The terrifying threat that No Labels will reelect Trump

By | April 3, 2023

Jonathan Chait writes:

One underrated scenario that would enable a right-wing authoritarian like Ron DeSantis or even Donald Trump to win the presidency in 2024 is that the Republican path will be cleared by an organization called No Labels. The semi-inscrutable organization, which is lavishly funded by anonymous donors, is planning a third-party candidacy that would almost certainly peel off enough moderate voters from the Democratic ticket to ensure a Republican victory.

Like a far-off meteor heading directly for Earth, a No Labels campaign is simultaneously distant yet disconcertingly likely to result in catastrophe.

The media periodically checks in on No Labels, which is putting its vast budget to use acquiring access to the ballot in every state with the goal of potentially fielding a moderate presidential campaign, and every report is slightly more unnerving than the last. The latest, via the Washington Post, notes that Über-centrist William Galston has grown concerned enough to quit the organization.

Given the minuscule margins by which Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump in 2020, any third-party campaign would likely enable Republicans to win another presidential election simply by consolidating the right-wing base.

No Labels insists it will only go through with a campaign if it is going to win. No Labels swears up and down it will not run a spoiler campaign. “I just wanted to emphasize on the spoiler question: I would not be involved if I thought in any account that we would do something to spoil the election in favor of Donald Trump. That’s just not going to happen,” said Benjamin Chavis Jr., an adviser to the group. “We have very tight guardrails around this effort,” promises Ryan Clancy, a senior adviser.

But can anybody trust that the group’s “guardrails,” which seem to be a proprietary secret, would actually work? The Post provides several reasons to doubt it. [Continue reading…]