OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has made it clear she’s not in favor of third-party presidential bids by current and former Democrats as she sees it potentially harming President Joe Biden’s reelection bid.
One such organization is called No Labels, which bills itself as a moderate, centrist alternative to the Democratic and Republican parties. The group is attempting to get qualified for the 2024 ballot in all 50 states, and could eventually run someone like Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) or Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.), both of whom have announced they are retiring from the Senate next year.
“No Labels is perilous to our democracy. I hesitate to say No Labels because they do have labels. They’re called no taxes for the rich. No child tax credit for children. They’re called let’s undo the Affordable Care Act,” the former House speaker told reporters.
Oddly, Pelosi made her statement at a breakfast hosted by Third Way, itself a Democratic-centrist organization that has emerged as one of No Labels’ main adversaries this election cycle.
Twelve states have already allowed No Labels to access the ballot for November 2024. The far-left group MoveOn has asked state secretaries to look into No Labels’ potential status as a dark money organization.
Pelosi claimed that she had disregarded No Labels, even though the organization targeted her while she was the House Speaker, but that the election of 2024 will be different.
“When they jeopardize the reelection of Joe Biden as president of the United States, I can no longer remain silent on that,” she said.
Former Maryland governor and co-chair of No Labels, Larry Hogan (R) called it “disheartening to see Nancy Pelosi literally make things up about No Labels to score political points” in a statement. She assigns No Labels roles that they have never held.
Essentially, Pelosi and Third Way are worried about No Labels because they believe a moderately successful third-party candidate could garner enough electoral college votes to prevent either major party nominee from receiving the necessary majority of votes to win the presidency.
In this scenario, congressional delegations—of which Republicans control more than Democrats—would vote for the president, determining the outcome of the presidential election.
While it is improbable that a third-party candidate would receive enough electoral college votes, they worry that No Labels might give the Republican nominee the presidency if the election is forced upon the congressional delegations.
In July, an analysis from FiveThirtyEight found: “Faced with the prospect of a rematch between President Biden and former President Donald Trump, at least two alternatives have already emerged: The bipartisan No Labels organization is working toward fielding a centrist presidential ticket, while Cornel West, a well-known public intellectual and political progressive, has launched a bid for the Green Party’s nomination.”
“Initial evidence suggests that in a rematch between Biden and Trump, a No Labels and/or West campaign could pull marginal support from Biden and subtly shift the election toward Trump. Whether this would actually make for a potential spoiler, though, is a different question: History — and common sense — suggest that these possible third-party candidates would be most likely to affect the outcome if the overall race were close. But in our deeply divided political era, close elections have been the norm, which makes a spoiler candidacy a live possibility,” the outlet added.
Early surveys have found that Independents and a Third Party run could help Trump in 2024.
“These surveys offer different explanations for the small shift in margin toward Trump when a third-party option is included. Across the polls, Trump tended to more firmly hold on to Republicans than Biden did Democrats, while the shifts in preferences among independents were inconsistent. Data for Progress’s poll examining Hogan’s possible impact found that Trump benefited from Biden’s reduced advantage among independents, while Echelon Insights’ survey testing Manchin found more Democrats broke away from Biden to select Manchin than Republicans left Trump,” FiveThirtyEight reported.
“Meanwhile, polls from Emerson College and Echelon Insights measuring West’s impact found the progressive mainly cutting into Biden’s support among Democrats, although the Emerson survey also showed more independents shifting away from Biden than Trump,” the outlet added.