Every other Sunday I hit the streets to take an informal reading of the general population's temperature on a specific topic for our Streetwise column. Sometimes the questions are pretty softball. Other times they're more hard-hitting and designed to make people think. No matter what the case, the answers are always interesting.
Last Sunday's Streetwise asked people if they would consider voting for a third-party candidate. I thought this was a great question in light of the fact that third party candidates like the Green Party's Howie Hawkins and Matt Funiciello were polling higher than third parties have in the past.
Most of the people I spoke to said they absolutely were voting third party this year. They said they're fed up with the candidates and ideas presented by the two major parties. Overwhelmingly that was the case. When I'm out asking the Streetwise question, there are always plenty of people who say they don't want to answer if the question has any hint of controversy.
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This week, I approached a woman and her daughter as they were headed to the Crandall Library to ask whether she would vote third party. Surprisingly, her daughter in third grade had an immediate answer, and she was of the spoiler theory class and didn't think third party candidates would have enough name recognition to vote. She didn't know the jargon, but she knew how to articulate her ideas.
In the newsroom we discussed whether we should use her answer. Some wondered if including her trivialized the other answers, like the question wasn't being taken seriously. I felt it was the right decision to include her. She answered the question outright, and it was a thoughtful answer.
I asked several people this question over the weekend. Many of them did not want to share their answer because they were prominent in the business community and didn't want to alienate people. But all of those people even said they would consider voting for a third party candidate.
Though everyone says they're fed up with the two parties, they keep getting elected, which makes me wonder how many people actually fill in the bubble for the candidate they want in office.
Were you excited to vote for anyone this year?