Democrats and Republicans brace for third party spoilers

PHOENIX (AP) — Both major parties are worrying about so-called “spoilers” as election day nears.

In tight races, third party candidates can make the difference by drawing away voters who’d otherwise support the Democrat or Republican. Experts say this can be overstated — many voters for third party candidates wouldn’t otherwise go to the polls.

But worries are rising. In Kansas, an independent gubernatorial candidate’s treasurer quit to protest how he may be taking votes away from the Democratic candidate. In Montana, the Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate endorsed the Republican after an anonymous mailer circulated trying to convince Republicans to vote Libertarian. A Green Party candidate in Arizona dropped out Thursday, announcing support for the Democrat, while a Libertarian in Indiana could still make a difference in a close race.