The Third-Party Movement Is Dead—as Is Our System

Dana Milbank on why Americans Elect failed
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 16, 2012 1:27 PM CDT
The Third-Party Movement Is Dead—as Is Our System
Only Buddy Roemer came close to meeting Americans Elect's minimum support threshold.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

Americans Elect, the movement to select a third-party presidential candidate, started off so ambitiously, hoping to fix our broken two-party system by recruiting someone exciting to challenge President Obama and the eventual GOP nominee. The only problem? No one on its massive "dream team" of potential candidates—people like Mike Bloomberg, Colin Powell, and Mitch Daniels—had any interest in running, writes Dana Milbank in the Washington Post. And no one who actually wanted to run had any hope of being elected. (For example: Kenneth Domagala, whose platform includes making Cuba the 51st state.)

Americans Elect aimed to remove the "barrier to entry" to the presidential race, and it did a lot of work toward that end, spending $35 million on marketing and the like and hustling to get on all 50 state ballots (it's up to 28 so far). But ultimately no candidate reached the minimum threshold of support required, and Americans Elect is now abandoning the online nominating process. "This is profoundly depressing, and not just because it dashes the Domagala plan to admit Cuba to the union," Milbank writes. Rather, it proves that politics have gotten so nasty that "there’s little hope for a jolt to the system from a modern-day Teddy Roosevelt, or even a Ross Perot." Indeed, "the political system is farther gone than the reformers realized." Click for Milbank's full column. (More Americans Elect stories.)

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