Wisconsin Public Radio

Green Party Candidate Will Be On Wisconsin’s Presidential Ballot

Democrats fear a loss of votes that could defeat President Joe Biden.

By , Wisconsin Public Radio - Feb 10th, 2024 04:02 pm
Voters fill out ballots Tuesday, April 4, 2023, at Majestic Theatre in Madison, Wis. Angela Major/WPR

Voters fill out ballots Tuesday, April 4, 2023, at Majestic Theatre in Madison, Wis. Angela Major/WPR

The Green Party’s presidential candidate will appear on Wisconsin’s ballot this fall.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission unanimously approved the addition Thursday because the party won more than 1 percent of the vote in a statewide race in 2022.

It could be a significant development in Wisconsin, a state where the last two presidential elections have been decided by around 20,000 votes.

The party was last on the presidential ballot in 2016, when Green Party nominee Jill Stein won more than 31,000 votes in Wisconsin. That was greater than former President Donald Trump’s 22,748-vote margin of victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton.

The Green Party candidate did not appear on the ballot in 2020, when President Joe Biden defeated Trump by 20,682 votes.

Some Democrats blamed Stein for Clinton’s loss in 2016. But in an interview with WPR, Wisconsin Green Party co-chair AJ Reed rejected the suggestion that his party hurt Democrats.

“Voting for a Green Party (candidate) is not a vote for a Republican party (candidate),” Reed said. “It’s just a fear narrative that Democrats have been doing since at least 2000.”

In the 2000 presidential election, Green Party candidate Ralph Nader won more votes than former President George W. Bush’s margin of victory over Democrat Al Gore in the decisive state of Florida.

A Marquette University Law School poll released this week showed Trump and Biden tied at 49 percent each among registered voters in a two-person race.

When Marquette added third party and independent candidates, 16 percent of voters surveyed said they would pick independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. over Biden and Trump. Stein, who has not yet won the Green Party’s endorsement, received the support of 4 percent. Another 2 percent backed independent candidate Cornel West.

Of the Democrats surveyed, 8 percent said they would support Stein instead of Biden if given the option.

“There is the potential for disaffected Democrats who are disappointed with Biden, but are no fans of Donald Trump, to consider going over and voting for Stein or the Green candidate,” said Marquette pollster Charles Franklin.

Reed said there are progressive Democrats whose values align with the Green party, and who have tried to change the Democratic Party from within.

“But that has never really happened for them over the years. So we do have progressive Democrats who contribute to Greens,” he said.

Reed said those progressive Democrats are not the sole focus of the Wisconsin Green Party’s organizing. He pointed to student debt, lead exposure in drinking water and segregation in Milwaukee as issues around which the Greens will try to organize a wider swath of voters.

Stein is planning to tour Wisconsin soon, with visits in Racine, Milwaukee and Madison, Reed said.

Libertarians have historically outperformed Green Party candidates in recent elections in Wisconsin. In 2016, Libertarian Gary Johnson got 106,674 votes, which was close to 3.6 percent of the vote in that race.

Franklin said Libertarians were not included in the most recent Marquette poll because it is not yet clear who their nominee will be.

But Franklin said he thinks it is overstated how much voters who support independent or third party candidates would otherwise vote for a major party candidate.

“The reason you vote for a third party candidate rather than one of the two party candidates is that neither of the two parties appeal to you,” Franklin said. “And so the idea that a third party voter would otherwise go to their ideologically closer major party, I think that’s not entirely true.”

Listen to the WPR report

Green Party candidate will appear on Wisconsin’s presidential ballot was originally published by Wisconsin Public Radio.

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7 thoughts on “Green Party Candidate Will Be On Wisconsin’s Presidential Ballot”

  1. bigb_andb says:

    Is the candidate going to be luke Dr Jill Stein. She sat at Putin’s table at an Russia Today propaganda event

  2. tornado75 says:

    ‘i am sick of the green party. where are they during the rest of the year. do we thank ralph nader for that debacle and how about stein. ; do we thank her for wisconsin going for trump and the debacle of his presidency. what has the green party actually done. i do not like that we have turned into a two party nation. i would rather see coalitions of parties as in other countries.

  3. kenyatta2009 says:

    A do nothing party

  4. mchaltry says:

    My values line up with the Green party but I’m not stupid enough to vote for them when we have fascists on the ballot.
    I’ll be happy to vote for you in local elections where you can actually do some good.

  5. Colin says:

    Who’s gonna follow every Russian dollar propping-up Stein and the Green party like in previous years of their meddling?

  6. tornado75 says:

    is this a conspiracy theory that jill stein is being supported by the russians. oh, please, can’t we just say the green party is useless without russians attached to it.

  7. gerrybroderick says:

    Mchaltry’s comment represents my feelings. All this candidacy can do is lose our state to Trump. What the hell is the Green Party thinking? Will helping elect Trump further their agenda?

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