Mar 6, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Exclusive: No Labels super PAC is dialing for dollars

Illustration of hand putting money in ballot box.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

A new super PAC, waiting in the wings for a potential No Label's third-party presidential bid, is asking small-dollar donors to contribute hard cash to fund the actual campaign to get a "unity" ticket elected.

Why it matters: For the No Labels movement to field a credible bipartisan ticket, organizers need three things they don't have: presidential and vice-presidential candidates and a working campaign to help them make their case to the American people.

  • The original No Labels group, founded by Nancy Jacobson, is focused on gaining ballot access in all 50 states. As a 501(c)(4), it can't run a traditional presidential campaign.
  • The Super PAC — formally called the New Leaders '24 political action committee — registered with the Federal Election Commission in January and could serve as the campaign vehicle for any potential ticket, the New York Times reported. The PAC aims to raise $300 million for the general election.

What they are saying: "For this ticket to win, we need the many Americans who support this ticket to show their financial support, the same way Democrats and Republicans donate to their political parties regularly," Rob Stutzman, a senior adviser for the super PAC, wrote to potential donors.

  • "By becoming a founding donor, you will allow the Unity Ticket to know that they will have the resources to compete and reach voters directly," he said in an email shared with Axios. They asking for $3 donations.
  • The group will also include a traditional Super PAC, which can take unlimited — and anonymous — contributions to blanket airwaves across the country.

Driving the news: The original No Labels group is holding a virtual meeting on Friday to determine whether to move forward with a bipartisan third-party bid.

  • Today, it closed the door on convincing former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley to change her jersey and run under the No Label's banner.
  • "We congratulate Nikki Haley on running a great campaign and appealing to the large swath of commonsense voters," a No Labels spokesperson said.
  • "We take her at her word that she isn't interested in pursuing another route to the presidency."

Zoom out: No Labels spent most of 2023 laying the groundwork for a third-party bid, terrifying Democrats who are convinced that its potential ticket would play the spoiler and tip the electoral college toward Trump — or even lead to a contested election.

  • The organization's main criteria for launching a bid — a Biden v. Trump rematch — appears to have been satisfied. The group seems unconvinced and unconcerned that it might help Trump return to the White House.
  • But a big-name candidate has yet to publicly express interest. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is taking a pass and Republican former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has decided to run for the Senate.

Zoom in: The group originally planned to host an in-person nomination convention in Dallas in April.

  • But in November, organizers canceled those plans and instead will start their selection process Friday with some 800 virtual delegates weighing on the next steps for a possible ticket.
  • No Labels hasn't said how it will select its ticket, if it has decided to launch, nor what kind of influence its 800 virtual delegates will have on who leads the ticket.
  • The group also has not disclosed its donors.
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