The spoiler effect is a term describing the effect that a third party candidate can have on an election. According to economic game theory, a spoiler is usually a third party politician who enters an election race and draws away votes from one of the two original players, and in most cases, does not have a chance of winning an election. An example of a spoiler would be Ross Perot, who in 1992, drew away 38% of voters from George H.W. Bush and 38% of voters from Bill Clinton.
- THE 1992 ELECTIONS: DISAPPOINTMENT -- NEWS ANALYSIS New York Times, November 5, 1992