Updated Apr 4, 2024 - Politics & Policy

No Labels ditches plans for 2024 third-party ticket

People attend the launch of the unaffiliated political organization known as No Labels December 13, 2010 at Columbia University in New York City.

People attend the launch of No Labels on December 13, 2010 in New York City. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The centrist political group No Labels is dropping plans to put forward a third-party ticket in November, Axios confirmed Thursday.

Why it matters: It's a huge shake-up to the 2024 presidential race — and one relief for Democrats who feared a "unity ticket" could siphon votes from President Biden's re-election bid.

  • The group's decision also comes less than a week after former U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman, who helped lead No Labels, died at age 82.

Driving the news: "Today, No Labels is ending our effort to put forth a Unity ticket in the 2024 presidential election," No Labels' founder and CEO Nancy Jacobson told Axios in a statement on Thursday.

  • "Americans remain more open to an independent presidential run and hungrier for unifying national leadership than ever before."
  • "But No Labels has always said we would only offer our ballot line to a ticket if we could identify candidates with a credible path to winning the White House."
  • "No such candidates emerged, so the responsible course of action is for us to stand down," Jacobson said.
  • The Wall Street Journal first reported on the group's plans.

State of play: No Labels had been moving forward to gain ballot access in all 50 states, with a separate super PAC forming to serve as a campaign-in-waiting for a potential ticket.

  • But time was running out.

Between the lines: No Labels struggled to convince a top-tiered candidate to run.

  • Strategists with the group had long said that they would make a final decision based on polling data and if they thought their ticket could actually win.
  • Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie decided late last month to turn down running with the group. He dropped his GOP presidential bid earlier this year.

Zoom in: For Biden's re-election campaign, the threat of a third-party candidate appealing to disaffected voters hasn't gone away.

  • Robert F. Kennedy Jr. recently an his vice presidential candidate and is giving every indication that he plans to appear on the ballot as an independent in as many states as he cans.
  • The center-left think tank Third Way, which was a vocal opponent of the No Labels effort, said it is "deeply relieved that everyone rejected their offer, forcing [No Labels] to stand down."
  • "While the threat of third-party spoilers remains, this uniquely damaging attack on President Biden and Democrats from the center has at last ended," said Matt Bennett, Executive Vice President for Public Affairs at Third Way.

Go deeper: Chris Christie turns down running with No Labels

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional details throughout.

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