Three equals potential disaster, according to Democrats doing the math of what happens if a third-party candidate emerges in the 2024 presidential election.
Fears of what could happen with a third party were illustrated in a recent NBC poll, in which former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden each polled at 46 percent when the race was head-to-head, but Trump topped Biden 39 percent to 36 percent when a third-party candidate was factored in, according to NBC.
Such concerns led to an admonition from Hillary Clinton to Biden during a recent White House event. Citing a source it did not name, NBC reported that Clinton told Biden to be prepared for the threat a third party would represent and plan to deal with it.
In 2016, Green Party candidate Jill Stein was labeled a spoiler by some for pulling away liberal votes that might have gone to Clinton, according to the U.K. Daily Mail.
Hillary is right. She lost PA, MI & WI to 3rd party voters. She only lost by 77k votes–3rd party were 800k votes.
Biden world is worried about spoilers as third parties threaten to boost Trump https://t.co/eIBeDEncjm
— Victoria Brownworth (@VABVOX) September 25, 2023
Context for the worries comes in the underlying message in the polls. Many Democrats are uneasy with Biden at the top of the ticket and might like another choice. A third party would then become an option for voters who will never support Trump but might be happy to avoid backing Biden as well.
“It’s pretty f***ing concerning,” NBC quoted “a person familiar with White House discussions about the matter” as saying.
“With a tight election, every vote counts,” an unnamed source called “a close Biden ally” said, according to NBC. “Is it in the back of many people’s brains? Absolutely. Do we have to be careful as we move out? Yes, we do.”
Biden is “worried about it,” one of NBC’s sources said.
Unease in Biden’s circle is stoked by the rise of the group No Labels, a group calling for a unity ticket that has been gaining ballot access even before it announces a potential candidate for president.
No Labels is on the ballot in 11 states and hopes to reach every state by next November, according to the Associated Press.
“If they have someone on the ballot who is designed to bring the country together, that clearly draws votes away from Joe Biden and does not draw votes away from Donald Trump,” said Rodd McLeod, a Democratic strategist in Arizona.
“Historically, third-party candidates have been a boost to Republicans. The same could be true with this cycle,” said Michael Starr-Hopkins, a Democratic campaign operative and commentator, according to The Hill.
Black academic Cornel West has said he is running, but another name recently emerged as a possible third-party candidate — Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Joe Biden could lose up to a third of his vote if Robert F. Kennedy Jr. runs as an independent in 2024, according to a new poll. https://t.co/rxwTJrlAf1
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) September 22, 2023
Kennedy recently said he was leaving his ultimate “options open,” according to The New York Times.
The Times reported that in July, Kennedy met with Angela McArdle, the chair of the Libertarian Party.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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