Hot Posts


Biden campaign and DNC continue to worry about independent and third-party candidates

For the first time, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) is launching a team that will focus squarely on combating independent and third-party candidates in 2024, NBC and other outlets reported last week. The move demonstrates how seriously President Joe Biden’s coalition is taking the threat of spoilers this time around, as the incumbent continues to battle abysmal approval ratings.

In an early glimpse of what this effort may look like over the next few months, the DNC has already begun taking special aim at Democrat-turned-Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the anti-vaccine activist and environmental lawyer who Biden-aligned Democrats fear could siphon off enough votes to tilt the election in Donald Trump’s favor. Earlier this month, the DNC filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission alleging that the pro-Kennedy super PAC, American Values 2024, did not meet federal reporting requirements regarding loans and loan repayments from former donor Gavin de Becker.

The national party has hired a number of experienced Democratic operatives to lead this third-party-focused effort, including Lis Smith and Matt Corridoni, who both served as presidential-campaign aides for Pete Buttigieg, and veteran DNC operatives Mary Beth Cahill, Ramsey Reid, and Nick Bauer. Many of those staffers spent last week filling their followers’ social-media feeds with posts about a CNN story alleging that New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers — whom Kennedy is reportedly considering as a running mate — shared conspiracy theories about the Sandy Hook school shooting in private conversations more than a decade ago. (NR has not independently verified that CNN report.) Other potential VP picks for Kennedy reportedly include former Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura and attorneys Nicole Shanahan and Tricia Lindsay, according to the New York Times. Kennedy’s campaign is planning to announce his running mate on March 26.

“We’re facing an unprecedented election and we know the GOP is already working to prop up third party candidates like Robert Kennedy Jr. to make them stalking horses for Donald Trump,” said Matt Corridoni, a DNC spokesman for the third-party focused team. “With so much on the line, we’re not taking anything for granted. We’re going to make sure voters are educated and we’re going to make sure all candidates are playing by the rules.”

The DNC is far from the only Biden-aligned group that will be working to take on RFK Jr., whose own extended family members seem to be growing increasingly frustrated by his presidential run. (This past weekend, the candidate’s sister, Kerry Kennedy, posted a photo on social media of the Kennedy family posing alongside Biden in front of the White House for St. Patrick’s Day.)

Left-leaning groups like MoveOn, Third Way, and the opposition research firm American Bridge are also expected to continue sounding the alarm on what they perceive as the threat that third-party and independent candidates and groups like No Labels pose to the 2024 election.

With respect to Kennedy, the goal for all of these separate groups is to inform Americans about the independent candidate’s controversial views and financial history.

“He’s somebody with a famous name, and little less voters know about him, the more they like him,” American Bridge president Pat Dennis said in an interview. “Most of the voters we care about just need to know that he’s weird. The message I would say is: He’s weird, he’s extreme, he’s out there.”

Whether American Bridge’s opposition-research-focused efforts against third-party candidates will extend into paid advertising efforts is unclear. As of right now, Dennis said, the group’s plan is to focus its paid advertising efforts on the GOP nominee.

“We do have a paid advertising program focused on the presidential race in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania,” Dennis said. “That program is laser-focused on Donald Trump.”

Post a Comment