By Adam Forgie, KUTV
SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) — America’s presidential political landscape has been dominated by two parties for the past 170 years.
The last time a president was elected who wasn’t a Democrat or a Republican was in 1848, when Whig candidate Zachary Taylor was elected. He died one year into his term, leaving Millard Fillmore as the last president who wasn’t a Republican or Democrat to hold the office. Theodore Roosevelt, who held the presidency as a Republican, switched to the Progressive Party when he ran for president in 1912 and lost.
In 2016, Libertarian Gary Johnson received 4.84 million votes – that’s 3.28% of the vote, the most ever for a Libertarian candidate. Similarly, Green Party candidate Jill Stein received 1.45 million votes in 2016, giving her a little more than 1% of the vote.
In 1992, Ross Perot famously captured 19.74 million votes — 18.91% of the vote when he ran as an independent. Many political science experts say Perot’s candidacy cost George H.W. Bush reelection when Democrat Bill Clinton won. Perot also severely damaged his candidacy when he dropped out of the race in July 1992 before reentering in October.