Still, Robinson said hed give that third ranking to his own group based on voter registration.
Robinson suggested another way to measure third-party influence: a groups registration as a percentage of total voters. By that method, he gave a shout-out to the Independent American Party in Nevada they garnered almost 5 percent of the states registration as of October.
Libertarians do have a point when they say they are growing. Ballot Access News showed in 2008 there were 240,328 Libertarians, compared with 325,807 in 2012, an increase of about 36 percent.
But their power lies not in electing Libertarians but more in the libertarian philosophy making inroads with the GOP. And some experts told us to examine votes received or the number of candidates who ran as signs of party strength rather than just voter registration.
In 2012, Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson received about 1.3 million votes more than any other third-party candidate. Johnsons tally, amounting to about 1 percent, is the largest for a non-major-party candidate since Ralph Naders Green race in 2000, said J. David Gillespie, author of a book on third parties.
"Libertarians always run far more people for congressional and state legislative seats across the nation than do the Greens, Constitution Party or any other third party," he said.
Some libertarians choose not to register with the Libertarian Party, either because they dont like party labels or so they can participate in the nominating contests held by the major parties.
Libertarians "do have influence beyond their size, because libertarian ideas appeal to people on both left and right," said Shaun Bowler, a political science professor at the University of California.
The Libertarian Party in Broward said on its website that the Libertarian Party "is the third-largest political party in the U.S."
Quantifying the number of Libertarians is tricky; some states dont track the affiliation. As for those officially registered with the Libertarian Party, its about 326,000. Some state-based parties most notably the Independence Party in New York and the American Independent Party in California have more people registered to their party than that, though.
We rate this claim False.