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Economics

The Washington Monthly Newsletter: February 1, 2024

As the general election approaches and polls show a tight race, many Democrats are concerned about the potential impact of third-party candidates on the outcome. However, I am becoming less worried about this scenario. Recent news suggests that the newest third-party efforts are struggling to secure ballot access in enough states. For example, No Labels has only met requirements in 14 states, while independent candidates Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Cornel West have only secured access in a few states each. This is a significant decrease compared to the 2020 election, where the Green Party was on the ballot in 30 states and the Libertarian Party in all 50. Additionally, the fundraising and ballot access efforts of these third-party candidates do not seem to be very effective. West’s campaign has not even filed a fourth quarter campaign finance report, and Kennedy’s campaign has spent more money than it has raised. In fact, Kennedy was recently interviewed by a news station and was told he needed 83,000 signatures to get on the ballot in North Carolina, which his campaign was not aware of. Overall, it seems that these third-party candidates are not as organized or well-funded as they need to be to have a significant impact on the election. 

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