1. It costs $1000 to get your name on the ballot for the New Hampshire Presidential primary. That's pocket change to any serious candidate.
2. With more parties you'll see more instances of Republicans vs. Democrats vs. Libertarians vs. Greeners vs. etc... Heck,the Republican party is divided right now between traditional Republicans and the right-wing Tea Party crazies like Ted Cruz. Republicans can't even come together to solve some of our nation's problems.
1. New Hampshire is one of the best states for grassroots and third party campaigns. It is the outlier. Here are some more restrictive states. Note a lot of the resources third parties have must go into getting petititions signed that surmount to 1% of a state's population. That is no easy, and no cheap feat. This makes actually running the campagin after they had made the ballot much more money-tight. I read a statistic a while back that in many of their voting districts The Libertarian Party must use 50% of their raised funds to get on the ballots.
Arizona - Major party candidates are nominated by the state primary process. Independent candidates are granted ballot access through a petition process and minor political party candidates are nominated by convention along with a petition process; one must collect 3% of the total votes cast in the last election for the specific race or 3% of the total votes cast in the last gubernatorial election for statewide ballot access. The figure for 2006 statewide ballot access was 41,012 good signatures. Be aware that the validity of signatures generally means that 20-30% more signatures will need to be collected to ensure that the goal is achieved. To retain ballot access a third party has to poll 20% in a statewide race and it will retain statewide ballot access through to the next election.
New York - To be recognized as a political party, the party must gain 50,000 votes in the most recent gubernatorial election. (There are, as of 2015, eight such parties. Five of them, however, have primarily resorted to electoral fusion and usually only nominate candidates already on either the Democratic or Republican lines; two of those five were blatant fronts for the major party candidates and did not exist until 2014. The sole exception is the Green Party.) This allows for primary elections and allows statewide candidates to be exempted from having to petition. Any other candidate must file petitions. For statewide candidates, 15,000 signatures are required, and there must be at least 100 signatures from each of at least 1/2 of the congressional districts in the state (27 as of 2014). All state legislature and congressional candidates must file petitions regardless of party nominations, except in special elections.
Oklahoma - A party is defined either as a group that polled 10% for the office at the top of the ticket in the last election (i.e., president or governor), or that submits a petition signed by voters equal to 5% of the last vote cast for the office at the top of the ticket. An independent presidential candidate, or the presidential candidate of an unqualified party, may get on the ballot with a petition of 3% of the last presidential vote. Oklahoma is the only state in the nation in which an independent presidential candidate, or the presidential candidate of a new or previously unqualified party, needs support from more than 2% of the last vote cast to get on the ballot. An initiative is being circulated during the period September 14, 2007 – December 13, 2007 to lower the ballot access rules for political parties.
2. Since votes on bills are yay or nay, how exactly can that be? Are there more options than voting yes or no that would make Republicans vs. Libertarians vs. Democrats vs. Green?