Common Sense

Cavuto: Could a Third Party Candidate Win in 2012?

Don't count anyone out of the race yet


I want to play a little game with you right now.

I'm going to mention some names.

See if you recognize them.

Then…see if you can connect them.

You ready?

Here we go.

Ross Perot.

John Anderson.

George Wallace.

Theodore Roosevelt.

I'll leave their pictures up here.

The question is: What do all those guys have in common? Take your time.

Alright. Times up!

Some of you probably figured they all ran for president. That answer does not count. So no credit to you.

But did you know the "exact" thing all those four folks have in common?

They all ran as third-party candidates "for" president.

Now, I know the Teddy Roosevelt thing is surprising…but the former president did indeed run as a third-party candidate in 1912, against his former vice president and "then" incumbent president William Howard Taft.

Roosevelt actually beat Taft, he scored 27 percent of the vote, as a progressive. Impressive.

Unfortunately for Teddy and Taft…

They both lost to a fellow named Woodrow Wilson.

But while a third party candidate has yet to do as well as teddy did back in 1912…Many have done pretty darn well since…

George Wallace got 14 percent of the vote in 1968…

Ross Perot, 19 percent in 1992...

And John Anderson 7 percent in the Ronald Reagan romp of 1980.

Not bad then. Not bad but all these third party guys would have done much better if voters simply thought any of them had a chance.

In one 1992 poll, more Americans said they would have happily voted for Perot over Bill Clinton and then President Bush, senior, if they didn't think it was a waste of time. Because the media pretty much said voting for Perot was a waste of time.

Flash to now…Herman Cain surprises everyone this weekend by topping a Florida straw poll.

And Ron Paul, well he consistently places highly in every national poll...

But neither is given much of a chance, because the media insists neither has a chance.

Again...says who exactly?

The experts boosting the status quo? Or the experts protecting the status quo? Or maybe they're one-in-the-same?

Because I want you to ask yourself this: How many outside-the-Petri dish candidates would have made it if so many weren't so busy insisting they couldn't possibly make it?

Me? I can't take it.

Remember, no one has voted.

So I hardly think it fair anyone's voted off.

Besides, we could do worse than looking for our next leader outside the usual Petri dish...

Look around.

We already have.

We already are.