Top Democratic strategists are fretting about the possibility that a so-called “Unity Ticket” could lead to perilous poll results for President Joe Biden on Election Day.
‘No Labels’, an organization that bills itself as an insurance policy for the politically homeless, has secured $70 million to field an alternative presidential candidate in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. That’s bad news for Biden who won supporters of previous third-party insurgents by a 30-point margin, according to left-wing think tank Third Way.
The anxiety among Democrats, first reported by POLITICO, has strategists calling the group’s move a “sure way to elect Trump in 2024.”
By its own admission, No labels has detailed a strategy that will require winning Democrats in swing states to be successful. Efforts to field a No Labels candidate in Ohio have garnered over 100,000 signatures and 47,000 signatures in Arizona. In the event a third choice appears on the ballot, “double hater” voters — those who backed Biden by 15 points while disliking both major parties’ nominees — would likely be peeled away from the Democrats’ nominee. Internal modeling shared with Fox News suggests a credible path to 270 electoral votes for the group’s nominee should he or she qualify on all state ballots.
Here’s more from Politico:
“Definitely people are thinking about how to prevent that nightmare scenario,” said a national Democratic strategist not affiliated with Third Way who described “agita” among party operatives. “No one knows how real it is yet, though.”
Third Way’s memo is aimed at surfacing those worries and making a data-driven case for the danger a third-party ticket poses to Democrats. It follows a CNN op-ed last week from veteran strategist PAUL BEGALA, who cited a previous Third Way analysis in claiming “the vast majority of votes that a No Labels presidential candidate would receive would likely come out of President Joe Biden’s pool of potential voters, not former President Donald Trump’s.”
Third-party presidential nominees have historically fizzled out in the run-up to Election Day, something Democrats are apt to remind voters about between now and 2024. Ross Perot, the billionaire businessman and independent candidate for president in 1992, became infamous for allegedly costing President George H.W. Bush his reelection. Similarly, environmental activist Ralph Nader sapped votes from Vice President Al Gore in 2000, leading to the narrow election of then-Texas governor George W. Bush.
No Labels, which casts Biden and President Donald Trump as extremists in their respective parties, has offered to “stand down” if a centrist candidate emerges from either major party. Political prognosticators will be watching closely to see whether such an offer still stands in June when the Republican Party finalizes its presidential nominee.