According to a report, a well-known former Democratic leader is initiating a lobbying group to counter a potential third-party candidacy that could impede President Biden’s chances of re-election.
The new bipartisan group, led by former House Democratic leader Dick Gephardt, stands in direct opposition to No Labels—a centrist group that advocates for a $70 million plan to support a “unity” presidential candidate for 2024.
The Washington Post, which obtained private polling from Gephardt’s group, revealed that the launch of the group is imminent.
The polling indicates that a moderate third-party candidate would have a more detrimental impact on President Biden’s support compared to former President Trump in a hypothetical three-way race.
“No Labels equals Trump,” Greg Schneiders, who helped conduct the polling for the Gephardt group, told the Washington Post. “It is going to affect the race, and it is going to affect it negatively for Biden, and it is probably going to elect Donald Trump.”
According to the Washington Post, the group includes other prominent leaders such as former Senator Doug Jones (D-Ala.) and Stuart Stevens, who has been involved in the presidential campaigns of Bob Dole, George W. Bush, and Mitt Romney.
The Gephardt group has not provided a comment in response to the request.
No Labels, on the other hand, has been at the forefront of advocating for a moderate third-party candidate and is rumored to be considering Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and former Republican Maryland Governor Larry Hogan as potential candidates. While the group has stated that it won’t directly finance the candidate, it has raised external funds to generate momentum for a potential campaign and to support efforts for securing ballot access in various states.
No Labels, the organization, established the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus in Congress. Former Senator Joseph Lieberman, who has run in Connecticut as both a Democrat and an Independent, serves as a founding chairman of No Labels.
However, due to No Labels’ advocacy for a third-party candidate in the upcoming 2024 election, some Democratic members of the caucus have expressed discontent and distanced themselves from the group.
“No Labels is wasting time, energy and money on a bizarre effort that confuses and divides voters, and has one obvious outcome – re-electing Donald Trump as president,” Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., said in May.
According to Fox News Digital, the center-left advocacy group Third Way has confirmed its plans to meet with the chiefs of staff to Democratic senators on July 27. In attendance at the meeting will be representatives from the liberal group MoveOn as well. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the potential negative consequences of a well-financed third-party presidential campaign.
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Senator Manchin, who is expected to face a competitive re-election race in 2024, has not definitively ruled out the possibility of running for president.