I've long suspected that lesser-evil politics continues to be the order of the day, because voters rationally expect other voters to be making their choices among the lesser-evil Democrat or the lesser-evil Republican.  Under that circumstance, voters might be receptive to an argument that choosing "neither" or casting a protest vote is a waste, and they might be (wrongly) mau-maued into thinking that by abstaining they have forfeited any standing to gripe.

Nobody ever forfeits a right to gripe.
That libertarian wing [primarily in the Republican coalition] is going to have to come to grips, sooner or later, with the reality that until voters figure out that the false binary of Republican and Democrat loses its validity with enough voters making a different choice.  To their credit, the true believers trading under various socialist and communist banners have been making such claims for years.  Unfortunately, they've got nothing by way of a positive vision to expand their constituencies very much.  Enumerated and limited powers, and emergence, have a lot more going for them.
Now comes S. E. Cupp, with encouraging polling data.
According to a 2018 Gallup poll, 57% of Americans say our two parties do such a poor job that a third party is needed. Only 38% say the two parties do an adequate job. That’s almost the mirror opposite of what the results were in 2003, when Gallup first started polling the question and 56% said the two-party system was good enough and 40% disagreed.

It’s not surprising, then, that we’re decreasingly aligning with the far left and right. In a Pew poll from 2018, Americans on average put themselves near the midpoint on an ideological scale. If 0 is “very liberal” and 10 is “very conservative,” most put themselves at around a 5.

Naturally, the parties’ response to this disaffection is to quite literally force American voters into picking one or the other — and, typically, to drag their candidates further to the extremes during their primaries.
She's writing in response to retired Starbucks chief Howard Schultz attempting to mount a hostile takeover of the Democratic presidential nomination, the way one Donald Trump did in 2016.  "In a nation where growing numbers of people are turned off by Dems and the GOP, Howard Schultz deserves the chance to make his case."

Yes, and that 57% of the sample telling pollsters they want better choices might be sufficiently large that an independent-minded voter can vote outside the usual menu with a stronger belief that others are also doing so.

It reminds me of a slogan from 50 years ago.  What if the major parties ran their bases' favorites and nobody voted for them?

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