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Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Saturday, March 2, 2024

Third Party Update

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

 Voters are not happy about having to choose between Trump and Biden.  Nevertheless, it is dawning on people that third parties face daunting barriers in American politics.

 Peter Hamby at Puck writes on the CA Libertarian convention and the prospect that RFK Jr. could win the party's presidential nod:

That prospect crashed into reality the following day, when convention organizers ran a presidential straw poll. Out of 95 votes cast, [Lars] Mapstead won. [Michael] Rectenwald came in second. Kennedy came in dead last in the straw poll, earning only a single vote.

Of course, Kennedy was merely testing the waters in Costa Mesa. He isn’t officially seeking the Libertarian nod. But given the resistance to his candidacy from the convention-goers, his path to get on ballots everywhere has essentially reset to where it was before the weekend. Kennedy’s team is confronting a patchwork of ballot-access laws that are different in every state.

Some states require tens of thousands of validated signatures, which is a heavy lift for even the most well-funded candidates from the two major parties. Kennedy, at least, has money to count on. Thanks to his family name, Los Angeles connections, and small-dollar online support, Kennedy is raising a respectable amount of money for a gadfly candidate. He ended the fourth fundraising quarter last year with $5.4 million in the bank. But the Kennedy campaign continues to burn through cash, spending heavily to collect ballot access signatures. A super PAC backing his campaign is also working to secure ballot access for Kennedy, but that effort is likewise facing a legal challenge from the Democratic National Committee over claims of improper coordination.

Tara Palmieri at Puck:

So it’s finally put up or shut up time for No Labels—the disorganized dark money group that counts Nelson Peltz, Steve Schwarzman, and Harlan Crow as donors—to execute its quixotic plan to assemble a unity-ticket to challenge the increasingly inevitable disappointment of a Trump–Biden rematch. Over the last two years, the third-party group has raised tens of millions on the assumption that No Labels and its opportunistic C.E.O., Nancy Jacobson, could recruit a viable candidate—Larry Hogan, say, with Joe Manchin as V.P. Sure, No Labels has been able to get their name on the ballot in 16 states. Unfortunately, they just haven’t been able to find that dream ticket, which will prevent them from ballot access in many others.

So on March 8, just three days after Nikki Haley is set to be demoralized in 16 states on Super Tuesday, No Labels is handing over the power to their 800 delegates to make a choice about whether to move forward, and with whom. Their ideal candidate, of course, has been Haley, herself.

In fact, No Labels emissaries have been trying to persuade Haley through back channels, but she’s emphatically resisted. Joe Lieberman, who sits on the board, has told donors that the organization has three strong options, including a Republican governor, but he won’t share names. So far, No Labels has also flirted with total non-starters like Chris Christie and Hogan and Manchin, until they got turned down. (Hogan is now running for Senate in Maryland.) It’s hard to see anyone leaving their party to run as a spoiler, and No Labels had made it clear they need a Republican on the top of the ticket so as not to hand the election to Trump.