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Democrat Dean Phillips considering 3rd party run for president

By Stew Davidson
|
January 22, 2024

Amid the ever-evolving landscape of American politics, a new development has emerged, with Democrat Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota expressing potential interest in a third-party presidential run.

This consideration comes with a specific caveat: it hinges on the likelihood of President Joe Biden facing a challenging rematch against former President Donald Trump in the 2024 election, as the Daily Wire reported.

Rep. Phillips has indicated that he would only pursue a third-party candidacy with the No Labels organization if polls suggest that Biden is likely to lose against Trump in a potential rematch.

Phillips’ Pragmatic Approach to the 2024 Election

Phillips, who has been a prominent figure in Minnesota politics, has made it clear that his consideration for a third-party bid is not a decision taken lightly.

His rationale is rooted in the desire to find a viable path to defeat Trump, should Biden's electability be in question.

As of now, his primary focus remains on securing the Democratic nomination, despite trailing significantly behind Biden in early polls.

The congressman's potential pivot to a third-party candidacy is backed by the support of high-profile figures such as billionaire Bill Ackman. However, it also faces significant challenges, including overcoming ballot access hurdles in key states.

No Labels, an organization advocating for a bipartisan approach to governance, is reportedly considering at least 13 candidates for a possible "Unity Ticket." This approach aims to bridge the partisan divide and offer an alternative to the traditional two-party system.

Rumors and Responses: The Political Landscape Reacts

Amid these developments, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) has also been rumored as a potential candidate for the No Labels initiative. Following his announcement to not seek re-election in 2024, Manchin has expressed interest in exploring the viability of a unity movement across the country.

The Biden campaign, on the other hand, remains skeptical of the threat posed by a third-party challenge. Quentin Fulks, the deputy manager of Biden’s campaign, emphasized the entrenched nature of the two-party system and the electoral challenges any third-party candidate would face in garnering the necessary 270 electoral votes.

Phillips' contemplation of a third-party run was first reported over the recent weekend, with his comments to major publications such as the New York Times and the Washington Post outlining the specific conditions under which he would consider such a move.

Phillips’ Conditional Third-Party Bid and Its Implications

Phillips’ stance is a reflection of the broader uncertainties within the Democratic Party regarding the upcoming presidential election. While the congressman remains a loyal Democrat, his openness to explore alternative routes underscores the apprehensions about Biden's re-election prospects against Trump.

The legislator made his position clear in his remarks, stating, "It would have to be a Joe Biden-Donald Trump rematch that shows Joe Biden is almost certain to lose. That is the only condition in which I would even entertain a conversation with any alternative." This statement encapsulates his conditional approach towards a third-party candidacy.

As the political atmosphere heats up with the approaching election, the possibility of a third-party bid, though contingent on various factors, adds a layer of complexity to an already intricate electoral scenario.

Phillps' stance represents a pragmatic approach to an unpredictable political landscape, balancing loyalty to his party with the strategic considerations of a potential third-party challenge.

No Labels and the Quest for a Unity Ticket

The role of No Labels in this political equation cannot be understated. The organization, known for its emphasis on bipartisan solutions, is actively vetting candidates for a potential unity ticket.

The group's decision, expected sometime after March 15, will be a significant determinant in the course of Phillips' political journey and the broader third-party movement.

The idea of a unity ticket, while appealing to some, faces skepticism and logistical challenges. The American electoral system, with its deep-rooted two-party structure, poses substantial barriers to any third-party or independent candidate aiming for the presidency.

In conclusion, as the 2024 presidential race begins to take shape, Rep. Dean Phillips' potential third-party run symbolizes the ongoing search for alternative paths in American politics. While his decision hinges on specific conditions, it highlights the evolving strategies within the Democratic Party and the broader political landscape as it prepares for another consequential election.