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Voters looking for more options could turn to minor parties for presidential nominee

(Source: WMBF News) (Source: WMBF News)

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - More people are looking at third party candidates as they move away from the major Democratic and Republican parties and their nominees.

These so-called third party presidential nominees are hoping to win support, and they are also getting more attention.

The Green Party Pick, Dr. Jill Stein and her running mate, Ajamu Barack,  will be part of a CNN Town Hall scheduled for Wednesday.

Adam Chamberlain, associate professor for the department of politics at Coastal Carolina University, said voters want to know they have options for the November election, and they are more interested finding out more about those options.

"There are a lot of voters out there who are wondering what these other options are, and are starting to at least look at them," Chamberlain said. 

He added there are a sizable number of voters who are not necessarily supporting Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton or Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

"They realize that these minor party candidates are not going to win, but they are willing to look at them as an option, whether it's a protest vote against what the major parties are doing and putting forward or whether it's where they say, 'I actually sincerely believe in this person,'" Chamberlain said. 

The Green Party presidential nominees will have the national stage to share their message.

"The Green Party started in the 1980s and is part of a broader, global movement of green parties focused on what we call post-material issues, such as the environment, social justice and the United States, they have struggled to gain traction," Chamberlain said.

He added minor parties are doing better now than they have in the last 20 years. 

"I think that the media is giving more attention than they have in the past on these type of candidates and certainly CNN with the town halls is kind of revolutionizing that in a way," Chamberlain said.

That party, he added, is looking to target Bernie Sanders supporters.

"So at this point, a lot of the Bernie Sanders supporters can still get behind Hillary but there are a lot of mainstream Republicans - even people like Mitt Romney - who are very skeptical about Donald Trump, and a lot of them are starting to look elsewhere," Chamberlain said.

But the professor said he is not certain third parties have enough momentum to sway the 2016 general election.

"Looks like they might have the ability to change some outcome or change some voters, and it would be the Libertarian Party, in part that's because Republicans are more frustrated with Trump than Democrats are frustrated with Hillary," Chamberlain said. "There are voters looking elsewhere, but they need to know what those options are, and voters are savvy enough to know that, maybe, they won’t win but they need to be aware that they are there, and I think that is a lot of what these parties are about raising - awareness."

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