Both the Republican and Democratic nominees for president have high unfavorability ratings, but it hasn’t seemed to help the third party candidates much.
Wednesday night, the Libertarian party has a chance to win over voters, during a prime time town hall event on CNN.
“What we’re looking at here, is in today’s environment, it is pretty hopeless for a third party candidate,” said political analyst Jim Bowers.
That’s not good news for Libertarian and former governor of New Mexico Gary Johnson, who’s on the campaign trail. Despite many of Johnson’s views being popular, political scientists say the two party system is all but stuck the way it is.
“Political science literature has studied political realignments or critical realignments,” Bowers said. “But most of those happen prior to the advent of mass media and prior to the personalization of politics, where the focus is on the character of one or the other candidate rather than the party.”
Johnson, a former republican, is only polling around 9 percent nationally. Bowers says his best chance is to use the current state of the election to his advantage.
“I think Gary Johnson needs to make an out-and-out appeal to the mainstream conservative Republicans that would like to have an alternative to Trump, and try to make the case that he is the really the Republican candidate,” said Bowers.
Johnson will appear with his running mate, former governor of Massachusetts Bill Weld. The CNN town hall airs Wednesday night at 9 p.m.
The fourth candidate is Green Party nominee Dr. Jill Stein. She is currently only polling at about 4 percent.