During the 1992 election cycle, one man seemed uniquely poised to disrupt the cycle of two-party politics. Ross Perot’s campaign focused on reducing the national debt and addressing economic issues. He received nearly 19% of the popular vote in 1992, the highest percentage for a third-party candidate since Theodore Roosevelt’s run in 1912.
It’s a scenario that makes liberals queasy. Democrats fear that a third-party candidate in 2024 could distract the public, pulling voters from an already-vulnerable Biden vote.
It’s well-known that a third-party candidate can disrupt the well-orchestrated two-party system. Ralph Nader, Green Party candidate for the 2000 presidential election, ran on a platform of consumer rights, environmentalism, and corporate accountability. Many argue that his candidacy contributed to the narrow victory of George W. Bush over Al Gore, particularly in Florida.
No Labels, a political organization founded to support “bipartisanship and centrism,” has a few ideas on tilting the vote away from Biden’s Republican opponents, most notably former president Donald Trump. While they haven’t selected the candidate yet, the “unity ticket” could include Joe Manchin (D-WV), Krysten Sinema (I-AZ), or former Maryland governor Larry Hogan.
No Labels, despite labeling itself as “non-partisan,” announced on June 16 that if Biden was leading Trump in the spring of 2024, they would dissolve the “unity ticket.” Rather than hurting Trump, however, several notable liberal think tanks predict a third-party candidate would help ensure a Republican victory.
Per the progressive groups MoveOn and Third Way, a third-party candidate would be Biden’s undoing in the upcoming election cycle.
Hoping to avoid the unwanted competition, Third Way’s executive vice president for public affairs, Matt Bennett, and MoveOn executive director Rahna Epting will meet with top Democrat senators’ aides on July 27 to “share some information that they have on No Labels.”
Bennett explained, “Very often there are differences of opinion or strategy when it comes to the Democratic coalition, because it’s very, very broad. But here, there’s unanimity, and everyone agrees that if they go forward this is going to hurt Joe Biden. We need to make clear to folks that what they are selling is an illusion, not a choice.”
The collaboration between the primary centrist figures and influential liberals within the party, aiming to openly suppress any potential third-party endeavor, reflects the Democratic Party’s profound concern regarding the potential influence of a spoiler candidate in favor of Donald Trump or another Republican contender.
Given the slim margins of previous presidential elections, such as those witnessed in 2016 and 2020, Democrats are apprehensive that voters, weary of Trump’s presidency, might choose an alternative candidate over Biden. Even a few thousand defections of these voters could prove pivotal in determining the outcome of the Electoral College.
In addition to losing the Oval Office, a third-party candidate emerging from within the Democrat party can tip the balance of power in the Senate, with the loss of a senate seat should the candidate fail to win at the presidential polls.
No Labels has set aside an astonishing $70 million budget for their candidate, whoever s/he may be. They are counting on poll results that, per No Labels chief pollster Dritan Nesho, “show an overwhelming opening for a third-party ticket before names are even announced and any campaign communicating the vision and issue positions is run.”
No Labels chief strategist Ryan Clancy claims, “It shouldn’t surprise anyone … that voters are more open to an independent than ever before. It’s why our polling shows an independent ticket has a viable path” to victory.
Democrats have a reason to fear a third-party candidate. Per recent polling, Democrats were more likely to split the vote, with 45% admitting they would consider a third-party candidate, with just over half of Democratic voters saying they would not consider it. Conversely, 63% of Republicans would not support a third-party candidate.
Make no mistake. While more subtle than the widespread fraud and targeted censorship tactics the left used in 2020, squashing a potential third-party candidate is another concerted effort to railroad voters into a Biden vote. Any qualified person has the right to run for office, even if their campaign is “inconvenient” for the party currently in charge.
The meeting between progressive groups and the Democrat leadership is the first attempt to influence the 2024 election, with the stated purpose of “stopping a third-party candidate.” It’s a sign that they have no confidence in Biden’s ability to win on his own merit.
And with a June Ipsos poll showing a 54% disapproval rating and the emergence of disruptors such as Robert F Kennedy Jr., they have every right to be concerned.
Hang on, America, this ride is just getting started.