A well-funded group called Americans Elect is planning to hold a national primary election on the Internet with the aim of nominating a centrist third-party candidate for president in 2012.
Americans Elect is a collection of Republicans, Democrats and independents who say they are disgusted by the polarization that has poisoned American politics, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The group is collecting signatures to put itself on the ballot in every state, and claims it has collected 1.6 million signatures in California.
Among the figures frequently mentioned as a possible Americans Elect candidate are New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer, former Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh, and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. The group could reportedly seek to draft Hillary Clinton.
The candidate is unlikely to win the election, but could have a major impact on the outcome, the Times observes.
The only two modern presidents who failed to win re-election to a second term, Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush, lost in elections that included relatively strong third-party candidates: John B. Anderson in 1980 and H. Ross Perot in 1992.
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