Biden Urged to Address Latest Threat to Democracy, Third Party Candidates

Salma Bashir Motiwala /
Salma Bashir Motiwala /
The Biden campaign can’t decide if the looming third-party problem is the end of the road for the Big Guy or “no big deal.” Initially, Biden strategists sounded the alarm, but as recently as last week, Biden told his supporters that third-party candidates would not derail his campaign.
The tide has shifted once more, and third-party candidates are again causing election woes for Biden strategists.
Third-party candidates are now taking their rightful place alongside former President Donald Trump, January 6, conservatives, practicing Catholics, anyone from Texas, and grandma’s secret chocolate chip cookie recipe as the “biggest threat to democracy.”
By now, the argument is a regurgitation of tired talking points. With so many things threatening democracy, it’s amazing that America is still standing at all. But the one thing Team Biden won’t allow to stand is a third-party challenge. In another stunning display of third-world politics, Democrats are again advising Biden to tackle these up-and-comers and sink any chances for American people to have a choice at the ballot box.
Some strategists believe Biden should focus on governing and highlighting his “achievements” as president. However, others think he should do more. Recent polls show that support for Biden is dropping in states like Michigan and Georgia. Many worry that Biden’s chances of winning could become even more uncertain if a third-party or independent candidate joins the race.
There is a legitimate reason for Democrats to fear third-party candidates like Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who is trying to appear on as many ballots as possible. So far, he’s only made it onto Utah and New Hampshire ballots, but he’s floated the possibility of running as a Libertarian to increase his chances of getting on more ballots.
Even Democrats who think these third-party efforts are unlikely to succeed recognize the risk they pose to Biden’s campaign and believe “something needs to be done about it.”
Third Way Democratic strategist Jim Kessler claims third-party candidates will fuel a Trump victory. “Spoiler third-party candidates are an essential ingredient for any Trump win, and that is why they have been silent about No Labels and RFK.” He adds that Biden needs to clarify to voters that considering a third-party candidate is “not merely throwing away a vote, but our democracy,” too.
However, allowing voters to consider third-party candidates is exactly what a democratic voting process looks like. It’s a fact that Biden’s campaign spokesperson seems blissfully unaware of as he positions Biden as the only candidate who will “fight for our freedoms and uphold our democracy.” The freedoms as defined by Biden, and not the freedom of third-party candidates to campaign against King Joe. That is not allowed.
The Biden campaign thinks it’s time to destroy the individuals who would dare run against him. Still stinging from Trump’s popularity, Democratic strategists have decided on a scorched-earth approach to the annoying nuisances adding to Biden’s re-election woes. They want to highlight third-party candidates’ policies, but beyond that, they are actively seeking ways to destroy their reputations.
Nowhere is the third-party candidate “threat” to Biden more apparent than in Utah. As per a recent poll, in a hypothetical rematch of the 2020 presidential election, former President Donald Trump is ahead of President Joe Biden in Utah. The Deseret News/Hinckley Institute of Politics poll indicates that 43% of registered Utah voters would back Trump if such an election were held today. Meanwhile, 33% supported Biden, and 24% favored another candidate.
Utah mirrors a national trend where many are unhappy with the idea of Biden facing off against Trump again. Some independent and third-party candidates, like Kennedy Jr. and Cornel West, have visited Utah to gather the necessary signatures to appear on the ballot.
A targeted attack on third-party candidates would be detrimental to the Biden campaign, which would again risk coming afoul of voter sentiment. A survey conducted by the Washington Post and ABC News on February 5, 2023, revealed that 76% of Americans believe third-party candidates should have the opportunity to participate in presidential debates and run for office. Another poll conducted by Rasmussen Reports, published on February 7, 2023, found that 54% of likely U.S. voters feel the country would benefit from having a third major political party, while only 28% disagree.
As Biden continues to add to his list of threats to democracy, people’s patience is wearing thin. The only real threat to Biden would be if he were to make clear, dictatorial moves to silence all opposition. But predictably, the tone-deaf Biden campaign will use unethical and questionable tactics to counter any threat to Team Biden.
After all, Biden is saving democracy.