Polls show that voters are not thrilled at the prospect of a Trump vs. Biden rerun in the 2024 presidential election. That makes the idea of a fresh third-party candidate more interesting. One might think the media would enjoy a curveball, but there’s one big problem: Democrats think a third-party ticket would sink President Joe Biden.

The No Labels group held an event in New Hampshire on July 17 with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and former Gov. Jon Huntsman (R-Utah). They like the idea of a bipartisan presidential ticket, one Democrat and one Republican. There’s more than enough establishment Republicans who hate former President Donald Trump enough to run on a bipartisan ticket.

Manchin infuriated the Democrat enforcers of “message discipline” by suggesting both parties were similar, that they both sought to win by being divisive. Democrats usually pretend they’re uniters, while telling you the Republicans are fascist extremists who will destroy democracy.

“It’s actually insanely terrifying that there is a group out there that believe Donald Trump and Joe Biden are the same thing,” proclaimed comedian/activist Francesca Fiorentini on MSNBC over the weekend. “They call themselves No Labels because ‘Oligarchs Gentlemen’s Club’ was too much on the nose of a name for them.”

MSNBC contributor Victoria DeFrancesco Soto proclaimed the emergence of No Labels was “maddening. Because institutionally, as a country, we’re set up to be a two-party system.” As usual, Joy Reid was nuttier, describing No Labels as a “democracy-ending third party.” Democracy and Democrats are the same thing.

On the “PBS NewsHour,” former Democrat presidential candidate and House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt warned that his group, Citizens to Save Our Republic, commissioned a national survey as well as a swing-state survey and found that — in theory — Biden would win by four in a two-person race, but lose by five or six points with a third-party candidate of stature in the race.

“We cannot have Donald Trump back in the White House. He engineered an overthrow of the electoral process. He would do it again,” Gephardt warned. “We cannot allow that to happen.”

Gephardt claims his pro-Biden group has Republicans in it. Yes, like William Cohen and Chuck Hagel, who were both defense secretaries for Democrat presidents.

Remember this: Democrats were fine with a third-party candidate in the race in 1992, when Ross Perot took more voters from President George H.W. Bush than he did from Bill Clinton. Clinton won with 43% of the vote, and journalists pretended that was a mandate. Their position on a third-party challenge is situational. It’s entirely about who benefits.

Manchin told the crowd in New Hampshire that he would never run to be a spoiler, that he would only run to win. Everyone running as a third-party candidate should say that, but with disapproval of Trump and Biden as high as it is, one could imagine a three-way nail-biter. On the other hand, if polling suggested such a strange scenario, it’s easy to predict our Democrat media outlets would fiercely dig into the opposition research on whoever decided to threaten their incumbent.

For many years, Arizona Sen. John McCain was the media-beloved “maverick” Republican centrist — except for about half of 2008, when he threatened to defeat the media’s sainted Barack Obama. Then he was a grumpy troll running an ugly campaign with a menacing smile — and that was just Chris Matthews.

The emergence of a third party would underline what we already know: The “objective” media are thoroughly embedded inside the Democrat narrative machine.

Tim Graham is director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and executive editor of the blog NewsBusters.org. To find out more about Tim Graham and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.


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