No Labels, an organization that could field an independent candidate in the 2024 presidential race, has secured ballot access in seven states, with North Carolina being the latest to join the list.
No Labels intends to establish the groundwork to run an alternative candidate for the 2024 presidential race if the election turns into a rematch between former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden. The organization’s leadership is composed of both Republicans and Democrats.
On Sunday, No Labels received approval from the North Carolina Board of Elections to appear in the 2024 ballot, allowing voters in the state to affiliate with the organization should it choose to run a candidate. The new party collected nearly 14,000 signatures from citizens of the state before securing ballot access.
In Alaska, No Labels is a limited political party. It was recognized as a minor political party in Colorado in January. A couple of months later, it gained ballot access in Arizona and Oregon in March.
In July, an official from No Labels revealed that it had gained ballot access in Utah. And earlier this month, the organization qualified for Nevada’s general election ballot as a minor party.
No Labels intends to secure ballot access in all 50 American states.
The party has not yet nominated a candidate for the 2024 presidential election but could nominate one next year in Dallas.
In an interview with NBC News, Benjamin Chavis, former executive director of National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and a national co-chair of No Labels, said the group will end its effort for an alternative candidate if, by next spring, polling shows that President Joe Biden is “way, way out ahead” of President Trump.
No Labels recently told Politico that it will exit the presidential race if the GOP nominates any candidate other than President Trump.
Since 1968, no third-party presidential candidate has won electoral votes.
Senator Manchin a No Labels Candidate?
Though No Labels has not declared a candidate, there are rumors of Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) being a potential pick. On July 17, he was the keynote speaker for No Labels’ Common Sense Town Hall event.
When asked during the event whether his potential candidacy would act as a spoiler for the 2024 presidential race, Mr. Manchin replied, “I’ve never been in any race I’ve ever spoiled. I’ve been in races to win and if I get in a race, I’m gonna win. With that being said, I haven’t made a decision.”
“We’re here to make sure the American people have an option, and the option is can you move the political parties off their respective sides,” he said.
“They’ve gone too far right and too far left … That’s not who we are, that’s not where we come from, and it’s not the people we are.”
Mr. Manchin went on to claim that the “business model” of Democratic and Republican parties is that it is “better if you’re divided than united.” He insisted that “we’re going to change that.”
There is speculation that Mr. Manchin won’t be seeking another term in Congress as he will launch his presidential bid. He is yet to announce a reelection bid for his West Virginia Senate seat.
During the Common Sense Town Hall event, No Labels national co-chair Pat McCrory, a former Republican North Carolina governor, said that their efforts were being challenged by Republicans and Democrats.
“We’ve got volunteers signing up people everywhere. Sadly, we have some operatives out of Washington, D.C., who want to just keep the status quo as it is and stop our efforts,” he said.
“We will present a president and vice president candidate on a No Labels ticket, but only if we see an opportunity to win.”
Democrats Disrupting No Labels Efforts
While No Labels calls itself a unity ticket, many Democrats claim that the organization is a spoiler that would siphon off votes from President Biden and aid President Trump to win the 2024 election.
A candidate from No Labels can likely swing the presidential race in critical areas, potentially in favor of President Trump.
The No Labels candidate could also end up creating a situation where no presidential candidate is able to secure 270 electoral votes. This would allow state delegations of the House to choose the winner of the presidential election, likely favoring the GOP nominee.
Several groups aligned with the Democratic Party are pressuring elected officials to denounce any presidential campaign from No Labels. The Democratically-aligned MoveOn and Third Way have created a pledge to push this agenda.
“We, the undersigned elected officials, recognizing the urgent and unique threat to democracy in the form of right-wing extremism on the ballot in 2024, call on No Labels to halt their irresponsible efforts to launch a third-party candidacy,” the pledge states.
“Their candidate cannot win, but they can and would serve as a spoiler that could return someone like Donald Trump to office. I, therefore, commit to opposing a No Labels third-party ticket in 2024 for the good of the country.”
The Arizona Democratic Party had earlier filed a lawsuit seeking to stop No Labels from appearing on ballots in the state after Secretary of State Adrian Fontes granted official recognition to the organization in March.
Arizona Democrats argued that there were technical issues with No Labels’ signature gathering process. However, a Maricopa County Superior Court judge ruled this month that No Labels can stay on the 2024 ballot in Arizona.