Dem 51
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GOP 49
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Big Republican Donor Joins the No Labels Team

Just in case you had some idea that the No Labels group was a bunch of Goody Two-Shoes who simply support honest government, try again. Major Republican donor Allan Keen, a Florida-based real estate developer and Trump supporter, has signed up to be an adviser to No Labels, even though his label is as big as a 10-foot-high neon sign.

No Labels says it does not want to play the role of spoiler, but it has directly solicited help from Republican fundraisers, like Keen. Former Trump spokesman Sean Spicer said: "A third party will likely benefit Trump, whether it's No Labels or Green Party candidate Cornel West." He compared such efforts to Jill Stein's Green Party campaign in 2016. West only needs 30,000 votes to tip Wisconsin to Republicans.

Keen's joining No Labels isn't his only foray into "centrist politics." He also has donated to the campaign of Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ).

Keen said he doesn't have an opinion on who No Labels should run for president and vice president. He said he will watch the process play out. However, No Labels is already on the 2024 ballot in Arizona, Florida, and eight other states and is trying to get on the ballot in all of them.

The fundamental problem the Democrats have is that the party is more divided than the Republicans. There is a strong progressive wing that might support Cornel West. Young Black men might support Kanye West (Ye) if he runs. Moderates might follow the siren song of No Labels. If each one takes, say, 1-2% of the vote in the swing states, that could hand the election to Donald Trump. Republicans just fall in line and vote for the guy with the (R) after his name, probably even if he is a convicted felon. No Labels is a bigger threat than any of the Wests because it has big Republican money behind it.

In theory, Democrats could play this game too by creating a group that would appeal to George Bush/Ronald Reagan Republicans, give it a nice name, like "Americans for America," and try to get Democratic millionaires to fund it. Then they would have to find some moderate former Republican officeholder who would like another 15 minutes of fame to be the candidate. But we don't see any such group forming and it takes time and a lot of money to get on the ballot in many states.

Of course Democrats, who tend to be worrywarts, could be wrong. The No Labels group could also get a fair number of votes from Republicans who don't want to vote for a convicted felon but have a huge aversion to voting for any Democrat and would never do that no matter what. Those would be votes that would come out of Trump's hide. (V)

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