Third Party Presidential Candidates on Hawaii Ballot

Flickr: Courtesy of Richard Hurd (www.flickr.com/photos/rahimageworks/6545752113/); Gage Skidmore (www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/5447629278/)

The conventions are pau and the race for the American presidency is now in full swing.

Hawaii voters unsatisfied with either the Democratic Party ticket (Barack Obama and Joe Biden) or the Republican Party ticket (Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan) have a third and fourth option, however.

The Libertarian Party is fielding Gary Johnson and running mate James Gray while the Green Party has Jill Stein and running mate Cheri Honkala. (More on them later.)

National experts say Hawaii is sure to go for its native son this year, perhaps with the more than 70 percent of the vote he won here in 2008.

But it's worth noting that the presidential ballot four years ago also featured the nominees of the Green, Libertarian, Constitution and Independent parties, which picked up a combined 1.5 percent of the vote.

The state has shown a growing interest in third party candidates such as Dennis Kucinich, who did well against John Kerry in the 2004 Democratic caucus, and Ralph Nader, who as a Green candidate took 5.8 percent of the general election vote in 2000.

Ron Paul finished third behind Romney and Rick Santorum in this year's Hawaii GOP caucus but bested Romney on the Big Island and nearly won Maui.

Paul is a Republican with a strong independent streak, having previously run for president as a Libertarian. Another third-party candidate, Ross Perot, earned nearly 14 percent of the Hawaii vote in 1992 and 7.4 percent in 1996.

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