Ralph Nader’s hugely influential - and controversial - performance in the 2000 presidential election significantly raised the national profile of the Green movement. Running under the banner of the Association of State Green Parties, an umbrella body for autonomous state-level political, advocacy and single-issue organizations, Mr. Nader’s 2.74% share of the vote, the highest in history for a Green Party presidential candidate, proved decisive in the election.

His success however prompted a rethink of the movement’s goals and strategy. Aside from capitalizing on Nader’s success, some elements within the movement began to wonder on how well it would perform with a proper political strategy in place. The discussions culminated with a break-up the following year when several members of the Green Committees of Correspondence - the de-facto governing authority of the coalition – formally established the Green Party of the United States (GPUS).

Nevertheless, the anticipated progress under GPUS did not materialize. Despite a surge in membership registration in the early 2000s which peaked at 305,000 in 2005, the party’s performance in presidential elections has grown steadily worse, as evidenced by its underwhelming 0.36% share of the votes in 2012 – the worst ever – and the dwindling of registered Greens to a little under a quarter of a million. On the positive side, GPUS has been making inroads in down ballot races, where it currently has over a hundred elected public office holders across the nation.

State ballot access remains an issue, however. The strong competition between third parties and stringent (some say restrictive) state election laws has made the task of qualifying for ballots more difficult than ever before. While GPUS managed to obtain ballot access in 37 states in 2012 (still less than Nader’s 43 states and D.C. in 2000), the number is expected to drop lower in this election cycle. Nevertheless, the FEC has announced that candidate Jill Stein's presidential campaign has qualified for Federal Matching Funds, almost half a year earlier than in the 2012 cycle.

While the party has been the natural home of purist liberals since its inception, there are fears that some items in its election platform might drive away independent and undecided voters. For instance, its advocacy of homeopathy, naturopathy and traditional Chinese medicine and calls to completely retire existing nuclear plants and moratorium on new ones is bound to alienate a fair number of on-the-fence voters.

Yet, the Greens’ core values - ecological sustainability, social and economic justice, and non-violence – has always resonated with a large number of Americans. And depending on its ballot access campaign, the Greens might just reclaim its third-ranked status from the libertarians.

 2016 Green Party Presumptive Nominee

2016 Green Party Presidential Nominee
Physician, Reformer, Environmental Activist
Green Party Candidate 2016 Jill Stein
Dr. Jill Stein, a Harvard-trained physician, has emerged as the favorite protest candidate of the progressive grassroots. Her stances on single-payer health care, campaign finance reforms and student loan debt forgiveness, and her refusal to accept money from corporate donors have resonated with millennials. Dr. Stein’s current polling numbers suggest that she is well on track to match – and even surpass – Ralph Nader’s performance in 2000 presidential election.

JStein Vice-Presidential Running Mate

2016 Green Party Vice-Presidential Nominee
Humans Right Activist
2016 Green Party Vice-Presidential Nominee Ajamu Baraka
Ajamu Baraka is an internationally well-regarded human rights activist and a far-left social justice advocate with experience stretching over three decades. He first came into international attention in 1998 after being invited by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to Paris to attend an event celebrating the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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