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Politics and Government

How does the electoral college hurt third party candidates?

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October 03, 2014 9:45PM

A candidate is required to receive at least 270 electoral votes. Even if a third party got a plurality, the chances of receiving the entire 270 when there are three parties running is small. Having three or more viable candidates increases the likelihood of an election decided by Congress instead.

In the past, the greatest effect of a third-party candidate was to badly weaken one of the two major parties and lead to the win of the other party.