Dem 51
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GOP 49
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Christie Won't Run on the No Labels Ticket

The No Labels group is trying to get on the ballot in all states to run a unity centrist ticket. It is possible that it can get on the ballot in most or all states. That just requires getting a lot of voters to sign a petition saying they are for a common-sense party. In the abstract, that sounds fine. It is widely believed that No Labels is funded by wealthy Republicans who believe it will attract more Democratic votes than Republican votes because Democrats are more likely to seriously look at the candidates, consider the issues, etc., and not just blindly vote for anybody with a (D) after his or her name. Republicans just look for the (R), it's quick and easy.

Getting on the ballot is the easy part. Finding candidates is the hard part. They have to be common-sense centrists, which are in short supply these days. Some people have floated the name of Chris Christie, who, as a traditional conservative, looks centrist by modern GOP standards. Yesterday, he said he is not interested in being on the ticket. He said his goal is to be elected president on the Republican ticket. So much for that fantasy. Another "centrist" Republican, former Maryland governor Larry Hogan, has also ruled out a run.

One name that has also been bandied about is Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV). Manchin has been very coy about his future plans. He could run for reelection, run for governor, run for president, or retire from politics. He's not saying—yet. He likes to keep the media guessing, which makes him an interesting person to talk to. Our guess is that he won't run for president but will run for reelection. As a swing senator in a closely divided Senate he has immense power that he would not have as governor of West Virginia and certainly not as a presidential candidate who would be lucky to get 2% of the vote and would tip the election to Donald Trump. While Manchin is not a lockstep Democrat, he certainly is no fan of Donald Trump, either.

So, No Labels may have to keep searching for a bit. Third parties that are spoilers sometimes have to scrape the bottom of the barrel to find willing candidates. You probably know that Jill Stein ran for president on the Green Party ticket in 2016 and possibly cost Hillary Clinton the election. Do you know who the Green Party candidate was in 2020 (without looking it up)? If you do, congratulations on your excellent knowledge of politics. The reality was the Green Party couldn't find any high-profile person who was willing to be responsible for reelecting Donald Trump, so it was stuck with a complete unknown. No Labels may well have trouble finding suitable candidates for the same reason.

The group will release its platform today. Releasing a platform before knowing who the candidates are is a bit weird. What if the candidates are only 70% on board with the platform? Will the platform deal with controversial issues, like abortion, immigration, taxes, climate change, etc.? Saying: "We support a common-sense approach to abortion, immigration, taxes, and climate change" will please no one. If the platform is more specific and says that abortion is fine up to 20 weeks, a fair number of Democrats will agree but very few Republicans, so it will hurt the Democrats as almost no Republicans will vote for it. Trying to be neutral is a fool's errand. (V)

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