Party politics 101: A look at political history of third parties in America
After an open battle between different factions of the GOP during the government shutdown, there is some speculation that the more right-wing tea party will split from the GOP to form its own third party.
Due to the so called "spoiler effect" third parties tend to have on elections in a winner-take-all system — which the U.S. has — it would not be the first time that a third party made waves in the United States.
Though no third party has ever managed to get a president elected, third parties can have dramatic effects on an election, and indeed the very political foundation of the country. They can cause the major parties to adapt and to change or bring them crashing down around them.
Here's a look at some third parties in the U.S. and the effects they have had.
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