The No Labels political movement, which is pressing to mount a third-party presidential challenge in 2024, has reportedly registered more than 15,000 voters in Arizona, making Democrats nervous the group could pull votes away from President Joe Biden.
In 2020, Biden defeated former President Donald Trump by 10,457 votes, or four-tenths of a percent (49.4%-49.0%) out of more than 3.3 million votes cast in the state. Trump is the prohibitive favorite to win the 2024 Republican presidential nomination and face Biden in a rematch of the 2020 race.
"If they have someone on the ballot who is designed to bring the country together, that clearly draws votes away from Joe Biden and does not draw votes away from Donald Trump," Rodd McLeod, a Democrat strategist in Arizona, told the Arizona Republic on Thursday.
At least 13,500 people have registered with No Labels in Arizona's two largest counties, which include Phoenix and Tucson, the Arizona Republic reported, with roughly 1,900 registered in the state's other counties, according to the most recent figures available.
"These are unprecedented times," said Benjamin Chavis, No Labels' national co-chairman, the Washington Examiner reported Thursday. "Never before has such a large number of Americans expressed their concerns and expressed their views and their aspirations for more choices."
No Labels has floated a possible bipartisan unity ticket, and it has secured ballot access in Arizona and other states including Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, South Dakota and Utah, the Examiner reported.
The Arizona Republic reported No Labels' organizers said they are on track to reach 20 states by the end of this year and all 50 by Election Day.
The Arizona Democratic Party went to court to block No Labels from gaining ballot access in the state, claiming it's not a political party. But Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Katherine Cooper ruled in August that Democrat Secretary of State Adrian Fontes properly recognized No Labels as a political party earlier this year. She rejected Democrat claims that there were deficiencies in the paperwork No Labels filed but said she might allow Democrats to refile the lawsuit with new arguments.
No Labels said on its website it will only offer a unity ticket if its polling and research show a path to victory. The group, which regards itself as "an insurance policy that the American public wants and needs," said it will make that decision sometime between March 5, Super Tuesday of presidential primary season for Democrats and Republicans, and the No Labels convention April 14-15 in Dallas.
Michael Katz is a Newsmax reporter with more than 30 years of experience reporting and editing on news, culture, and politics.
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