Earlier this year, the nonpartisan political organization known as No Labels made headlines by teasing the idea of a third-party presidential candidate entering the 2024 race in the event of a Trump-Biden rematch. This announcement stirred mixed reactions, considering the nation’s closely divided electorate in 2020 and the persisting polarization.
But what is No Labels, and why do Democrats see it as a threat?
First founded in 2010, No Labels is a centrist organization that emerged during a period when congressional Republicans were united in their opposition to President Obama’s legislative agenda. Nancy Jacobson, the group’s founder and former Democratic National Committee finance chair, along with co-founder Mark McKinnon, a Republican strategist, recognized that political gridlock resulted from both major parties being dominated by ideologically extreme politicians who were averse to compromise.
No Labels, a nonprofit “grassroots movement” with over a million followers, pledges to support lawmakers who are willing to reach across the aisle and bridge the gap, regardless of party affiliation. Its commitment to end extremism in both parties is evident by the diversity of its current leaders – Larry Hogan, the Republican former governor of Maryland, Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman, and former N.A.A.C.P. executive director Benjamin Chavis.
No Labels is an active, if quiet, part of congressional leadership. Its members played a pivotal role in establishing the Problem Solvers Caucus, an assembly of House lawmakers characterized by an equal representation of Democrats and Republicans. Back in 2018, this caucus exerted influence by delaying Nancy Pelosi’s speakership until she agreed to implement certain alterations to House rules.
More recently, in 2021, No Labels earned recognition when emails surfaced commending Senator Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) for her “heroic efforts” in working with Republican legislators to separate the infrastructure bill from the Build Back Better initiative.
No Labels is making waves in the presidential election landscape. They are considering the possibility of nominating its own candidate on an “independent unity ticket” for the 2024 Presidential race. Calling the move “Insurance Policy 2024,” its No Labels’s intention is to offer Americans an alternative to Biden and Trump. No Labels‘ decision is based on polling results revealing that most respondents were not enthusiastic about the prospect of either candidate running again.
Despite nearly sixty percent of those surveyed expressing an openness to voting for a hypothetical “moderate independent” candidate, only twenty percent indicated they would do so if the election took place “today.” The polling data also reveals strong party loyalty, with 83% of Democrats stating they would vote for Biden if a two-party election happened “today” and an identical percentage of Republicans declaring their support of Trump.
Democrats fear a No Labels presidential nomination will siphon votes away from the dismally tanking President Joe Biden’s re-election bid. With concerns regarding Biden’s fitness for a second term, his fracturing support in his own party, the immense dislike of his running mate, and his abysmally low approval ratings, a third-party candidate would be far more of a threat to Democrats than Republicans, who stand strongly united behind their frontrunner, former president Donald Trump.
Democrats, of course, refuse to let the election play out naturally. The party is actively seeking to squash any chance of No Labels nominating a third-party candidate. Two Democratic groups, MoveOn and Third Way are insisting that Democrat lawmakers sign a pledge promising they will not run as a No Labels candidate.
“Their candidate cannot win, but they can and would serve as a spoiler that could return someone like Donald Trump to office. I therefore commit to opposing a No Labels third-party ticket in 2024 for the good of the country,” reads the pledge.
But so far, No Labels is winning. In August, an Arizona judge rejected a lawsuit by the state’s Democratic Party that claimed that there were errors in the paperwork No Labels filed to be recognized as a political party in the state. To date, No Labels has signed 15,000 voters to its rolls in Arizona. This small victory is setting off alarm bells for Democrats in a state that Biden won by only 10,000 votes.
No Labels currently has ballot access in eleven states and hopes to add twenty more by the end of 2023. The organization fully expects to be represented on the ballot of all fifty states in time for the 2024 elections.
Democrats are sweating bullets, fearing they will siphon votes away from their beloved President Biden, who’s already in a bit of a popularity pickle. True to form, Democrats are fighting dirty to eliminate the competition.
It wouldn’t be surprising if No Labels found itself somehow tangled in the same legal web of lies Democrats created for Trump.