Biden vs. Trump is set. What are the alternatives?

Biden vs. Trump is set. What are the alternatives? - World - News

Title: The Wild Card Factors in the Upcoming Biden vs. Trump Rematch: Third Parties, Independent Candidates, and Centrist Movements

The presidential race between Joe Biden and Donald Trump is shaping up to be a repeat performance following their dominant showings in the Republican and Democratic primaries during Super Tuesday. However, the election landscape is far from simple with the presence of third parties, independent candidates, and centrist movements that could significantly impact the outcome.

Third Parties: A Familiar Wild Card

The Libertarian Party and Green Party have been consistent players in recent elections, with a presence on most state ballots. Though their followings are not substantial, their influence can be significant in close races. Critics argue that the presence of third-party candidates like Gary Johnson and Jill Stein in 2016 may have swayed voters and ultimately contributed to Donald Trump’s victory.

Despite the debates surrounding third-party influence, a comprehensive analysis indicates that it is unlikely for third-party voters to abandon their chosen candidates and switch to major parties if the third-party option is not available. The Libertarian Party will finalize its nominee at their convention in May, while the Green Party’s selection process will occur in July.

Independent Candidates: A New Wild Card

While independent candidates have had limited success in past elections, the presence of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Cornel West as contenders in 2024 adds a new dimension to the race. Both candidates boast famous names, political histories, and financial support that could help them secure ballot access.

Kennedy’s campaign has reportedly amassed sufficient signatures to appear on ballots in Nevada, New Hampshire, and Hawaii. The super PAC backing his bid claims to have gathered enough signatures for Arizona and Georgia. He is already on the ballot in Utah as a Republican, making his presence in those states significant. Cornel West’s campaign has reportedly secured ballot access in Alaska, Oregon, and South Carolina thus far.

Centrist Movements: The No Labels Wild Card

In response to voter frustration with the major parties, the centrist group No Labels has emerged as a force in the political landscape. Though not a political party itself, it aims to secure ballot access for an unnamed “unity” candidate. The group’s members, who remain undisclosed, will decide on Friday whether to pursue this path and choose a ticket if they do proceed.

If No Labels does put forth a ticket, it has suggested that it would consider a Republican presidential candidate and Democratic vice president. Notable moderate figures like Joe Manchin of West Virginia have expressed interest in running for office but not as the unity candidate.

Overcoming Ballot Access Challenges: A Common Issue

A significant challenge for independent and third-party candidates lies in securing ballot access. Kanye West’s unconventional 2020 campaign, which only managed about 70,000 votes in 18 states, serves as a cautionary tale. Efforts to help West secure ballot access in swing states like Wisconsin were driven by individuals aligned with the Trump campaign, suggesting an intent to siphon votes from Biden.

In Kennedy’s pursuit of ballot access, his campaign has reported progress in Nevada, New Hampshire, and Hawaii, while a super PAC backing him claims to have sufficient signatures for Arizona and Georgia. Cornel West’s campaign reports ballot access in three states: Alaska, Oregon, and South Carolina.

Impact on the Election Outcome: A Complex and Fluxing Landscape

According to a recent Marquette University poll, Trump holds a slim lead over Biden with 51% to 49%. When Kennedy, West, and the Green Party’s Stein are added to the race, Trump’s lead shrinks to 42%, Biden receives 39%, Kennedy garners 15%, West earns 3%, and Stein secures 2%.

Kennedy pulled more support from Republicans, while West and Stein drew more Democratic voters. Trump maintained a higher portion of independent voters with their presence in the race.

Understanding the Role and Impact of Third Parties, Independent Candidates, and Centrist Movements is Crucial

Polls that explicitly ask about third-party candidates tend to overstate their level of support, and Kennedy’s candidacy appears to be attracting support based on a combination of voter dissatisfaction with both Biden and Trump and the value of his name recognition. However, it’s essential to remember that buzzworthy independent candidates have a tendency to lose support as Election Day nears and often contribute to the electoral success of major-party candidates.

Democratic Opposition: A Concern for Kennedy’s Campaign

The Democratic Party has been actively opposed to the No Labels campaign since its inception, fearing that it could draw support from Biden. Additionally, complaints have been lodged regarding coordination between Kennedy’s campaign and the super PAC that supports him in gathering signatures on his behalf.

To understand why Kennedy’s candidacy is a concern for Democrats, watch Eva McKendrick’s report detailing his interaction with Black voters in New York. Kennedy has also toyed with the idea of running as a Libertarian but may find it an odd fit due to his notably liberal views and activist background.

In conclusion, the 2024 presidential race between Joe Biden and Donald Trump is shaping up to be a complex and intriguing contest influenced by third parties, independent candidates, and centrist movements. As the election landscape continues to evolve, understanding these factors’ role and potential impact on the outcome is crucial for voters and political analysts alike.