Extra-party politicians heat up the race for 2014
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For most of the modern era, third-party candidates have acted like the crazy uncles of American politics: fun to watch but rarely relevant. But in the past four years, the outcomes of four Senate races have been jumbled by outsiders, and this year is set to deliver even more disruption.
Ten of the 12 Senate seats with the potential to swing in November have drawn third-party challengers. Nine of those races have Libertarian Party candidates who are likely to pull votes from Republicans. That’s hardly news for Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, who is hoping his party can take six seats and regain control of the Senate, but who may have to contend with a Libertarian challenger of his own in Kentucky’s general election.