No Labels to Decide If It Will Field a Presidential Unity Ticket

The organization, which is devoted to helping elect centrist candidates, will meet on March 8 to discuss its 2024 presidential election plans.

WASHINGTON D.C.—No Labels has said for months that it would announce after Super Tuesday if it will field a 2024 unity presidential ticket. The political organization devoted to electing centrist candidates is set to discuss its plans during a virtual meeting on March 8.

Ryan Clancy, who is the No Labels chief strategist, said in a statement that the meeting will include 800 delegates from all 50 states who would be tasked with selecting a presidential candidate if the organization decides to move forward with what it’s calling a “unity ticket.”

The group initially planned to hold an in-person convention in March where potential candidates were expected to convince delegates to nominate them to the ticket.

That plan was halted when officials from the organization questioned the expense, and if candidates would want to face criticism if they were not nominated, Reuters reported.

The March 8 gathering will be held in private, candidates will not be chosen during the meeting, and the media is not allowed to attend, Mr. Clancy said.

Former Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings will moderate the event, which will serve as “a chance for our delegates to speak freely and honestly about the path ahead for our 2024 project,” Mr. Clancy explained.

Related Stories

Haley Supporters React to Her Decision to Drop Out of Presidential Race
Elon Musk Says He Won’t Spend on 2024 Race After Reported Trump Meeting

“They’re going to decide where we go from here. You can really think of this as this is a gut check for our our movement because one of the things we’ve said is we only want to put forth a ticket if we feel like it has a viable path we feel could really work. We have no interest in fueling some kind of spoiler effort,” Mr. Clancy told C-Span’s Washington Journal.

Founded in 2009, No Labels started as a 501(c)(4) nonprofit dedicated to promoting centrist candidates that aligned with its focus on bipartisanship and “common sense.”

The group intends to establish itself as a political party to present an alternative to President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump.

Multiple national polls have shown that more than half of U.S. voters don’t want to see a rematch between Presidents Biden and Trump.

In a Reuters/Ipsos Poll released in late January, 70 percent of the respondents agreed with a statement that President Biden shouldn’t seek another term and 55 percent reported that they don’t think President Trump should run.

The same survey indicated that slightly more than half of the 1,250 adults polled said they were dissatisfied with the two-party system. Only one in four said they were satisfied with it.

Candidates Still Unknown

It is uncertain who would headline a No Labels presidential ticket.

For months, West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, a centrist Democrat, was considered a potential candidate. Last month, he announced that he would not pursue a White House bid.

“I will not be seeking a third-party run. I will not be involved in a presidential run. I will be involved in making sure that we secure a president that has the knowledge and has the passion and has the ability to bring this country together,” Mr. Manchin said in a speech at West Virginia University.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.), Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee chair, presides over a hearing on battery technology in Washington on Sept. 22, 2022. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.), Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee chair, presides over a hearing on battery technology in Washington on Sept. 22, 2022. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

He added that he is not interested in being “a deal-breaker, if you will, a spoiler, whatever you want to call it. I just don’t think it’s the right time.”

Last week, Mr. Manchin said at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute in Boston that No Labels should “take a hard look” and ask: “Is it going to basically work as a spoiler?”

Mr. Manchin added that “if you can’t get on 50 states and you’re going to basically hit in some of the battleground states, that could be very detrimental to what the outcome would be.”

Former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, and a former No Labels co-chair, was mentioned as a potential recruit. He stepped down from his No Labels post in January, opted to run for U.S. Senate in Maryland, and endorsed former South Carolina governor and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley for president.

Ms. Haley, who dropped out of the Republican presidential primary earlier this week, has said she is not interested in headlining a No Labels presidential ticket.

Joe Lieberman, the former Democrat senator from Connecticut who is now a No Labels co-chair, said in January, “I think I’m speaking for a lot of No Labels members. Gov. Haley would deserve serious consideration.”

Ms. Haley responded, “My focus is running in a Republican primary. It always has been. I have never talked to the ‘No Labels’ people; that’s not anything I’m focused on.”

After Ms. Haley dropped out of the race, No Labels issued a statement congratulating her for “running a great campaign and appealing to the large swath of commonsense voters.”

Republican presidential candidate and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks during a campaign event at Clemson University in Clemson, S.C., on Feb. 20, 2024. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)
Republican presidential candidate and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks during a campaign event at Clemson University in Clemson, S.C., on Feb. 20, 2024. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)

Chris Christie, the former New Jersey governor who dropped out of the 2024 presidential primary in January, did not rule out a third-party run during an interview with Good Morning America in early February.

“Oh, I don’t know. There’d be a long conversation between me and [my wife] Mary Pat, I can guarantee you that,” Mr. Christie said when asked if he would consider being part of a No Labels ticket.

Citing sources familiar with the conversations, NBC News reported that No Labels expressed interest in Mr. Christie through communication with his donors and allies.

Mr. Christie and Ms. Haley could have faced legal challenges in states with “sore loser” laws that don’t allow candidates to run in third-party general election tickets after losing in their party’s primary elections.

U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.) ended his Democrat presidential primary campaign on March 5, clearing the way for President Biden to gain the party’s nomination.

There was speculation that the 55-year-old multi-millionaire, who is one of the wealthiest members in Congress, would consider a No Labels offer, but he told Minneapolis radio station WCCO that he was endorsing President Biden.

He added that the president “is at a stage in life where his capacities are diminished, he is still a man of competency and decency and integrity. And the alternative, Donald Trump is a very dangerous, dangerous man.”

Mr. Phillips did say that he would like to see Ms. Haley consider an independent bid because it would bolster President Biden’s chances for a second term while other independents would pull away votes from President Biden and help President Trump.

RFK Jr. Not Mentioned

While No Labels is on the ballot in 16 states and working to get access in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, Robert F. Kennedy is running as an independent and is also on a quest to accomplish the same ballot access feat.

On Super Tuesday, he announced that he had collected enough signatures to appear on the Nevada ballot, a state that President Biden won by just 35,000 votes over President Trump in 2020.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. speaks at a campaign event in Philadelphia, Pa., on Oct. 9, 2023. (Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images)
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. speaks at a campaign event in Philadelphia, Pa., on Oct. 9, 2023. (Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images)

Utah was the first state in which Mr. Kennedy qualified to appear on the ballot.  In New Hampshire, he gathered more than 5,000 signatures in one day to meet the state’s guidelines for ballot access.

American Values 2024, the super political action committee (PAC) aligned with Mr. Kennedy, updated its website to reflect that the organization had gathered enough signatures for him to appear on the ballot in South Carolina. According to the website, the super PAC has 14,634 signatures, exceeding the minimum of 10,000.

The super PAC announced in late February that it had gathered enough signatures for Mr. Kennedy to appear on the ballots in Arizona and Georgia.

Mr. Kennedy also qualified for the ballot in Hawaii under the “We the People” party.

In January, Mr. Kennedy announced that his campaign had filed paperwork in six states to create a political party. The move was made to get his name on the ballots with fewer voter signatures than those states require for candidates not affiliated with a party.

Mr. Kennedy’s campaign established the “We the People” party in five states: California, Delaware, Hawaii, Mississippi, and North Carolina. The “Texas Independent Party” was also formed.

Speculation is mounting that Mr. Kennedy would accept the Libertarian nomination if delegates select him at the party’s convention in late May in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Kennedy has not been mentioned as a potential headliner for a No Labels unity presidential ticket, though he has gained widespread support from conservatives, moderates, and independents; and unifying the country is an emphasis in his campaign.

An NBC News poll published in early February showed that 34 percent of all registered voters said they could see themselves backing Mr. Kennedy, while 10 percent said the same of independent Cornel West. That survey included a hypothetical race with President Trump (41 percent), President Biden (35 percent), an unnamed Libertarian Party candidate (5 percent), an unnamed Green Party candidate (5 percent), and an unnamed No Labels candidate (4 percent).

Democrats Concerned

Progressive groups are concerned that a No Labels unity presidential ticket could siphon votes away from President Joe Biden.

Rahna Epting is executive director of MoveOn, a progressive organization that announced in a January statement that it will spend more than $32 million “to persuade and turn out voters to sustain the momentum from the last few political cycles to defeat Trump and MAGA extremists in 2024.”

“This election will be a clear choice between protecting our fundamental freedoms, building on our economic progress, and keeping the country unified with President Biden, or letting Trump break our democracy, give power back to the wealthy and well-connected, and use power to punish and divide,” Ms. Epting said.

President Joe Biden delivers the State of the Union address during a joint meeting of Congress in the House chamber at the U.S. Capitol on March 7, 2024. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
President Joe Biden delivers the State of the Union address during a joint meeting of Congress in the House chamber at the U.S. Capitol on March 7, 2024. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

“That’s why our organizing is starting earlier than ever before to keep the anti-Trump coalition that defeated him four years ago focused on the stakes this November,” she added.

Ms. Epting told USA Today that on March 8, No Labels might move forward with “full campaign mode” or decide to not field a unity presidential ticket.

“They are contradicting themselves regularly. They’re inconsistent. They’re unclear. The math doesn’t add up. The facts don’t add up to what they say they intend to do. And then even at that point, they have contradicted their own intent,” Ms. Epting said.

On March 5, Citizens to Save Our Republic released an open letter to No Labels delegates and encouraged them to sign a “no spoiler pledge” that would direct their ticket to withdraw from the presidential race by July 1 if it has not “qualified to be on the ballots in enough states to have a mathematical chance to win 270 electoral votes and is not competitive in five or more states.”

Former U.S. Rep. Dick Gephardt (D-Mo.), co-founder of the group, praised No Labels for being “a positive force for compromise in our political system” but warned that running a presidential candidate “could very well spoil the election in Donald Trump’s favor, undermining all efforts to preserve American democracy.”

Mr. Gephardt added that the letter is “a reminder to No Labels delegates that American democracy may very well depend on what they do this Friday.”

“To be clear, President Biden is not perfect — many voters believe he is too old or disagree with his policies. But he firmly stands in the pro-democracy camp. Former President Trump, on the other hand, has promised to discard the Constitution, to seek retribution against his political opponents, and to blow up America’s essential alliances. His candidacy is an existential threat to our democracy,” Mr. Gephardt wrote.

“A third-party candidacy, no matter how well-intentioned, is not the answer. History tells us that third-party candidates cannot win. Instead, they are likely to be spoilers — and given the nature of the support of the leading candidates that means splitting the pro-democracy vote and throwing the election to the authoritarian Trump,” he added.

Third Way Says No Way

Third Way, which, according to its website, is “a national think tank that champions modern center-left ideas,” released a poll on March 7 “to test a No Labels Party ticket’s viability in the 2024 election.”

The survey found that Ms. Haley would finish fourth if she ran as the No Labels candidate and “lose badly” to President Trump, President Biden, and Mr. Kennedy.

Third Way noted that the poll indicates Ms. Haley and Mr. Kennedy would take more votes from President Biden than President Trump.

Voters cast their ballots in Garden Grove, Calif., on March 5, 2024. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)
Voters cast their ballots in Garden Grove, Calif., on March 5, 2024. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

According to the study, 44 percent of Ms. Haley’s supporters would be President Biden voters, while 33 percent would move from President Trump.

Mr. Kennedy would take 46 percent of votes away from President Biden and 36 percent from President Trump, the poll discovered.

Ms. Haley and RFK, Jr. siphon more of the vote from President Biden than President Trump.

The poll found that 44 percent of Ms. Haley’s coalition would be Biden voters, while just 33 percent would come from Trump voters. Similarly, 46 percent of RFK, Jr.’s coalition would be Biden voters, and 36 percent would be Trump voters. This makes it clear that third-party candidates are acting as spoilers that aid President Trump.

Third Way noted that No Labels’ dream ticket would be Ms. Haley and Mr. Phillips.

“Even when we tested their dream ticket—the best candidates No Labels could hope to land (and they probably won’t get)—the ticket had zero chance of winning,” a Third Way statement about the survey explained, adding that a Haley-Phillips ticket would get 8 percent of the vote.

Mr. Clancy disagrees with critics who claim that there is no path to victory for a No Labels ticket.

He told C-Span that in a poll the organization conducted, voters were asked if they would support a moderate independent alternative if there was a rematch between President Trump and President Biden.

The survey generated responses from 25,000 people, and 59 percent said they would back the moderate independent candidate, he said.

Mr. Clancy pointed out that “34-35 percent of the vote in a state” would propel a candidate to victory and the subsequent electoral votes if there were multiple options beyond the two major parties.

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

Running For Office? Conservative Campaign Consulting – Election Day Strategies!