September 29, 2022

Former Republicans and Democrats form new third US political party

Andrew Yang, Democratic candidate for mayor of New York, speaks during a campaign appearance in Brooklyn, New York, U.S., June 21, 2021. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

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LOS ANGELES, July 27 (Reuters) – Dozens of former Republican and Democratic officials announced on Wednesday the creation of a new national political third party to appeal to millions of voters they say are appalled at what they see like America’s dysfunctional two-party system.

The new party, dubbed Forward and whose creation was first reported by Reuters, will initially be co-chaired by former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang and Christine Todd Whitman, the former Republican governor of New Jersey. They hope the party will become a viable alternative to the Republican and Democratic parties that dominate US politics, the founding members told Reuters.

Party leaders will hold a series of events in two dozen cities this fall to roll out his platform and garner support. They will hold an official launch in Houston on September 24 and the party’s first national convention in a major US city next summer.

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The new party is formed by the merger of three political groups that have emerged in recent years in reaction to the increasingly polarized and blocked American political system. Leaders cited a Gallup poll last year showing a record two-thirds of Americans think one-third is needed.

The merger involves the Renew America Movement, formed in 2021 by dozens of former officials from the Republican administrations of Ronald Reagan, George HW Bush, George W. Bush and Donald Trump; the Forward Party, founded by Yang, who left the Democratic Party in 2021 and became independent; and the Serve America Movement, a group of Democrats, Republicans and independents whose executive director is former Republican Congressman David Jolly.

The twin pillars of the new party’s platform are to “reinvigorate a fair and thriving economy” and to “give Americans more choice in elections, more confidence in a government that works, and more say in our coming”.

The party, which is centrist, does not yet have a specific policy. He will say at his launch on Thursday, “How are we going to solve the big problems facing America? No left. No right. Forward.”

Historically, third parties have failed to thrive in the American two-party system. Sometimes they can impact a presidential election. Analysts say the Green Party’s Ralph Nader hijacked enough votes from Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore in 2000 to help Republican George W. Bush win the White House.

It’s unclear how the new Forward party might impact either party’s electoral prospects in such a deeply polarized country. Political analysts are skeptical of its success.

The public reaction on Twitter was swift. Many Democrats on the social media platform have expressed concern that the new party will divert more votes from Democrats, rather than Republicans, and end up helping Republicans in tight races.

Forward aims to achieve party registration and ballot access in 30 states by the end of 2023 and in all 50 states by the end of 2024, in time for the 2024 presidential and legislative elections. aims to field candidates for local races, such as school boards and city councils, in state houses, the U.S. Congress, and up to the presidency.

“THE FUNDAMENTALS HAVE CHANGED”

In an interview, Yang said the party would start with a budget of around $5 million. It has aligned donors and grassroots membership between the three merged groups that number in the hundreds of thousands.

“We are starting in a very strong financial position. Financial support will not be an issue,” Yang said.

Another person involved in creating Forward, Miles Taylor – a former Trump administration homeland security official – said the idea was to give voters “a viable and credible national third”.

Taylor acknowledged third parties had failed in the past, but said: “The fundamentals have changed. When other third party moves have emerged in the past, it’s largely been within a system where the American people are not asking for an alternative. The difference here is that we see historic numbers of Americans saying they want one.”

Stu Rothenberg, a seasoned nonpartisan political analyst, said it was easy to talk about creating a third party but nearly impossible to do so.

“The two main political parties start with huge advantages, including 50 state parties built over decades,” he said.

Rothenberg pointed out that third-party presidential candidates like John Anderson in 1980 and Ross Perot in 1992 and 1996 faded away, failing to build a genuine third party that became a factor in national politics.

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Reporting by Tim Reid, editing by Ross Colvin and Cynthia Osterman

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.