‘No Labels’ Eyes a Third-Party Run Against Biden and Trump. Is Joe Manchin Interested?

“We’re well aware any independent ticket faces a steep climb and if our rigorously gathered data and polling suggests an independent unity ticket can’t win, we will not nominate a ticket,” she said.

Caveats aside, the effort is causing deep tensions with the group’s ideological allies, congressional partners and Democratic Party officials who are scrambling to stop it. Third-party candidates siphoned enough votes to arguably cost Democrats elections in 2000 (Al Gore) and 2016 (Hillary Clinton). Republicans say the same thing about Ross Perot’s role in blocking George H.W. Bush’s re-election in 1992.

“If No Labels runs a Joe Manchin against Donald Trump and Joe Biden, I think it will be a historic disaster,” said Representative Dean Phillips, a Minnesota Democrat and, until now, a strong supporter of the organization. “And I speak for just about every moderate Democrat and frankly most of my moderate Republican friends.”

People close to Mr. Manchin have their…

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This article was written by Jonathan Weisman and originally published on www.nytimes.com