CONTINUING COVERAGE: FLOODS OF 2016

Time Running out for Third Party Presidential Candidates to get Name on Iowa Ballot

DES MOINES, Iowa -- The unfavorable rating with both nominees from the Democratic and Republican parties is at a historic high, leaving some voters looking for another option many don’t know exist.

“I ask them, 'do you have a favorite for president?' and most people say they don`t like either one,” said Keith Laube.

Laube is the State Chair of the Libertarian Party of Iowa. He and volunteers have worked since spring gathering hundreds of signatures to put Gary Johnson’s name on the Iowa's ballot for president.

Johnson is a two-term Governor of the state of New Mexico.

On Monday, Evan McMullian announced he's running as an independent to take on Trump saying quote, “With the stakes so high for our nation and at this late stage in the process, I can no longer stand on the sidelines.”

The campaigns are under a tight deadline. In order to be on Iowa's ballot, they must get 1,500 signatures by Aug. 19.

So far the Green Party’s candidate, Jill Stein, is the only official third party on the ballot. The Libertarian Party has collected enough votes but it is waiting for the Secretary of State’s office to approve them.

While Iowa's deadline is looming, many other states have already passed.

“That`s the challenge a lot of these campaigns run into trying to get on the ballot in 50 different states. It's a huge undertaking,” said the Secretary of State of Iowa, Paul Pate.

If there were an election cycle fit for a third party candidate, Drake University political experts say this is it.

“People have concerns with the major parties nominees,” said Art Sanders.

The 26-year political science professor says third party candidates typically tend to peak during this time of the election cycle because voters express a disinterest in the major parties nominees.

However, out of the third party candidate, Sanders says one stands out most when it comes to taking on Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

“Johnson is the one closest to hitting the threshold and the one most likely to have some impact. He could draw a little bit from both of them,” he said.

Johnson could have the chance to take the state with the major party nominees at the upcoming presidential debate if he is polling at 15 percent by mid-September.

Currently, the candidate is polling roughly nine percent.