Barriers to Entry
And then there were two.
Mr. Troniano said part of the problem is that voters who want to see alternatives are generally not political activists, which means they aren’t used to working through what can be a convoluted political system. He said there’s also a psychological barrier: Voters want to support someone they think can actually win — which generally means turning to the options available from the two major parties.
It isn’t a psychological barrier. It’s a strategic calculation. And it’s one that voters (and perhaps more importantly talented and ambitious politicians) are going to make again and again.
Seth Masket collected some Americans Elect epitaphs. Brendan Nyhan has an ongoing project to keep tabs on third party hype. Me? I’ve been working on a boxer/briefs/boxer-brief joke about third parties for a while, but I think like Americans Elect, it’s not going to happen anytime soon. Maybe if I worked in an “underpants gnomes” reference?