Joshua Kierns| Reporter
To consider voting for a third-party candidate considers wasting your vote. This seems to be the sentiment planted into American politics. This doesn’t seem like a stretch especially when examining independent candidates. In the 2016 election Gary Johnson from the Libertarian Party, only secured a measly 3.3 percent of the popular vote. In fact, there are only 10 instances in U.S. history where an independent had secured any number of electoral votes.
So why does this matter?
Former Starbucks CEO and Chairman Howard Schultz has played with the idea of a presidential campaign. Holding relatively progressive social views, such as the Starbucks “Greener Plan”, which attempts to eliminate plastic straws by 2020 and create 10,000 environmentally friendly stores by 2025.
However, according to Forbes, Schultz’ real-time net worth comes to an accumulative $3.5 billion. The Starbucks champion elaborated on his capitalist views in an interview with Morning Joe on MSNBC, divulging that Sen. Elizabeth Warren seeked campaign contributions in her own campaign. However, he later declined the offer citing she “Will lead to socialism in America”.
(Schultz, former CEO and Chairman of Starbucks)
This leads to some problems, the self-made billionaire has been ridiculed by both sides of the political spectrum since proposing his new campaign; he has been viewed as too socially conscious for Republicans, and too economically forward for Democrats. Schultz was hounded by a Trump supporter during his interview with NBC following his announcement.
There are countless Democratic Party members potentially running for President in 2020 who have an outspoken, instilled fear that an influential third-party candidate will only skew independent voters. Thus securing Donald Trump a second term as President.
The uproar of negativity that ensued after the Captain of Coffee threw his hat into the ring could mean potential news coverage. According to a study conducted by the Shorenstein Center, “Trump received 63 percent of the coverage compared to 37 percent for his most heavily covered rival.” Based on these studies, we can assume that the media plays a major role in deciding the fate of the next election, despite the press being inherently good or bad.
Will Schultz rally independent voters to a substantial voter base, or will he secure the republicans for four more years as a result? These questions make for one certainty, the third-party nominations will be one to watch in the next election cycle.