Dems Fear West May Harm Biden’s 2024 Campaign

Dems Fear West May Harm Biden's 2024 Campaign

( – Several Democrats are concerned that third-party presidential candidate Cornel West could hinder President Joe Biden’s re-election campaign. Running as a candidate in the Green Party and with the backing of the People’s Party, West positions himself as a progressive candidate and alternative option for left-wing voters displeased with the Biden administration. When launching his campaign, his messaging appealed to progressives on issues such as a living wage, affordable housing, abortion access, Medicare for all, and climate change.

Democratic strategists reflect upon the 2016 election campaign of Jill Stein and her “undermining” Hillary Clinton through the “spoiler effect.” This perception comes from American elections using plurality voting, meaning that a majority of votes is not required to win all the electoral votes in one state. Thus, Democrats believe that votes for Stein automatically could have been directed to Clinton and given her a majority of votes, beating Trump in the 2016 election.

West has previously aligned himself with politicians like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). However, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has expressed concern about his candidacy because she believes it could undermine the Biden re-election campaign. Another member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), also believes that the election will be too close for Biden and that a left-wing third-party candidate could propel Trump back to the White House. Progressive activist Cullen Tiernan disagrees with this assessment and believes that West will push Biden to the left on issues rather than hand Trump the election.

Left-leaning organizations have also been attempting to stop groups like No Labels from launching a moderate third-party presidential campaign with someone like Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV). With Democrats relying upon factionalized groups in their coalition, moderate or progressive presidential campaigns could mean extra work for Biden’s campaign to win voters.

Polling from Emerson College indicates Biden leads Trump 44% to 43%. However, with Cornel West in the race, Trump would lead Biden 41% to 40%. Only a razor-thin margin is needed for Trump to win states on the path to 270 electoral votes, which could bring him to the White House again, provided he secures the Republican primary.

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