Moderate Democratic Senator from West Virginia, Joe Manchin, confirmed the possibility of launching an independent presidential campaign under the name of the “No Labels” party, amid serious Democratic warnings that trying to run for president through a third party could help former President Donald Trump to regain the presidency in 2024.
Manchin said in front of the New Hampshire town hall, which organized by the “No Labels” organization, that Americans want options other than Biden and Trump.
Manchin, who has clashed with President Joe Biden over federal spending and other issues, said he hadn’t decided whether to back down”.
Manchin added, “Let’s see what happens, it’s too early”.
And while officials of the new party, “No Labels,” said their candidate would receive votes from both parties, members of these parties believe that the ticket will cut more from Biden voters and boost Trump’s re-election.
“This is dangerous,” said former Democratic House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt, who helped start a political action committee to oppose the new party’s campaign.
Manchin and other No Labels members said they oppose a hyper-partisan environment in which the most conservative and most liberal voices heard.
“We need options,” Manchin continued.
He said the Democrats have moved too far to the left and the Republicans have moved too far to the right.
Manchin also criticized Trump for his repeated protests against the 2020 elections and the January 6, 2021 uprising.
The senator also faces a difficult bid for re-election to the Senate next year in the Republican state of West Virginia.
No Labels said on their website that it wanted candidates who can declare their freedom from the anger and division that are destroying our politics and our country.
Among the issues raised during this organization’s city hall event were, amending the US budget and reducing federal debt, pension reform, climate change legislation, school safety, mental health, countering political polarization, and legislation to end the influence of dark money in US politics.
The city hall event organized by the new party also includes prominent Democrats and Republicans who have become increasingly critical of their parties.
Former US Senator Joe Lieberman, the Democratic vice-presidential nominee in 2000 and who endorsed Republican candidate John McCain in 2008, said the new party wanted to influence the country’s political agenda.
Pat McCrory, a Republican and former governor of North Carolina, said No Labels would only support a presidential candidate if we saw that “we have a chance to win”.
“The party will attract a lot of Biden voters”.
Many Democrats and Republicans say the new party has no chance of electing its own candidate as president but is only determined to re-elect Trump.
They cited a number of polls that showed a third-party moderate would get more votes from Biden than Trump, enough to make a difference in key electoral states such as Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.
Hours before the “No Labels” city council convened, Democrats announced the formation of a bipartisan political action committee called “Citizens to Save Our Republic” against the new party, and the group said in its announcement, “We call on the new party to abandon its efforts to nominate a candidate third party,” especially as it became clear that the Republicans would re-nominate Trump.
Gebhardt, a senior member of the Democratic Party, said the new party was wrong in saying that they would draw votes equally from both parties.
“It will affect Biden much more than Trump and will ensure the latter’s victory,” he continued.
Third Way, a center-left think tank based in Washington, DC, said in a survey note that double haters — voters who don’t like Democrats or Republicans — generally voted for Biden in his 2020 victory.
“A poll conducted in April 2023 showed that Biden leads Trump by 39 points among voters who disapprove of Biden or Trump and clearly giving them a third-party option helps the Republican Party”.