'Americans Elect' Ends Online Primary After No Candidates Qualify To Run
Americans Elect, the group that aimed to nominate a third presidential candidate through an online primary, ended its nomination process today after no prospective candidates met their minimum requirements.
To run in its online primary a candidate had to get 10,000 "clicks" of support (1,000 in at least 10 states). Buddy Roemer was the closest to reaching that goal, but he got less than 6,300 "supporters."
"As of this week, no candidate achieved the national support threshold required to enter the Americans Elect Online Convention in June," the group said in a statement. "The primary process for the Americans Elect nomination has come to an end."
The group has spent two years and millions of dollars collecting signatures to get a spot on the ballot in all 50 states in November's general election and creating a secure online nominating convention. They succeeded in getting on the presidential ballot in 29 states, including California, which required a whopping 1.6 million petition signatures.
While the group failed to entice a qualified candidate, its creators maintain that it "has achieved its operational goals."
"We are continuing the Americans Elect mission of creating more choice in our political system, giving candidates unaffiliated with the nominating process of either major party an authentic way to run for office and giving the American people a greater voice in our political process."
Americans Elect had all the trappings of a potential game changer in presidential politics. By harnessing the power of the internet and the overwhelming dissatisfaction with the two major political parties, the group aimed to nominate a bi-partisan presidential ticket. The presidential candidate and their vice presidential running mate could not both be in the same party.
But with the Democratic and Republican parties so ingrained in the American political system, finding a candidate that would buck their party to run for Americans Elect proved nearly impossible, Darry Sragow, a Democratic strategist who worked with Americans Elect to recruit candidates, told ABC News.
"If you have invested your lifetime in politics as a Democrat or a Republican, you know very well that if you take the Americans Elect path or any similar path really there's no turning back," Sragow said. "You are going to face the reality that you will find yourself suddenly not welcome in your party."