Amy Timmerman



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Third parties have always existed within American politics, yet have never claimed the ultimate political victory: the Presidency. Third parties often enjoy support from single issue voters, a strong, concentrated group of serious devotees, but they often fail to attract more consistent backing similar to that enjoyed by the two major parties. A major source of third party patronage is also found on the university campus, yet this support often fades shortly after college. Using survey data, this thesis analyzes the potential impact party building and media campaign strategies would have on third parties in gaining the lasting support of 18-24 year old voters. By combining this survey data with a literature review of studies done on past third party presidential hopefuls, this project also reveals the problems inherent in the Electoral College that a third party must overcome. This foundation could provide a path for third parties to begin building a coalition that would allow them to take the national stage with the same presence and power that the major two parties currently possess.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Honors Thesis

Primary Advisor

Michelle Pautz, Daniel Birdsong

Primary Advisor's Department

Political Science


Stander Symposium poster


Arts and Humanities | Business | Education | Engineering | Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences | Physical Sciences and Mathematics | Social and Behavioral Sciences

Party Building: Factors to Encourage Third Party Support Among 18-24 Year Olds