BILLINGS, Mont. - Running as a third-party presidential candidate can be an uphill battle, but that didn't stop Jo Jorgensen from campaigning in the Magic City Saturday. We decided to reach out to local political science expert, Dr. Paul Pope to ask if these third-party contenders really stand a chance.
"They certainly will not have a chance at coming close to even winning this race, almost certainly," said Dr. Pope
Dr. Pope teaches Specializations in American Government at MSUB and says it's difficult running outside the two major parties.
"Jorgensen is likely only to get 1 or 2 percent of the vote at best," said Dr. Pope
"What makes it difficult is they do have a monopoly, they are not having me on the debate stage because they know that I would be the alternative.", said Libertarian candidate, Jo Jorgensen
Dr. Pope explained this is because Democratic and Republican parties control the process of recognizing third parties on ballots.
"This is probably the biggest level of cooperation the democrats and republicans will be having right now is to ensure limits to third parties."
Dr. Pope says Jorgensen may not have a chance of winning, but here presence on the ballot can pull votes from either side, having a major impact on who wins.
"1 to 2 percent can be the difference, there is going to be an effect, how much it is, I don't know for sure."
While these third parties can sway the polls, we've never had one win an election, but according to Pope that could change.
"You're likely after this election, especially if it goes back to the republicans, to see a huge split in the Republican party, big fractures, we're already seeing the cracks, if that happens, we might see a splinter third party has come out of that."