If you’re a major party incumbent or potential future candidate, you might have some reasonable concern about the possibility of losing to a minor party or independent candidate as a result of having approval voting. But thinking about the current strength of minor parties in the USA, you have to make a strategic consideration of which is more likely:
- Approval voting helps you by saving you from losing to your major party opponent, when you really should win, by fixing the spoiler problem.
- Approval voting hurts you by allowing a minor party candidate to defeat you.
At the present time, scenario #1 is much more likely in most races, meaning approval voting is a good bet.
Approval voting could allow minor parties to grow more competitive over time, and even win when the major parties become insufficiently representative. But that’s more of a problem for future politicians. By supporting approval voting today major party politicians can protect themselves, while leaving a lasting legacy of improved democracy for their constituents.
We thusly believe that savvy major party politicians will support approval voting. This is especially true for internal processes. For instance, a major party which uses approval voting for internal nominating and decision making would be at an advantage and likely win more elections.