As they look ahead to the 2020 election, few political pundits have considered the possibility that a Libertarian Party candidate could be elected president. Yes, I know its a long shot, but not as long a shot as it might initially seem.
Because of the Electoral College system of voting, third-party candidates have a better chance of winning than most people think. If no candidate gets a majority of the electoral votes, the House of Representatives chooses the president from among the three candidates with the most electoral votes.
To be in the running, all that a third-party candidate must do is receive enough electoral votes to ensure that neither the Democratic nor Republican nominee wins an Electoral College majority, in which case the spoiler becomes a credible final contender. In a close race, the candidate might need to win just one state to send the election to the House of Representatives.
At that point, the third-party candidate would have to convince members of the House to vote for him or her rather than for the major-party candidates. Its unlikely, but not impossible. It depends on whos running.