TRIVIAL PURSUITS: How Many Political Parties Might You See on Election Ballots?

There are many political parties in the United States, but not all qualify to have the names of their candidates for office printed on election ballots.

How many political parties might you see on election ballots?

The answer is five. Both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party are recognized in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. The Libertarian Party is recognized in 37 states, the Green Party is recognized in 26 states and the Constitution Party is recognized in 10 states as of September 2019.

The Democratic Party generally supports a left-leaning, liberal platform with an emphasis on the role of the federal government in promoting social and economic welfare. The Republican Party supports a conservative platform with foundations in capitalism that is free from intervention, low taxes, supply-side fiscal policies and social conservatism.

According to the Libertarian Party’s website, “Libertarians strongly oppose any government interference into their personal, family, and business decisions.” According to its website, the Green Party is “an independent political party that is connected to American social movements, and is part of a global Green movement that shares key values, including our Four Pillars: Peace and Non-Violence, Ecological Wisdom, Grassroots Democracy, and Social Justice.” The Constitution Party’s website says it supports “the principles of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, and the Bill of Rights. It is our goal to limit the federal government to its delegated, enumerated, Constitutional functions.”