By Jim Ellis — Friday, Aug. 18, 2023
PresidentNo Labels Party: Growing in Influence — The No Labels Party, under attack for not releasing their donors’ identities despite raising huge sums of money, has now qualified for the ballot in several more states.
The North Carolina Board of Elections, with four of the five members in favor of No Labels, certified them for a 2024 ballot position, becoming the tenth state to recognize the entity. North Carolina joins Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, and Utah as domains granting the minor party a ballot line.
Though the current aggregate number of qualified states represents only one fifth of the total number of states, No Labels can already have a major effect upon the presidential election outcome. Alaska, with their new Ranked Choice Voting system, Arizona, Nevada, and North Carolina, are among the small group of swing states that will largely determine the next general election result.
While former President Donald Trump carried Alaska by double-digits in both of his elections, his percentage was only 52.8 percent in 2020 and 51.3 percent in 2016. In a state that already draws a large number of independent and minor party voters, seeing a No Labels candidate force Trump or another eventual Republican nominee below the 50 percent majority figure is a distinct possibility.
As we have seen in previous Ranked Choice Alaska elections, the Democratic candidate has a strong chance of winning in the extra rounds.
The Arizona election was decided by just 10,447 votes. Nevada came down to less than two-and-a-half percentage points, and North Carolina’s final 2020 presidential vote was decided by a margin of less than 1.5 percent.
Therefore, a prominent No Labels Party candidate could clearly tip the balance of power in these critical swing states from one candidate to the other, particularly with as high as 40 percent of the voting public identifying as Independent according to the FiveThirtyEight data organization’s research.
If No Labels decides to field a presidential candidate, and they will formally do so at their national party meeting in Dallas on April 14-15 next year, it is clear they will choose someone who is already well known. If they attempt to be a deciding factor, the No Labels effort stands to earn success. If they have the far-reaching goal of winning the presidential race, then this group is likely to go the way of most other small political entities that usually find themselves falling apart after a short shelf life, figuratively speaking.
There is a great deal of controversy over which of the two major candidates, assuming a Biden-Trump 2024 general election, a No Labels Party candidate would hurt the most. We are seeing in current polling that Dr. Cornel West, running on the Green Party ticket, draws about four percent vote preference, and that largely comes from President Joe Biden’s vote pool. It is doubtful that a No Labels Party candidate would garner votes in the same manner, however.
Many on the left believe such a presence on major general election ballots would hurt Biden much more than Trump. Such a theory suggests the number of detracted votes could be enough to either throw the election to the former president or send a disputed outcome where neither party candidate receives 270 electoral votes to the House of Representatives.
Looking at this bipartisan political entity’s Republican composition, it is difficult to see any Trump supporters within the group. For example, the national co-chairman, former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R), and one of their chief political strategists, longtime national Republican consultant Charlie Black, are closer to the Never Trump movement rather than the Trump coalition.
Therefore, to see a scenario where No Labels chooses a candidate who would take enough votes away from Biden to help Trump win the national election is unrealistic and a misinterpretation of the involved GOP personnel’s intentions.
It is far more likely that the No Labels entity will choose a candidate, if they field one at all, who takes Republican suburban votes away from Trump in places like Anchorage, Atlanta, Charlotte, Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Raleigh. Therefore, their ultimate candidate selection is much more likely to help the current president rather than the former.