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Has the Prohibition of Fusion Really Hurt Third-Parties?
Unformatted Document Text:  Residency requirements were recorded from “Table A.14 Residency Requirements for Suffrage: 1870-1923” in the Appendix of Keyysar (2000). Analysis: Figure 1 shows the average vote for third-party candidates—that is, those nominated by at least one third-party but not also nominated by a major party—from 1890 to 2006. As the graph shows, the decline did not come quickly after the introduction of the Australian ballot, nor did it come soon after most of the literature on fusion argues that fusion was introduced in many states. Instead, there appears to have been two major and one minor periods of third-party activity during the period from around 1890 to the end of the twentieth century. The first could be called the Populist period, which began in the 1870s with the Greenbacks and evolved into various Populist and People’s Parties in the 1890s. The movement was especially concentrated in rural areas of the West and South. While these parties were competitive from around 1892 to 1898, by 1900 the movement largely collapsed, and third-party activity in the South virtually disappeared. The second, which could be called the Progressive and Socialist period, reached its height in 1912 and 1914 and was especially concentrated outside of the South. By 1918, these parties also weakened considerably, though progressive and labor parties continued to be active through the Roosevelt administration. A third, but much smaller, phase came during the New Deal era, but third- party activity tended to be concentrated in Minnesota and Wisconsin and a handful of larger states, notably California, New York, and Pennsylvania. After the mid-1940s, third-parties had very little impact on House elections. Figure 1 Approximately Here This last stage of third-party activity may be especially relevant to the current discussion. Minnesota and Wisconsin were critical centers of third-party activity during this period, when the Farm-Labor Party of Wisconsin was producing a serious challenge to the major parties and 13

Authors: Tamas, Bernard.
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Residency requirements were recorded from “Table A.14 Residency Requirements for Suffrage:
1870-1923” in the Appendix of Keyysar (2000).
Analysis:
Figure 1 shows the average vote for third-party candidates—that is, those nominated by at least
one third-party but not also nominated by a major party—from 1890 to 2006. As the graph shows, the
decline did not come quickly after the introduction of the Australian ballot, nor did it come soon after
most of the literature on fusion argues that fusion was introduced in many states. Instead, there appears to
have been two major and one minor periods of third-party activity during the period from around 1890 to
the end of the twentieth century. The first could be called the Populist period, which began in the 1870s
with the Greenbacks and evolved into various Populist and People’s Parties in the 1890s. The movement
was especially concentrated in rural areas of the West and South. While these parties were competitive
from around 1892 to 1898, by 1900 the movement largely collapsed, and third-party activity in the South
virtually disappeared. The second, which could be called the Progressive and Socialist period, reached its
height in 1912 and 1914 and was especially concentrated outside of the South. By 1918, these parties
also weakened considerably, though progressive and labor parties continued to be active through the
Roosevelt administration. A third, but much smaller, phase came during the New Deal era, but third-
party activity tended to be concentrated in Minnesota and Wisconsin and a handful of larger states,
notably California, New York, and Pennsylvania. After the mid-1940s, third-parties had very little
impact on House elections.
Figure 1 Approximately Here
This last stage of third-party activity may be especially relevant to the current discussion.
Minnesota and Wisconsin were critical centers of third-party activity during this period, when
the Farm-Labor Party of Wisconsin was producing a serious challenge to the major parties and
13


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