Third Party Watch’s Thomas L. Knapp posted an entry entitled “Third parties: Late, for a very important date.”
While we agree it would be great to hear from third parties who their candidates are and to begin to demand media time, there’s a financial loop hole for some of the delay, as explained in the comments by Ballot-Access.org’s Richard Winger.
Richard Winger responded:
Parties that hold early presidential nominating conventions lose the chance to get primary season matching funds. I realize the Libertarian and Constitution Parties’ candidates aren’t interested in filing for primary season matching funds anyway. But that’s certainly not true of the other minor parties.
Parties that have received primary season matching funds (and which then legally used the money to pay for general election petitioning) have been the Citizens Party in 1984 (Sonia Johnson); the New Alliance Party in 1988 and 1992 (Lenora Fulani); the Natural Law Party in 1992, 1996 and 2000 (John Hagelin); the Green Party in 2000 (Ralph Nader); the Reform Party in 2004 (Ralph Nader).
Primary season money shuts off as soon as the party makes its nomination. Since the money can never be paid in the odd year before, a party that nominates in the odd year before the election has just totally shut off the opportunity.