Have you taken a look at the sort of personality types who third parties typically nominate for general elections? Absent the Jesse Ventura or Kinky Friedman relative successes, there is definitely a common form and a common effect. Generally nominees are ideological activists, with limited prior experience in public policy (or even limited interest in government itself), who in everything from physical appearance to rhetorical art condemn themselves to extreme fringe appeal....
I’m frankly tired of hearing the LP and other third-partyists blame the general electorate for their own candidate personality disorder. Third-party popular appeal is contingent on popular personality. The trouble here is that the sort of person who is ordinarily attracted to third parties tends to be of the cognitive sort. The notion of a personality driven candidate is something that many, perhaps even most, third-party activists might identify as a nullifying characteristic of the two-party system to begin with. Thus nominees tend to be of their own type. That is the real Catch-22 that goes unstated.
There is an awful lot of truth in this indictment, which is why I continue to argue that Libertarian (or any other third party) success has to be won in the long-term from the bottom up, by people willing to build a credible resume as being knowledgable in policy issues, rather than merely spouting the free market equivalent of talking points.
On the other hand, however, those who hold that the best way to advance a Libertarian agenda is outside the political process make a few points that Lee glosses over, like the careful rigging of electoral rules and State-supported campaigns, which are, after all, just for Demopublicans.