3rd Party Candidate Could Decide Election

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by pspr, Oct 28, 2011.

  1. pspr


    Depending upon who they select as a candidate, they could draw enough votes of either Obama or the GOP candidate to change the outcome of the election. That's how we got Bill Clinton. He never received a majority of the vote in either of his presidential elections but the conservative vote was split.

    ....there's likely to also be a wild card in this election. Americans Elect, a well-funded "virtual third party," plans to put a centrist presidential candidate on the ballot in all 50 states, and while he or she is unlikely to win the presidential election, the presence of a third candidate could still have a major impact on the outcome.

    Americans Elect is a collection of Republicans, Democrats and independents who say they're fed up with the polarization that has poisoned American politics. Some of its backers have previously contributed to Obama, Romney or other candidates. Several are fans of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has flirted with the idea of running as a third-party centrist. The group's central figure is Peter Ackerman, a wealthy investor and former banker who considers himself an independent and who was active four years ago in a similar effort called Unity08.

    The group plans to hold a national primary election on the Internet — a mass-participation exercise that anyone can join. Candidates can nominate themselves, and voters can form committees to "draft" candidates, including politicians drawn from the major parties — Hillary Rodham Clinton, for example, or Jon Huntsman. Candidates who don't want to be drafted can take their names off the ballot, but only after several rounds of voting — so a Clinton boomlet could happen even if the secretary of State says she's not playing. Meanwhile, the group is collecting signatures to put itself on every state's ballot; it says it has collected 1.6 million signatures in California, which should enable it to qualify.

    Who will its candidate be? Bloomberg is frequently mentioned, even though he says he doesn't plan to run. So is Huntsman, even though he says he's only interested in the Republican nomination. It might be former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer, who has been trying to break into the Republican race; former Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), who retired after denouncing both parties; or independent business figures such as Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, who has called on his fellow moguls to stop giving money to politicians.

    Americans Elect says it plans to choose a presidential nominee (and a vice presidential candidate, who by the group's rules can't come from the same party) by June......