It’s understandable why Democrats are openly fretting about the prospect of a No Labels third-party candidate making the ballot in 2024.
In 2000, Green Party candidate Ralph Nader (and butterfly ballots), cost Democratic Vice President Al Gore Florida and the White House. In 2016, third-party candidates Jill Stein and Gary Johnson took just enough votes to help tip the former “blue wall” states of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin to Donald Trump.
And, given that President Joe Biden narrowly carried the Electoral College by 42,915 votes, a shift of just a couple thousand votes in a key swing state could be enough to tip the election to Trump.
But beyond the vibes (and political PTSD), is there empirical evidence that a third-party candidate like West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin or former Maryland Republican Gov. Larry Hogan would drain more votes from Biden than Trump?
A recent poll conducted for an anti-No Labels organization found a “moderate, independent third party candidate” drawing 21% of the national popular vote and — more importantly — taking enough votes from Biden
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