Third-party candidate is giving Democrats uneasy feelings

 July 14, 2023

Cornel West, who recently announced his presidential campaign as a third-party candidate, is causing discomfort within the Democratic Party. This third-party announcement serves as a reminder of the 2016 election and has Democrats growing anxious about its potential effect on President Biden's reelection chances.

"West, a philosopher, Ivy League academic, and leftist, recently announced he is newly registered with the Green Party as he seeks to challenge Biden and the eventual Republican nominee for the White House," reported The Hill.

According to The Hill, prominent figures supporting Biden, including the head of the Democratic National Committee and veteran campaign hands, are expressing concerns about West's quixotic White House run. DNC Chairman Jaime Harrison, a close confidant of Biden, emphasized the inopportune timing for experimentation and urged against playing around on the margins.

Flashbacks to 2016 and Fear of Repetition

The Democratic Party's concerns stem from the resemblance to the 2016 election, where Hillary Clinton's defeat was attributed, in part, to Green Party nominee Jill Stein. Democrats worry that 2024 could witness a similar scenario.

There is a growing apprehension that Cornel West, as a third-party candidate, could emerge as a spoiler by garnering just enough votes to fracture the coalition President Biden needs to secure victory. David Axelrod, former President Obama's chief strategist, highlighted the outsized role played by the Green Party in tipping the 2016 election towards Donald Trump and voiced concerns about a potential repeat scenario with West as the likely nominee.

"In 2016, the Green Party played an outsized role in tipping the election to Donald Trump," said Axelrod. "Now, with Cornel West as their likely nominee, they could easily do it again. Risky business."

Democratic Jitters and Concerns

The growing unease within the Democratic Party revolves around the potential consequences of a divided vote. The fear is that West's candidacy could draw support away from Biden, potentially leading to a fractured electorate that could favor the Republican nominee.

Democratic strategists and supporters are calling for unity and emphasizing the need to focus on defeating the Republican nominee rather than splintering the vote. The specter of another closely contested election looms, with Democrats expressing a sense of urgency to prevent a repeat of 2016.


In conclusion, Cornel West's third-party candidacy has generated unease within the Democratic Party. The announcement serves as a reminder of the 2016 election and raises concerns about the potential impact on President Biden's reelection prospects. Democrats fear that West could act as a spoiler, drawing votes away from Biden and fracturing the coalition needed for victory. The memories of Jill Stein and the Green Party's role in tipping the 2016 election towards Donald Trump contribute to the jitters among Democrats. As the 2024 election approaches, the focus on unity and the avoidance of a divided vote grows increasingly vital.

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