For months, members of the Democratic establishment have warned of the existential danger a No Labels candidate presents to President Joe Biden’s reelection chances. The centrist Democratic think tank Third Way has even dedicated an entire section of articles and data points on its website titled “No Labels Party Will Re-Elect Trump.”
It’s easy to understand why the theory of a No Labels candidate — one who eschews party labels and advocates for common-sense and bipartisan solutions — would advantage former President Donald Trump. The Biden coalition is heavily dependent on Republican voters who abandoned the party during Trump’s tenure. They are not really pro-Biden as much as they are anti-Trump. But, if given a chance to vote for a candidate who shares their values and interests — as an independent moderate candidate would — they’d jump at the chance to support them.
I saw this theory play out in real time at a recent focus group of “flippers” — voters who supported Trump in 2016 and Biden in 2020 — conducted by Sarah Longwell, publisher of The Bulwark
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