Funded with at least $20 million, the majority from large, mostly unnamed donors, Americans Elect is vying to become the most serious third-party insurgency since industrialist H. Ross Perot nearly upended the 1992 presidential campaign.That last declaration of fact is entirely false, demonstrating the ignorance of third party and independent history that is par for the course in the political press. In 1992, Ross Perot received nearly 19% of the vote. It is interesting to see how the article explains the fact that there have been virtually no reports on the group in the mainstream media over the last six months.
And they're doing it in a decidedly 21st century way by creating an "open source" virtual primary in which the public is invited, via the Internet, to nominate a presidential ticket, ostensibly of moderates, and get the names on ballots in all 50 states.
Privately, political scientists say, some of the principals have debated a potential Gen. David Petraeus-Michael Bloomberg ticket as one possible outcome to challenge Obama-Biden and a potential Republican ticket such as Mitt Romney-Rick Perry. The group is also considering floating congressional candidates.
The effort is a new twist on a long tradition in American politics of third-party insurgencies, including Mr. Perot in 1992, John Anderson in 1980, and George Wallace in 1968. The hurdles Americans Elect faces are daunting. None of those recent third-party bids managed to collar more than 9 percent of the popular vote. [Emphasis added.]
But Americans Elect isn't daunted. County registrars in California began receiving 1.6 million signatures from the group on Thursday as part of a requirement to be included in the 2012 election. Largely under the radar, the group has already gained ballot access in Nevada, Alaska, Kansas and Arizona, is seeking certification in Michigan, Hawaii, Missouri and Florida, and plans to be on the ballots in 18 states by the end of the year. [Emphasis added.]Of course, it is impossible to gain ballot access in any state and be "under the radar" since such information is completely public. Indeed, a number of states have already published the corporate by-laws of the organization as part of the process. Irregular Times, Ballot Access News, Independent Political Report, the California Independent Voter Network and Politea, among other third party and independent oriented political blogs, have been following developments regarding Americans Elect for months. If the mainstream media are behind the curve, it is only out of ignorance, laziness, or collusion with the organization's marketing and media strategy.