November 6, 2012 11:05 p.m. (EST)
In the end, it wasn’t the 1% vs. the 99%. It was the 59% that shook up American politics and broke the gridlock in Washington.
Here are the unofficial totals for the 2012 Presidential election:
- Americans Elect (3rd party): 59%
- Democratic: 19%
- Republican: 19%
- Other: 3%
Back in early November of 2011, no one was taking seriously the idea of a 3rd party candidate. It had been done before, most said, and never made a difference. Many people forgot that in 1992 Ross Perot won 19% of the votes in the Presidential election, despite a bizarre decision to drop out of the race in the middle and then jump back in several weeks later.
But then the Super Committee charged with finding $1.2 trillion in budget cuts failed miserably, and in making excuses sounded like spoiled kids blaming the other. An already-disgusted electorate shifted from frustration to anger.
Americans Elect was ready. The non-partisan group had already gathered over 2 million signatures, seeking to put a 3rd candidate on the ballot in all 50 states.
Using the Internet and social media as its tools, Americans Elect opened the door up wide for a candidate who could avoid altogether the distorting process of Democratic and Republican primary elections. She didn’t have to be ultra liberal. She didn’t have to be ultra conservative. In fact, it helped greatly that she was a moderate, which is what most Americans really want.
The new President lacks sure votes in either the House or Senate, but she certainly has a mandate – three times the votes either collected – likely to scare both parties. It is almost certain that moderate “3rd party” candidates will be running in every Senate and House election for years to come.