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Americans Elect abandons bid to end two-party stranglehold

By Paul Harris, The Guardian
Thursday, May 17, 2012 21:09 EDT
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Americans Elect, a well-financed group that aimed to help a viable third party candidate enter this November’s presidential race, has announced it is ending its web-based push to break America’s two-party system.

The organisation, which was founded with millions of dollars from its initial wealthy backers, had little trouble in organising a push to get on the ballot across America. It managed to secure ballot access in 29 states and was on track in all the rest. But it failed to attract a big-name candidate to join it or generate enough popular support from ordinary Americans to fulfil its own requirements to accept a candidate.

As a result, no single person running on the Americans Elect internet-based website managed to secure enough support to qualify for the Americans Elect primary in June causing the group to decide to shutter the process.

“The primary process for the Americans Elect nomination has come to an end,” the group said in a statement.

Americans Elect had caused a stir in many political circles by seeming to break down one of the key barriers to entry for third parties in America: the sheer expense and logistics of getting ballot access. But the group came in for criticism for a perceived lack of transparency over who its donors were and its appeal for a centrist ticket failed to attract oft-cited figures like New York mayor Mike Bloomberg or former Republican candidate Jon Huntsman to take the plunge.

The leading candidate on Americans Elect ended up being Buddy Roemer, another former Republican candidate and former governor of Louisiana, who only managed to get 6,293 delegates to support his bid when he needed at least 10,000.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2012

 
 
 
 
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