How an Independent Could Win a Presidential Election

Updated: Feb 3, 2019

Producing a competitive independent candidate for the general presidential election would require mass grassroots organization by voters who either identify as independent or are open to supporting an independent candidate for office. That's why electing an independent president has traditionally been deemed impossible.

Historically speaking, the two major parties in power have been able to control the course of presidential elections because they were able to fund and organize national campaigns. This control is rapidly shifting due to social media and the ongoing emergence of outsider candidates.

In order to explain what could be possible in the near future, we need to take a look back at the activity of outsider campaigns during the 2016 presidential election cycle. Both the Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump campaign were relatively small organizations, (See Resources section below for more 2016 campaign data).

Trump and Sanders could afford to run with small campaigns due to the power their social media following gave them; however, each candidate also sought to use either the Democratic or Republican Party as a host vehicle for campaign organization because, as Bernie Sanders stated to USA Today,

"It would require an enormous amount of time, energy and money just to get on the ballot in 50 states... It made a lot more sense for me to work within the Democratic primary system where it's much easier to get on the ballot and have a chance to debate the other candidates." - Senator Bernie Sanders (read full article at

If the two parties controlling our elections are being reduced to hosts for outsider candidates, why not create an alternative campaign host for multiple independent candidates? What if voters chose to donate, volunteer, and vote for outside candidates that are vetted by the American public instead of by the Democrats or Republicans? What if voters applied the same level support they have previously given the two parties to this alternative host? What if this host was a social media platform driven by a nonpartisan, crowd-sourced political agenda?

The fact that an outsider candidate could be elected president based mainly on the strength of their social media following wasn't a reality until the 2016 election was over. The American people are now acutely aware of the power of an outside candidate's social media following.

If the 42% of the American electorate that identifies as independent were to lend their support towards creating an alternative host, that host would be receiving more support than either party in a presidential election. This host platform would present a real opportunity for the American public to be free from partisan control over our elections.


The PurpleState™ initiative can be defined as a people-driven effort to establish a digital, multimedia platform designed to allow users to select or run as independent candidates.

If you support our initiative and want to get involved, go to our Get Involved page and find out more about how you can help.

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