The reason only 2% went to other options is because people falsely believe in the "wasted vote" idea.
This is reinforced by people in Point #2
And point #2 is merely someone else's opinion.
I'd counter that you are giving too much weight to the opinions of people who are simply going to lead you down the path you are already traveling.
Trying to work within either of the two major parties is not going to get us anywhere except over the cliff both are racing towards.
In the GOP and the DNC, the driver doesn't get to hit the brakes or steer the car more than a few degrees. About all he/she can do is either let up on the gas a little, or push the pedal to the metal. The vehicle is controlled by the auto-pilot of the masses of fools and charlatans riding backseat and shotgun. (think of it as a driver's ed car, where someone else can take control if they so desire)
That isn't a recipe for restoring Liberty or the Republic.
The problem is that those two parties control too much of the process.
You aren't going to change anything from within them.
The solution is to relegate ALL parties to their rightful place, and remove their influence from the Law directly.
That can only be done from the outside.
There is one more reason 3rd parties don't get more votes - they are not organized to the same degree that the other two parties are.
This task is made difficult only because people keep buying into the self-fulfulling prophecy of your two points above.
If they convince you too to work in the GOP, then you won't be organizing the opposition now will you?
If you aren't organizing the opposition, and they've even got you trying to convince others not to as well, how likely do you think it is that a 3rd party candidate will do well in your State?
On the other hand, we know our power.
If we used it to organize the opposition party(s) instead of beating our heads against brick in the GOP, then we would get somewhere.
Once we reach the tipping point, and our 3rd party of choice is well organized and ready to handle the growth of interest and members and candidates, then we'll start to see real results and victories.
You'll NEVER see that in the GOP.
The GOP has NEVER really been the party of Liberty. They have ALWAYS - from the BEGINNING been about strong centralized government in the hands of the elites.
Who was their first president again?
The GOP knows they need to talk the Liberty talk or they lose elections. But they rarely if ever govern that way in the slightest.
Notice, Romney didn't even try to talk the conservative talk did he? He gave a few shout outs here and there, but everyone knew he was an elitist, and not a conservative.
He got his butt handed to him. he won only one of the eleven "battleground" states.
Personally, I'd figure the GOP is mighty toxic right now and is in disarray. They are scared that the libertarian wing, the true fiscal conservatives are going to bolt the party, and then the GOP will be history.
I say lets give those people somewhere to bolt to.
We're working hard on that right now in Louisiana.