Nader was barred from the Presidential debate in Boston in 2008 even though he had a ticket. In a deja-vu moment 2012 Green party candidate Jill Stein was barred from the debate and arrested for 8 hours at Hofstra on Tuesday.
If you look at a recent Suffolk U Florida poll from Oct. 2, they actually did bother to ask who the "other" voters favored: "The Suffolk University/7NEWS (WSVN-Miami) poll is the first Florida survey taken this year to include all 12 of the Presidential party candidates who qualified for the Florida ballot.
Libertarian Gary Johnson, Green Party nominee Jill Stein, and Peace and Freedom Party nominee Roseanne Barr were each favored by 1 percent of voters polled. One or more voters, but less than 1 percent, chose Peta Lindsay (Party for Socialism and Liberation), Tom Hoefling (American Independent Party), or Ross C. "Rocky" Anderson (Justice Party of Florida)."
Ok, so now we see that 3% favor either Gary Johnson who is on the ballot in all but 2 states, Jill Stein who is on the ballot in 37 states, and petitioning for 14 more, or Rosanne Barr. Barr is listed as having ballot access to fewer than 270, but more than 50 electoral votes . A smattering of other candidates are also favored by a small number of voters. See wikipedia page for details on ballot access.
By the way, this answers the question of who should appear at Presidential debates. The consensus answer is any candidate who has done the work to get on the ballot, and who has a mathematically possible chance to win the election. This reduces the number to about 5. The straw man excuse given by the duopolists is that there are over 400 candidates for President and they can't all be on stage, so we can only have two. What a crock of sh*t.
So here we are in 2012, back where we were in 2000, with small party candidates possibly having the chance of "spoiling" the election for the duopolists. The republicans are particularly concerned with Libertarian Gary Johnson's support, and the Democrats are likely concerned with Green Jill Stein.
If either of them draw more than the difference between Obama and Romney in Florida or in any other swing state, we will hear the same cry-babies we heard in 2000. From the Democrats: "the Green Party cost us the election!" Or from the Republicans, it will be "the Libertarians cost us the election", as if they own the election and have a right to it.
Both Republican and Democrat cry-babies could have easily solved the problem of third parties, but they didn't. Nebraska and Maine have a proportional system that allocates electoral college delegates by congressional district. Even better would be a system that just allocates electoral college delegates by proportion of votes received. There are 29 electoral college votes in Florida. 1 electoral vote = 3.4% of the vote. Romney's 48% gets him 14 and so does Obama's 47.6%. No other candidate is currently polling over 3.4%, so tiebreaker probably would go to the major with higher percentage or perhaps to nobody.
The 2000 Florida election was considered such a disaster for the Democrats that they have been crying about it ever since. Did they spend the last 12 years lobbying to solve the problem by instituting a proportional delegate system? Of course not. They know quite well according to Deverger's Law that winner-take-all elections naturally lead to two party systems. They are much more concerned about holding on to their power than fostering democracy. Proportional voting gives power to smaller parties which is why it is not on the table for Republicans or Democrats in the electoral college.
So if a small party affects the election results the cry-baby duopolists have only themselves to blame for not instituting a proportional delegate system that would make the issue of "third" parties irrelevant to the outcome.