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By: Nadine Arroyo Rodriguez on 10/24/2012
Republican and Democratic candidates are not alone in this presidential election. Third-party candidates are also included on ballots in many states, including Arizona. Often times these political groups go unnoticed.
NADINE ARROYO RODRIGUEZ: Libertarian Party candidate, and former New Mexico Governor, Gary Johnson is on the Arizona ballot for president this coming election. So is Green Party candidate Jill Stein. She ran against Mitt Romney in the 2002 Massachusetts gubernatorial race. They’re making stops across the country, participating in national debates and have a loyal following. Arizona State University Political Science Professor Richard Herrera says historically, third-party candidates seldom impact presidential elections and voters often forget about them.
RICHARD HERRERA: They’re not sharing the stage with the major party candidates so nobody is hearing about them. There’s no news stories really about them, except maybe this one, and that’s because voters have no idea who they are. At this point voters are pretty much oversaturated with information. There’s so much information now that they would be drowned out in any case.
NADINE ARROYO RODRIGUEZ: Herrera say third parties know their chances of winning are close to impossible. Ben Maski agrees. He’s Jill Stein’s campaign manager and says the race isn’t about winning, it’s about holding the major political parties accountable to their agenda.
BEN MANSKI: This country needs very substantial change and direction and we’re not gonna get there without demanding it, without standing up for it, without being seen and without being counted.
NADINE ARROYO RODRIGUEZ: National polls show Jill Stein has gained 3 percent of the votes, while Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson is has 6 percent.