Our latest book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. The 2024 race has begun. The logistics of running a presidential campaign -- especially ballot access -- can be daunting for third-party candidates and longshot primary challengers.
Earlier this year, No Labels made waves when it signaled it would seek to nominate an independent presidential candidate in 2024 who could face off against President Joe Biden and Republican frontrunner Donald Trump. But the nonpartisan organization has pumped the brakes on elements of its effort in recent months, with top officials reassessing their strategy for selecting and nominating candidates.
Sources blame the hiccups on fresh resistance from inside No Labels to previously agreed upon steps the group was to take toward potential candidate nominations—plus disorganization and unforeseen logistical challenges. “Deadlines have slipped, discussions have continued,” an individual close to the group told The Dispatch, requesting anonymity to speak candidly. “Nobody’s done this—these are talented people but they’ve never done anything like this. I haven’t either.”
Two weeks ago, No Labels canceled its in-person nominating convention scheduled for mid-April in Dallas, opting instead for a virtual gathering.
Outsider presidential candidates are vying to appear on as many ballots as possible before November, hoping to qualify in enough general election swing states to complicate the path for President Biden and former President Trump.
The battle for the ballots is underway as the race among incumbent-challenging Democrats, independents and third-party candidates has frustrated those who’d prefer to focus on Biden’s low popularity and Trump’s ascent.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr., an independent, and Democrats Rep. Dean Phillips (Minn.), Marianne Williamson and Cenk Uygur are strategizing over how to legally get their names in front of voters in key states before the fall....
One Democratic strategist who worked on a presidential campaign in 2020 recalls the monumental task of getting their candidate to appear in enough places to be viable.
“It was difficult getting on the ballots of certain states,” a strategist and former campaign adviser wrote to The Hill. “We spent a lot of money canvassing states for signatures. Like A LOT.”...“Getting on the ballots requires either a huge staff on the ground that can go knocking door to door or paying a canvassing firm a ton of money to get the signatures,” said the strategist, recalling efforts to prop up a candidate from the Democratic primary in 2020 who ultimately didn’t garner much traction. “Not to mention the fees for appearing on the ballot themselves.”...
In Florida, the Democratic Party’s executive committee placed Biden as the only Democrat running in the 2024 primary, bypassing Phillips, Williamson and Uygur.
Following the decision of the executive committee, all three Democratic candidates publicly blasted the Florida Democrats. Michael Steinberg, a former congressional candidate and Tampa Bay attorney, filed a federal lawsuit against the state party arguing that Phillips in particular should be on the ballot.