Description/Abstract of your Event:
This panel will explore why progressive third party candidates for lower level offices (such as city council and state representative) rarely win elections and how they might win them more often. These offices commonly serve as a springboard to higher level, high profile offices (such as mayor, governor, and Congressperson). Thus, for progressive third parties, winning lower level races more frequently may be a necessary first step to truly competing for local, state and national power. There is relatively little scholarship or writing on this subject. Most literature on the problems of progressive third parties focuses on well known, extreme institutional obstacles that exist at higher electoral levels, where it is virtually impossible to win. However, such tremendous barriers donѓ??t exist in many races for lower level office. Here, ballot and financial requirements are much less stringent; the ѓ??spoilerѓ?ќ effect operates less often because many lower level races involve only one major party opponent; and overt media bias is less important because media coverage of these races is comparatively infrequent. In sum, it is unclear why progressive third party candidates donѓ??t win lower level elections more often and how this can be changed. The presentations on this panel will address that mystery. Presenters will include both those who've studied the problem and those who have relevant experience as progressive third party candidates at the grassroots level.