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Race for the White House: No hope for independents... yet

The system is rigged. And no matter the amount of lip-service support for a national, center-oriented independent there is... for now it's impossible to imagine an independent winning the White House in the near future.

Another big night tonight for Hillary and Trump (and some room for spinners to spin OK-ish results for Cruz and Kasich in spots).

For you fellow independents: I know, I know. Mayor Bloomberg made it clear a week ago that he won't run. He figured out there is no way to win either in the electoral college or in the House (if it it got that far). But probably most important to the Mayor's consideration of whether to run was the stark realization that a Bloomberg candidacy would probably pave the way for a President Trump. Don't you just wish there was a way a legitimate independent to make the race palatable anyway? But, alas, it is not gonna happen until a whole bunch of election reforms happen first.

Why? Because no matter how you slice it... the D v. R partisan election machine has no interest in opening the system to outside competition. The parties make it hard for independents to get on the ballot, to have a chance at participating in debates, have access to money/staff/resources. The obstacles go on and on.

So what to do? We have to start making the system more amenable to independents on myriad fronts:

• Make it easier for independents to make ballots:

 

• Adopt top two or ranked choice voting reforms to make it possible for independents to more realistically win general elections;

• Force big ticket races (presidential, other federal races) to include independents in debates;

• Elect more independents to the House and Senate to change perceptions of independent viability (and provide some measure of fairness should the electoral college fail);

• Create the infrastructure to support independents at the local and state level (data, money, organization)

• Consider electoral college reforms to stop rewarding (and propping up) a broken two-party system.

Will it happen overnight? No way. But hopefully in some presidential cycle in the next decade or so, today's millennials (the same ones that are abandoning the two parties in record droves) will be presented with a viable independent candidate for president able to compete on a level playing field with the partisans -- and win the White House.

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