There is a lot of time between now and the general election, and many things can change, including the economy and Obama’s political fortunes. But we are in very unusual times, and it wouldn’t be out of the question for this type of earthquake to hit our political system in 2012. And if you thought the 2000 election with its hanging chads in Florida was a political football, an election that gets decided by our despised legislative branch would be the equivalent of an Ultimate Fighting Championship. And the aftershocks of something like this would be felt for years.

via How Would a Third-Party Candidate Fare in 2012? – Matthew Dowd – Politics – The Atlantic.

Do you think that the events which Maureen Dowd predicts are possible in today’s political climate?  What would happen if the Republican party were unable to produce an attractive candidate capable of wooing voters and Obama’s popularity continued to decline; might American voters then consider the possibility of a third party candidate?  Why do you believe American voters are so reticent to support a third party candidate; do they believe these parties incapable of successfully ruling our nation or is it simply a matter of habit?

What kind of third party candidate would need to emerge on to the political stage to steal the electoral spotlight from the Republican and Democratic parties?  Could a Tea Party candidate mount a successful political campaign capable of securing moderate American voters or would someone more “mainstream” have a better chance of winning the golden ticket?  Do you believe that Americans will ever embrace the notion of a multi-party electoral system or are we simply too stubborn to change course now?