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Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Third-Party Stumbles

Our most recent book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. The 2024 race has begun.

 Larry Hogan gave up a brief No Labels flirtation to run for the Senate. It is dawning on people that a No Labels candidate would serve to elect Trump. At TNR, Greg Sargent reports:

Around six months ago, when speculation raged that Senator Joe Manchin might join a third-party presidential ticket on behalf of the centrist group No Labels, he privately consulted with Richard Gephardt, the former congressman who has taken up the cause of stopping No Labels in its tracks.

Gephardt showed Manchin private polling that he’d bankrolled himself, illustrating that such a bid could only help Donald Trump beat President Biden, according to a person familiar with the conversation. Gephardt reminded Manchin that even third-party bids that win real public support have routinely failed to garner many, or even any, Electoral College votes.

In short, Gephardt pointed out, a third-party bid could never succeed on its own; it would mostly take votes away from Biden. Manchin absorbed the argument, the person says, and then expressed an acute worry: Above all, Manchin said emphatically, he did not want to become the person who handed the presidency to Trump.

That argument finally seemed to prevail with Manchin last week, when he announced that he will not be part of any third-party ticket after all. Manchin declared that he didn’t want to be a “spoiler,” having apparently realized that by far the most likely consequence of such a bid would be a second term for Trump, as he began to fear six months ago.

RFK Jr. has staffed his campaign with people who lack relevant experience.  It is going poorly. Diana Falzone at Mediaite:

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s campaign is in disarray amid an exodus of campaign workers who say disorganization, lavish spending, amateurish leadership, and a severe disconnect between the campaign and the candidate’s values have led the long-shot bid for the presidency astray.

Fourteen members of Kennedy24 have resigned since the start of the year, including 12 field staff and two main staff, according to multiple sources who spoke with Mediaite on the condition of anonymity. One source close to the campaign pinned the turmoil on two leaders: Amaryllis Fox Kennedy, campaign manager and Kennedy’s daughter-in-law, and Del Bigtree, an anti-vaccine activist who serves as the campaign’s communications director.

The source described Fox Kennedy and Bigtree as “self-serving” operatives who were “making decisions based on their own personal advancement opportunities, and not acting in the best interest of the candidate.”