Continuing with my look at the Constitution Party, I thought I’d relay some information both e-mailed to those of us on their mailing list and posted on their website. This message talks about how the party fared in the 2008 election. From the e-mail:
Constitution Party presidential candidate Chuck Baldwin and his running mate Darrell Castle wound up with close to 179,000 votes, showing even with no ads and comparatively little media attention, the message of liberty resonated with many.
The tally was a 24% increase over the party’s vote total in 2004. However, this year we were not on the ballot in California or Pennsylvania, and in 2004 those states accounted for 33,000 votes. The Baldwin/Castle ticket even grabbed 3,418 write-in votes in Texas, the highest for any write-in candidate in that state.
While the Constitution Party lists their final tally to be “close to 179,000” votes, Wikipedia lists their total for 2008 as 181,342. Not too bad, really. Both the Libertarians and Ralph Nader finished ahead of the Constitutionalists, but they got a few thousand more votes than the Green Party. More from their message:
In addition to larger percentages of votes, 20 states will remain ballot qualified meaning fewer time-consuming and costly ballot-access campaigns will be necessary going forward. This is a 33% increase over 2004.
Many people do not realize that one of the biggest hurdles that young political parties have to overcome is actually getting on the ballot! You don’t just “wind up” on the ballot – you have to actually collect signatures and petition to be on the ballot in each state. It’s not the easiest process and as the quoted message above alludes to, it’s not an entirely quick process either.
It would appear that the Constitution Party made a decent showing for a third party with no financing and no advertising in the 2008 election. America needs a strong third party at the national level – could it be this one?