Despite dissatisfaction with Washington, don’t bet on a third party coming to the rescue

Given the public’s frustration with Washington, it’s not surprising that a third-party option has become increasingly popular with the American public. Indeed, the latest NBC News/Wall-Street Journal poll shows that 30 percent of voters would pick an independent or third-party candidate in a three-way field also featuring a Democrat and Republican — up five points from when this question was last asked in 2010. …

But a third party winning office — or even getting attention — won’t be easy, political scientists and analysts say. “There’s zero chance of seeing a strong third party,” said Nolan McCarty, professor of politics and public affairs and associate dean at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. “The most important reason is that our entire electoral system is designed to make it difficult for third parties to be successful.” CONT.

Taylor Hiegel, NBC News