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Campaign 2012: Bring on the third party, er, parties

Americans Elect is a privately funded, centrist political organization that plans to pick a nominee through an online convention this summer. Like any independent party, one of its two main challenges is winning a place on the 50 state ballots. The other one is attracting enough votes to earn a spot on the next election's ballots.

Monday, the group announced that it had garnered a line on California's 2012 ballot, having collected more than the requisite 1 million signatures. Its total now stands at 12 states, including five key swing states. Not yet in the fold are such vote-rich states as New York, Texas, Illinois and Pennsylvania.

Americans Elect is secretive about its funders, but it boasts a wide-open process for picking a nominee. So if you could put another name on the ballot besides Barack Obama and Michele Bachmann Rick Perry Herman Cain whoever the GOP ultimately picks, who would it be? Take our ridiculously unscientific poll, leave a comment or do both! (If you vote for "Other," make sure to leave a comment telling readers here who your ideal third-party candidate would be.)


The bigoted presidential campaign

Gingrich: Even his sister doesn't want him to win

News flash: Romney takes a stand, and sticks to it

Feisty Gingrich blasts Romney record at Bain Capital

Fact check: Would Mitt Romney have won his $10,000 bet?

-- Jon Healey


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The Opinion L.A. blog is the work of Los Angeles Times Editorial Board membersNicholas Goldberg, Robert Greene, Carla Hall, Jon Healey, Sandra Hernandez, Karin Klein, Michael McGough, Jim Newton and Dan Turner. Columnists Patt Morrison and Doyle McManus also write for the blog, as do Letters editor Paul Thornton, copy chief Paul Whitefield and senior web producer Alexandra Le Tellier.

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