Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has expressed her disapproval of third-party presidential bids by current and former Democrats, fearing potential harm to President Joe Biden’s reelection prospects.
One organization, named No Labels, positions itself as a moderate, centrist alternative to the Democratic and Republican parties. The group aims to qualify for the 2024 ballot in all 50 states and may consider candidates such as Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) or Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.), both of whom have declared their retirement 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.
Interestingly, Pelosi delivered her remarks at a breakfast hosted by Third Way, a Democratic-centrist organization that has become a prominent adversary to No Labels during this election cycle.
Currently, No Labels has gained ballot access in twelve states for November 2024. MoveOn, a far-left group, has urged state secretaries to investigate No Labels’ potential classification as a dark money organization.
Pelosi mentioned that she had previously dismissed No Labels, even though the organization targeted her during her tenure as House Speaker. However, she emphasized that the dynamics of the 2024 election would be distinct.
“When they jeopardize the reelection of Joe Biden as president of the United States, I can no longer remain silent on that,” she said.
Larry Hogan, the former governor of Maryland and co-chair of No Labels, expressed his disappointment, stating that it’s disheartening to witness Nancy Pelosi fabricate claims about No Labels for political gain. He emphasized that Pelosi is attributing roles to No Labels that the organization has never undertaken.
The concern from Pelosi and Third Way stems from the fear that a moderately successful third-party candidate could amass sufficient electoral college votes, preventing either major party nominee from securing the required majority for winning the presidency.
In such a scenario, congressional delegations—currently under Republican control—would be tasked with voting for the president, ultimately determining the presidential election outcome. While the likelihood of a third-party candidate receiving enough electoral college votes is low, there is apprehension that No Labels could influence the election in favor of the Republican nominee if it reaches the point of congressional delegations deciding the outcome.
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.