Steve Kornacki, Salon’s news editor, has this commentary on the chances of a powerful third force presidential candidate next year.
The column, and similar commentary, usually say that minor party and independent candidates for important office never win. These articles should acknowledge that in the period starting in 1970, there have been seven gubernatorial elections and six U.S. Senate elections in which someone won who was not a major party nominee.
Also at Ballot Access News:
Chuck Todd, chief White House correspondent for NBC News, predicted on September 14 that if the Republican Party nominates Rick Perry for President, a strong third ticket will emerge in the 2012 election. Todd seems to be describing Americans Elect without actually naming Americans Elect. See this story. Thanks to Political Wire for the link.
1) Both Todd and Kornacki draw parallels to Perot in 1992. Perot was at 40% in the polls before dropping out and back in, leading both Clinton and Bush.
2) Kornacki also mentions NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg as a potential candidate. Like Perot, Bloomberg is a billionaire. Unlike Perot, he also has a record as an elected public official. Bloomberg has been both a Democrat and a Republican, and is currently an independent. Bloomberg was the focus of recruitment efforts by Unity ’08, the predecessor organization of Americans Elect. That effort went nowhere due to FEC rulings at that time, but since then the US Supreme Court has cleared the way for them to raise and spend money in the ways they wish.
3) Kornacki points out a number of similarities between the elections of 1980, 1992 and 2012, including a weak economy and an incumbent president seeking a second term. The 1980 election had a relatively strong moderate independent candidate in John Anderson. As mentioned above, Perot made an even stronger run in 1992.
For more information see http://www.americanselect.org/.
For a critical perspective, see:
as well as
http://irregulartimes.com/index.php/archives/tag/no-labels/ (sister organization with many organizational links)