Head of ‘No Labels’ Third Party Effort Disputes ‘Spoiler’ Label Attached to Group by Democrats
‘Our plan is to only run if we think we have a chance to win realistically,’ Senator Lieberman says.
The founding chairman of the No Labels group contemplating a third party run during next year’s presidential campaign says the group will only follow through on those efforts if it has a reasonable chance of winning the contest.
The former Connecticut senator leading the effort, Joe Lieberman, said on Fox News Sunday said it will hold a convention in April in Dallas, Texas to select candidates for the ticket. The nominating convention will be a bipartisan one, he said.
“The American people are telling us on polling we’re doing and discussions we’re having that they’ve lost confidence in the two major parties, and by large numbers they don’t want to have to choose again between President Trump and President Biden,” said Mr. Lieberman, who was the Democrats’ vice presidential candidate in the 2000 election.
The centrist group is most focused now on getting their No Labels brand on the ballot in all 50 states. So far, the group has managed to get on the ballot in only ten states — Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, North Carolina, Oregon, Utah, South Dakota, Nevada and Florida.
“Our plan is to only run if we think we have a chance to win realistically,” he said. “We just finished a poll of 10,000 voters in the eight battleground states. And we give them a choice of Trump, Biden and a moderate independent third choice, and 63 percent say that they’re open to a moderate Independent third choice.”
In that same poll, three out of fours voters queried said that more choices on the ballot next November contribute to a “healthier and more vibrant democracy” rather than amounting to an effort to spoil the race for one party over the others. “Voters in these states are sending a simple and powerful message: They want more choices in 2024 and they don’t like anyone working to limit their choices,” said No Labels chief strategist Ryan Clancy.
Polls have consistently shown that a majority of Americans are unenthusiastic about the two candidates who are likely to top their respective party’s tickets next year. More than half of them have told pollsters recently that President Biden is unfit for office and his likely challenger, President Trump, is equally unsuited to merit a second term in office.
Democratic party insiders have been warning their voters that a third-party candidacy would more than likely siphon more votes from the incumbent Mr. Biden and give Mr. Trump an edge in the general election. The Democratically aligned Third Way think tank disputes the notion that American voters will ever support a third party candidate in sufficient enough numbers to win an election.
“Sure, voters are grumpy about their likely D and R choices—they usually are,” said Third Way’s Matt Bennett. “But no, Biden and Trump are not ‘historically unpopular,’ and no, the door is not uniquely open for a third-party bid.”
In his appearance Sunday, however, Mr. Lieberman attempted to ease the concerns of his fellow Democrats and stressed that the No Labels movement is not out to spoil the election for anyone but rather to offer Americans another choice. He did not say how the party will select its candidates without a primary system in place.
“If we run it’s going to be a bipartisan ticket, so not only will we have concluded that it really can win, but because it’s bipartisan we’re confident it’s going to take equally from both parties so the idea that we’re going to spoil it and reelect President Trump just isn’t realistic,” Mr. Lieberman said.