No, a Vote for a Third Party (or Abstaining from Voting) Is not the Same as a Vote for Hillary


Now that it has become clear that the Republican candidate will be Donald Trump and that the Democrat candidate will be Hillary Clinton, the accusations have already begun against all who have said they will not vote for either candidate.  “A vote for a third party or refraining from voting altogether is the same as a vote for Hillary”, or “if you vote third party we have you to thank for Hillary becoming president”.  I intend to give several reasons why this is false  and why there is no need to give in to the guilt trip.

The first and most obvious reason is that a vote for Hillary is a vote for Hillary whereas not voting for her is one less vote than she would receive if you did vote for her.  While this is painfully obvious, those who make such accusations seem to not get this.  My first response is “oh so in that case you would be just as okay with me voting for Hillary as you would with me voting third party or just abstaining?”.  To this they either reply with a resounding don’t vote for Hillary or they see where I am going with it and they hem haw around.  No matter how you break it down, not voting for Hillary is always better than voting for Hillary.  So on its face it is clearly not true that a vote for a third party or just not voting is the same exact thing as a vote for Hillary.

The second reason is that this accusation assumes a Republican ownership of our votes.  Many of us Christians and Reformed Christians are not Republicans at all.  We might be libertarians, or part of the Constitution Party, or possibly Covenanters who reject the whole system.  Whatever the case may be, each election cycle the Republican Party has the same challenge as any other party out there and that is to put a candidate up who earns people’s vote.  If the GOP does not put forth such a candidate they cannot assume that they own that vote and thus not voting for their candidate is the same as voting for the Democrat candidate.  If you never had my vote to start with, you can hardly claim it in effort to oppose some greater evil.

Thirdly, what happens when we continually vote for the Republican candidate who is a lesser of 2 evils is that the boundaries move each time closer to godlessness and liberalism.  The last election cycle we were supposed to vote for a Mormon who has been pro abortion and pro big government his entire career all in order to prevent the worse evil of President Obama.  This year we are supposed to vote for the vile man who has made fun of disabled people, who has financially supported liberals his entire career, who has been pro abortion (even partial birth abortion) his entire career, who has bragged about sleeping with married women, who has made it clear that the restrictions that the Constitution put on government mean nothing to him, and who is completely unrepentant of any of it (having claimed he has never had to ask God for forgiveness), all in order to prevent a worse evil that is Hillary Clinton.  So each time we support a lesser evil Republican candidate we send a message to the GOP that we will support whatever lesser evil they put forth so long as it isn’t someone as evil as the Democrat candidate.

The fourth reason is that it is faulty reasoning to blame us for whichever terrible candidate attaining office when we actually have opposed that candidate.  In fact why not turn the tables?  Why not say that whoever votes for Trump over the Libertarian candidate or the Constitution Party candidate is essentially giving Hillary their vote and allowing Hillary to win?  If everyone who opposed Hillary were to vote for the Libertarian candidate or the Constitution candidate then Hillary might be beat (don’t take this as an endorsement by me for either of those candidates.  This is for argument’s sake.).   Now Trump voters will say “oh but that candidate has no shot of winning”.  Well that is true so long as the Trump voters refuse to move over to our candidate.  Why should I move to their candidate rather than them move to mine?  Again they have no more claim to my vote than Hillary does.

Finally when they place the blame for losing to Hillary on those who didn’t vote for Trump or Hillary it is very similar to the sore loser who blames the refs, or the weather, or some other factor for every loss.  With this type of person it is never just that they weren’t good enough or that they didn’t do the right things to win.  It is always someone else’s fault that they lost.  The same holds true here.  If the GOP is to win, they need to put forth a candidate who earns enough votes to win.  If he isn’t able to gain these votes on his own merit rather than on how terrible the opponent is then he and his party have only themselves to blame.

So this election cycle please, don’t pass the blame on us.  Don’t guilt trip us.  Don’t say if you didn’t vote for Trump you have no right to complain about Hillary winning.  Rather, GOP, take a look at yourselves and ask why you didn’t earn my vote and what drastic changes you need to make to change that for the future.  Or don’t do that and fade away into that has been party that used to win elections but gave way to a new party.  Either way is fine by me.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Brandon Craig



318 thoughts on “No, a Vote for a Third Party (or Abstaining from Voting) Is not the Same as a Vote for Hillary

  1. Good to expand the conversation beyond bipolarized radicals. I’m checking out the option because as a lifelong Repub I can no longer support what purports to be the Republican platform or candidate and am not a fan of the Dem party this year either. Some interesting solutions and a way to get new ideas into the debate.


  2. Sadly, you are among the Spiritual Elite who are following the blind and become blinder the longer you follow. Abstaining or voting for a third party candidate may make you feel very righteous and closer to God. In reality you are casting at least a half vote for whomever wins. People like you are responsible ro the last 8 years of O’Bama, Hypocrites.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I am sorry you feel it’s appropriate to be so rude.

      Why should we become more and more like the culture? Voting for either candidate makes me understand why so many will follow the antichrist in the end. I cannot put my name to a man that represents so much evil so that I may get the supreme Court candidate I want. What harmful decisions he may make while in office your name will be on.

      Further more he has no obligation to do anything that conservatives feel is important– frankly he only cares about himself.

      The sad state of our society shows itself in the candidates that are contending for the presidency. Both have a proven track record of being deceptive and extremely self-centered.


    2. Thank you…for proving the author’s point and demonstrating exactly why that logic is faulty.

      In all fairness, you surely did not actually READ the article, but merely reacted to the headline, because it thoroughly refutes the fallacy of what you’re saying and exposes the error of the premise, rationale, and conclusion of this viewpoint (and if you’re saying this AFTER having read it, there’s a much bigger problem of blindness than anything this blog’s author is saying).


    3. If a non-vote is actually a half-vote for the winningredients candidate, isn’t it also a half-vote for the losing candidate? Or does it get distributed evenly among all losing candidates and disproportionately counted as a half-vote for the winner? I’m confused. What am I missing? Is this more of that Common Core math?


      1. First of all the problem is the church, not Hillary or Donald. Having said that if I end up voting for Donald Trump it would not be a vote against Hillary but an opportunity to cripple the organized political parties, both of whom are drilling holes in the good ship America. I look at those whom speak ill of Donald and try to harm Donald Trump and find that most are my enemies as well. And in my humble opinion not voting or voting for a third party will not accomplish the goal of destroying my establishment enemies.


  3. We had a chance to put forth this so-called perfect Christian candidate. Perfect in the eyes of God even. But we didn’t. We failed. Now we have Donald Trump. The democrats had a chance and decided to go the satanic route. So this election cycle, as you referred, the candidates shifted even further. A vote for Hillary, the green party, the libertarians , or the librarians is a vote for the demoncats. The next election cycle will candidates the are possibly even more liberal if you continue to let it slip that way. Some, many of you stayed home for Romney and we ended up with the obama in the White House. Another example is Ross Perot. He was a wasted vote. Christians, in reality, are a small sample of the overall population, thus expecting us to shift the population to our choice would be a long shot infinity. Besides, who would this candidate be? Who is perfect for you and me and all Christians and all Americans? What’s that again?…Did I hear no one? That’s correct. So here we are again at the same conundrum, no perfect candidate for everyone. I have found only good things about Trump from people’s personal story about personal dealings with him. That’s more important than a projected image.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Funny thing you should mention Ross Perot. A lot of the people I know, who are on the Trump Train, were with Perot in that election. Yet they ridicule people just contemplating third party or not voting. Me thinks they protest a bit too much.


  4. there is no candidate ‘perfect’ even in the eyes of God. for ALL have fallen short of His glory and are in need of redemption through the savior Jesus Christ. an ideal candidate recognizes that truth and is willing to seek God’s will and submit to His authority. a suitable candidate would be one who, even if he didn’t recognize that truth, still would maintain values consistent with those who do.

    that being said, i am blameless if hillary wins the election. the fault will lie with those conservatives and christians who were willing to compromise and ensure the nomination of a man who has no moral compass at all.


  5. Thinking in circles is not helpful. This article misses the point all together. It looks like new math. If you ask the wrong questions you are going to get the wrong answers. So what are the right questions?


  6. The author of this was spewing progressive canards one after another. I will be voting for Trump;
    I see it as voting against those who oppose our natural rights our freedom, against those who view us as serfs. I will be voting against those government bureaucracies that are unconstitutional like the Department of education and energy, against the many false claims of the EPA. I will be voting against those who desire rule by man vice rule by law, against anyone thinking they are above the law.
    I will be voting against those who oppose individual success.
    I will be voting against those who have misappropriated the terms liberal and progressive as they have never been anywhere near being either liberal or progressive. Their every tactic, plan or program has been regressive to an extreme. I will be voting against all the village idiots who think socialism in any of its many forms is their desired form of government.
    If Clinton is elected the fascist shroud of our government will be continued to our posterity’s detriment.


  7. A lot of double talk. Don’t be fooled. It all boils down to this: if you don’t vote for Trump Hillary WILL win.


  8. This election isn’t just about who our next president will be, it’s also about our Supreme Court and our rights we stand to lose or have changed. With two judges, up to possibly four judges being replaced for life time spots, this election is an important one to think about! Everyone needs to go watch Hillary’s America before they vote. With the lies, corruption, mistrust from the Democratic side, can you trust Hillary to put into place the right people? Even if one does not like Trump, he will put the right balance in on the Supreme Court. Donald doesn’t like to fail at anything, he wants to do a good job, after all it’s his legacy!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ok, first off: bad analogy using “sore loser.” I can go back through history and show you blown calls from umpires, referees, and such that have cost people the game. Second, if you didn’t cast a vote for McCain or Romney in the last two elections, Obama won. Thirdly, there was a lot of voter fraud in the 2012 election, but Obama’s justice department would never investigate. Fourthly, I will blame progressives like you for not voting Trump when Hillary wins. But, I don’t think you truly want 4 more years of Oblameo. Because that is what Hillary is promising. So do us all a favor: Vote for Trump.


  10. Well my non-vote for Hillary using this “oh so great logic” is like a vote for Trump. So……’re welcome.


  11. Sadly you have no clue how the election system worked. The GOP did not give us Donald Trump. If you remember back a year ago the Gop leaders had no clue how to handle him. The people who voted in the primaries made Donald Trump the GOP nominee. Secondly what is a “Reformed Christian?” My guess is your a Hillary supporter watering down the Gospel of Christ.


    1. Mark, a “Reformed Christian” is a Christian who follows along with the 5 solas of the Reformation: Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone), Sola Christus (Christ alone), Sola Gratia (grace alone), Sola Fide (faith alone), and Soli Deo Gloria (to the glory of God alone). In other words, we believe we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, as according to Scripture alone, and to the glory of God alone.

      Most, but not all, Reformed Christians politically tend to be more conservative that even the GOP. The majority of us are not happy with either candidate. Craig, like a very many of us, is by no means a Hillary supporter but neither is he a Trump supporter. Because we hold so tightly to the Gospel as explained in the Scripture alone, we have a difficult time supporting any of the candidates brought forth this year and in many of the years in the past. Thankfully, we trust in the Sovereign God who loves us and whether we face more years of prosperity or persecution finally falls on this nation, we can rest in the peace of knowing the One who is truly in control.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for the brief but to the point explanation of Reformed Theology with the Solas. Many people make it more complicated than it needs to be. Being saved by Grace through Faith in the finished work of Christ that Glorifies the Father as we are taught in the Holy Scriptures is simple. Please note that I said simple NOT easy. There is such a difference between those words. Easy is the path of least resistance that many take. Simple is what has been made for all to know if they will ask. Find if they will seek. The door to fellowship opens when they knock with a hungry heart. Thanks again.


  12. Your logic is sound when applied to the simple idea that a vote for candidate X = a vote for candidate X.The absence of a voter
    for candidate X does create voters or votes for candidate Y.That
    is clear logical and I agree. I believe the reason that people argue against this is they believe the popular vote decides the election so everyone MUST vote. The way the Electoral College is set up however makes it possible (difficult) but possible for a Presidential candidate to lose the popular vote and win the election. I have been considering abstaining from voting based on a lack of moral faith for any candidate I have seen. No matter who sits in the White House or the SCOTUS. I know Who is on the Throne and Who seated at His right hand. I will place my trust in God, Christ, His Word and His Holy Spirit.


  13. In light of the disappointing tone in the comments on both sides, I would like to offer an opposing view.

    First, your vote does matter (theoretically). The outcome of an election is certainly and undeniably impacted when a block of voters choose to abstain, and even more so if they typically do not abstain. In the electoral system, votes are tallied and whomever has the most votes in a district (state) wins all the electoral college votes for that district, with the exception of Nebraska and Maine. Consider a scale and think of votes as weights on that scale, and whichever side is heavier wins the electoral college for that district. This is even more apparent in what is effectively a two party system. Therefore if both sides of the scale were even, and you removed a weight from one side, you would cause the other side to be “heavier” and thus win.

    In a close race, which is what we will certainly have this November, removing a block of votes from one side will certainly decide the race in that electoral district for their opponent. This is how the common semantic “an abstained vote is a vote for the opposition” comes about. Of course an abstained vote is not “the same” as a vote for Hillary, but it is an action that will certainly work in her favor. To argue this is to quibble semantics.

    Secondly, to all voters, you don’t know as much as you think. I would like to propose that when a voter has a perception that a particular candidate (i.e. Donald Trump) is not a “godly” choice, but that another candidate (i.e. Cruz, Bush, Reagan) WAS a “godly” choice, then I would remind that voter that they know much less about any given candidate than they think they do. At the end of the day, all that we the people know about these candidates is what we have been told by others (media, candidates themselves, friends, etc), who may or may not factually know, and who may or may not have motivation to tell us something that is not true or relevant. After all, are any candidates “godly”? Many people like the author gladly voted for George W Bush. He seems great, but what personal evidence do you really have that he was a godly choice? At the end of the day we trust God for the outcome, and sadly, that trust includes acknowledging that we live in a country that has rejected God and deserves the outcome.

    Finally, consider how Daniel treated Nebuchadnezzar with respect, honor, and even well wishes. In these instances and more God doesn’t seem to call us to abstinence when it comes to politics. (He also doesn’t seem to call us to protests, but that’s another issue).

    So, while your article is clever in it’s semantic debate, I respectively submit that you are intentionally ignoring the spirit of the statement, and that abstaining from voting because Donald Trump is not your idea of the perfect candidate, and going even further to encourage many to do the same, is certainly an action that will greatly benefit his opponent, which is a far darker alternative.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ok. I can give a point when I see one. You make a point with the Electoral scale illustration. I have reservations voting for pro – abortion candidates. Trump has been pro then anti then semi then which audience am I talking to? I know some find it hard to believe one issue could be a deal breaker…The issue of life is such a character defining issue that seeing a person’s view on it gives you insight as to the motives of their heart. We don’t even need to waste time mentioning the other candidate. I respect your input and your logic. If I am to avoid the worst….I will spend more time in prayer on what I should do . Fair enough ?


  14. This election provides a choice as stark as any presidential election in my life. It is quite simply the Supreme Court. Progressives have dishonestly appointed judges to the federal bench that do not honor and follow the Constitution. For decades we have seen a dismantling of the constitutional system so wisely crafted by the Framers. If Clinton is elected the Court will shift to a solid majority of liberals that do not feel compelled to look to the Constitution for any guidance. The nation will never be the same. This is not an election to fill the White House for four or eight years. It will be a new world, not friendly to Christians or to liberty. It will be an increasingly powerful federal government with power concentrated in the Executive Branch (when a liberal is in office) with little room fo traditionsl, Christian views. A vote for Hillary or even abstaining from supporting a very flawed Trump is foolish.


  15. The hell it’s not !! The best Clinton can do will be 43 to 44%, just like her husband in 1992. Splitting the conservative vote to a 3rd party is they same as a vote for her because a plurality will win and socialist-democrats do not venture away from the plantation..


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