Want to see a real political shake up in 2024? Here's a surprising scenario that could deliver

More Americans than ever before are rejecting both the Democratic and Republican Parties. One organization is eager to deliver an alternative

Hungry for real political disruption? No Labels is itching to deliver. 

The vast majority of Americans do not want a rerun of the 2020 election. Nonetheless, Donald Trump and Joe Biden are barreling towards becoming, yet again, the GOP and Democrat candidates for the 2024 presidential race.

No Labels, an organization that styles itself "the voice of the commonsense majority," has a better idea. They are working to provide what they call an "insurance policy for 2024". Their plan is to get a slot on the ballot in all 50 states and provide voters with a bipartisan, middle of the road slate of candidates (think Joe Manchin and Larry Hogan, or Larry Hogan and Joe Manchin.) They believe the time has come for a third party and a third choice, and they have a boatload of polling suggesting they could be right.

No Labels was founded by former DNC Finance Chair Nancy Jacobson in 2010. The non-profit created the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus in the House and a related centrist group in the Senate. Their mission is to prod legislators to find common turf, and get things done. Now they are targeting the Oval Office.


Conservatives and Progressives will not be fans. Asked about the No Labels plan, one political wag laughed it off, declaring, "The only thing in the middle of the road is a dead animal." But, according to the most recent tally by Gallup, only 9% of voters describe themselves as "very conservative" and even fewer – 8% -- as "very liberal"; one might ask, why are those folks driving the bus?

More Americans are spurning our two major political parties than ever before, with 41% declaring themselves independents, greatly outnumbering the 28% identifying themselves as Republicans or Democrats.  

There is certainly room for skepticism. Americans have never coalesced around a third-party candidate; the few who have gained any traction have gone down in flames, singed by the intractability of our two-party allegiances. Billionaire and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg in 2016 famously weighed a third-party run, but was discouraged by polling that showed an independent stood zero chance. 

A large majority of registered voters think the U.S. is headed in the wrong direction, including 65% of independents and 86% of Republicans. 

But the country has arguably never been so unhappy with the likely choice of candidates. According to one survey, 70% of registered voters do not want Joe Biden to run; some 60% don’t want Trump to be the candidate. 


placeholderTo provide voters with an alternative, No Labels needs to raise $70 million. That’s not for a campaign, which could cost up to a billion dollars; they figure that’s the cost of gaining ballot access in all 50 states. Raising that amount of money is quite a challenge when you have no candidate, no commitment to selecting one, and no platform.

Yet, they are making serious headway. One big hurdle was to convince donors their plan could work. To that end, No Labels conducted a mammoth nationwide poll of more than 26,000 registered voters last December. The survey showed that Americans everywhere are cranky and that most are unhappy with their political choices. The data showed a "commonsense ticket" could win.

Why? A large majority of registered voters think the U.S. is headed in the wrong direction, including 65% of independents and 86% of Republicans. That was true not just nationwide, but in every single state. To be sure, red states appear more discouraged; that goes with having Joe Biden, a Democrat, in the Oval Office.  


If the election were held today, the poll showed pretty much a dead heat, with Biden capturing 42% of the vote and Trump 43%. (More recent polls confirm that the race would be close.) No Label’s survey found Trump would win, earning 276 Electoral College votes to Biden’s 262. They also found, though, that a "commonsense majority" ticket would blow both candidates away, taking 286 Electoral College votes from "solid moderate states."

2024 presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy talks about his upcoming constitutional amendment proposal to raise the voting ageVideo

No Labels has to persuade donors that their entry into the race would not just be a spoiler but could actually win. Republicans might fear that a third-party candidate would take votes away from Trump and give Biden another four years, the worst of all outcomes. Democrats would worry that a moderate slate would steal Biden votes and put Trump back in the Oval Office. The December survey, though, showed that votes would be taken from both sides in nearly equal numbers.


placeholderIn the past, third-party candidates have been criticized for undermining an otherwise winning candidate.

In 1992 Ross Perot entered the race between George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton and drew 19% of the votes. Republicans claimed Perot torpedoed their candidate but follow-up polling showed that the Texas billionaire had actually won votes from both sides. 

On the other hand, Ralph Nader may have given George W. Bush the win in 2000 when the Green Party candidate clearly siphoned votes from Al Gore’s campaign, and especially in critically important Florida. It can happen.

Biden's greatest test in re-election campaign will be his age: Joe LiebermanVideo

That is not the only criticism about No Label’s program. Some on the right are suspicious of the politics of the group’s leaders, and convinced the campaign is a stealth attack on Trump. Others, on the Left, have accused the group of trying to undermine Biden and elect Trump. Independent former senator Joe Lieberman is the group’s Founding Chairman and former Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan its national co-chair. Both are confirmed never-Trumpers.

Conservatives also cite the group’s ties to former Clinton pollster Mark Penn, husband of founder Jacobson; his firm has been the recipient of substantial payments from No Labels, presumably for polling and other campaign data.

The reality is that, to their credit, No Labels faces critics on the Left and the Right.  And, they are raising money from both sides. That’s what they need to do to further their ambitions, which are to narrow our political divide. 

Putting America’s majority in the driver’s seat would not be political disruption; that would be an earthquake.


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