The Corner

Third Parties Swinging U.S. History

VERY interesting e-mail from a reader who knows: “Hello, I enjoyed your

National Review article about minor party presidential candidates who tipped


outcome. I publish Ballot Access News and have

studied election data my whole life. I believe minor party and independent

presidential candidates changed the outcome of 7 presidential elections in

US history: 1844, 1848, 1884, 1912, 1926, 1992 and 2000. I don’t believe

George Wallace changed the 1968 outcome; I think Nixon would have won if

Wallace had not run. I agree with you about 1992.

“The Prohibition Party clearly cost the Republicans the presidency in 1884

and 1916. Both times, the Prohibition Party presidential candidate was a


Republican Governor. In 1884 it was St. John of Kansas; in 1916 it was

Hanly of Indiana. James Bryce, among others, observed that people who voted

Prohibition, would have voted Republican if the Prohibition Party hadn’t

been running. In 1884 the Prohibitionist got 25,000 votes in New York and


Democrats carried New York by only 1,100; in 1916 the Prohibitionist got

32,000 votes in California and the Democrats carried California by 3,000

votes. If New York in 1884, or California in 1916, had gone Republican,

Republicans would have won the presidency (Blaine and Hughes).”


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