...I do think these third party candidates serve a purpose. It give those who don't like nor want either major party candidate a means of voicing their disdain for both.
I would also say that the same voters who vote third-party have the delusion that somehow their candidate will become president.
The mental illness is strong in these folks.
I don't think so. I think almost everyone who voted third party in 2016 knew that Johnson, Stein, McMullen etc. didn't have a chance of winning. Some voted for them because they like them the best, but most I think going by past history, voted for a third party candidate to avoid voting for either Trump or Hillary.
If CNN's exit polling is correct, that is close to 6 million people who turned out to vote against both Trump and Hillary that wouldn't have voted at all if they couldn't vote against both those major party candidates.
I was one of those who voted third party. I had no illusions that the candidate I voted for even had a remote chance of winning. But it was that important to me to have my vote officially registered against both of them. Who I voted for was irrelevant, as long as it wasn't Trump nor Hillary. I didn't care who won between them. It made no difference to me whether we had devil A or devil B. All I knew is one of the devils would win. All I wanted to do is not help either devil win. I wanted it known far and wide, I did my best to stop both or either one from winning.
I find it interesting that on election day 56% of all Americans had a negative view of Hillary and didn't want her to become president while 60% of all Americans had a negative view of Trump and didn't want him to become their next president either. https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/l37rosbwjp/econTabReport_lv.pdf
Yet, what these stats show is that 8 out of that 56% who didn't like nor want Hillary ended up voting for her so she could wind up with 48% of the vote. With Trump, 14 out of that 60% voted for him although they disliked and didn't want him president either.
So in the end we ended up with Trump. This is what happens when neither party nominates someone most Americans don't want to become president.
No, I don't think many third party voters at all had the notion that the candidate they voted for could win. Remember 65% of third party voters said they wouldn't have voted if their hadn't been a third party candidate on the ballot for them to vote against both Trump and Clinton. What this means is almost 6 million Americans went to the poll to vote against both candidates. Not necessary for a candidate, but vote against Trump and Clinton, against both or they would have stayed home.
In 2016, if there had been no third party candidate for me to vote against both Trump and Hillary, I would have wrote in Mr. None of the Above. I wanted a say in who Georgia's Senator and who my congressman would be along with the local offices on the ballot. I didn't want nothing at all to do with Trump and Hillary Clinton. If people were stupid enough to vote for either one, then they deserved what they got.