Howard Schultz and America's history of third-party candidates

Americans are increasingly dissatisfied with the country's two dominant political parties.

In 2015, Gallup asked people to share their political identity and more people than ever before, 43 percent, called themselves "independent."

But, when Howard Schultz, the former Starbucks CEO, announced that he is considering running as a "centrist independent" in 2020 the reaction was fierce.

President Trump tweeted that Schultz doesn't have "the guts" to run. Julian Castro, a Democratic presidential candidate, said if Schultz ran his campaign it would help President Trump. Charles Pierce wrote "The Last Thing America Needs Right Now is a 'Centrist Independent'" in Esquire.

Schultz is not the first independent to draw this type of ire.

Guest host Tiffany Hanssen spoke with political scientist Samara Klar about the history of independent candidates running for office and what it would take for an independent candidate to be considered a viable option.

Guest: Samara Klar— Associate professor of political science at the University of Arizona and author of the book "Independent Politics"

To listen to the full discussion you can use the audio player above.

Before you go...

MPR News is dedicated to bringing you clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives when we need it most. We rely on your help to do this. Your donation has the power to keep MPR News strong and accessible to all during this crisis and beyond.