by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Polls repeatedly show that voters don’t want a rematch of President Biden versus former President Donald Trump in 2024.
Republicans are going through a formal primary process to determine their nominee. GOP voters support Mr. Trump’s nomination in early polling by more than 20 percentage points.
Democratic voters are not getting the same choice. Establishment Democrats have chosen to coronate Mr. Biden as their nominee — eliminating debates and an open primary process even with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Marianne Williamson challenging Mr. Biden’s candidacy.
Now, the Democratic establishment is freaking out over what could be a third-party run.
No Labels, a centrist group of Democrats and Republicans, is organizing to get on the ballot in 2024 if it’s left to a Biden-Trump race. They’re courting Sen. Joe Manchin, the West Virginia Democrat who is scheduled to headline a July 17 town hall for the group in New Hampshire.
Mr. Manchin told CNN last week he hasn’t ruled out anything, including a third-party run. No Labels says it’s spending $70 million to launch an independent unity ticket.
“The prospect that No Labels will nominate a candidate at their April convention and gain ballot access across the country is causing an increasing amount of alarm in the Democratic Party,” Axios reported on July 14. The news outlet quotes Democratic operatives worried that a third-party run would throw the general election to Mr. Trump, noting that Senate Democratic chiefs will be briefed on the third-party threat on July 27.
No Labels insists there’s a path forward for a third-party candidate, citing a recently conducted poll where an independent candidate, on the ballot with Mr. Trump and Mr. Biden, starts the race with 21% support. The group insists it would be able to increase that base into a winning margin and not be a spoiler.