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Can a Dem/Rep primary losing candidate run as a third party candidate?

Anonymous writes...

"Once the Primary is over. If a candidate does not win in the party they ran in can he/she switch to lets say a different party like Libertarian or some other open party to run against the Republicans and Democrats in the run off?"


Yes. If a candidate does not win the primary, he/she can run as a third party candidate or write-in in the general election (not runoff). HOWEVER, between ballot access issues (requirements/deadline to get on the ballot in each state) and the Electoral College, the process makes it near impossible to win. Essentially, the game is rigged to Democrat & Republican.

On the other hand, a primary losing candidate may still have strong enough appeal in the public eye. In this case, he/she can run as a third party candidate or write-in, be a spoiler, and change the outcome of an election.

Think Ross Perot and Ralph Nader in recent elections.

Posted by JeffCohen on 12.18.2015 (12.18.2015)
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12 votes

12.18.2015 (12.18.2015)
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  •  Anonymous: 

    Some states have "sore loser" laws prohibiting someone from getting their name printed on the ballot for any party if they previously ran and lost in that state's primary/caucus. However, in practice most of these have not been applied to presidential primaries. There are two exceptions, South Dakota and Texas.  A person losing the Republican presidential primary in Texas would not be allowed to have their name printed as the Libertarian candidate for that same general election. 



    1 point
  •  Anonymous: 

    Lisa Murkowski won Alaska senate seat in 2010 as a write-in candidate.

    0 points
  •  Anonymous: 

    Joe Lieberman -- Connecticut senate 2006.

    2 points
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