This article by Kyle Kondik, J. Miles Coleman, and Larry J. Sabato is published by Center For Politics. Here is an excerpt:
The United States is a nation increasingly polarized by party and by state. In many states, one party dominates while the other flails in seemingly permanent irrelevance. In such states, primary voters for the dominant party are often able to flex their muscles to nominate a comparatively extreme candidate, who is all but assured a victory in the general election.
Is there another way for minority parties in lopsided states to compete? There does seem to be an appetite for alternatives this year. Consider:
In Utah, Republican Sen. Mike Lee is running for reelection. In recent years, Utah Democrats running statewide have been unable to break 40% of the vote. This year, Evan McMullin, a former third-party presidential candidate from the state, decided to run as an independent, touting himself as a centrist alternative to Lee. While McMullin has an uphill climb seeking to oust a Republican incumbent in Utah, he got a break last weekend when Utah Democrats pledged not to nominate a candidate in the race. This gives McMullin a somewhat better shot at stitching together enough Democrats and moderate Republicans to make the race competitive.
Find more information on this article here. Democracy Chronicles has put together an in-depth review of the majority of America’s third parties in a handy overview where all the country’s political parties, other than the two big parties, are separated into categories and contextualized. Links to their websites and party platforms are included too. See the overview of all American political parties at Democracy Chronicles Third Party Central.