Being a third party contender allowed Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman to rise in New York’s 23rd Congressional District special election. That is the take from MSNBC’s Chuck Todd.
Todd writes in the “First Read” column on msnbc.com, “Hoffman's rise has been thanks to a combination of conservatives and independents who apparently have been attracted by Hoffman's anti-Washington and anti-party establishment message. It's still an open question among some Republicans about whether Hoffman could have been as successful as the actual Republican nominee; running as an outsider has been a BIG benefit to his bid.”
This argument shows that Third Party candidates can tap into some momentum from general Washington disgust. But they still need at least one “trump card” or a few “face cards” to become real threats.