DNC Forms First-Ever Team To Combat Third-Party Candidates In 2024

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The Democratic National Committee (DNC) is forming a team to help combat third-party and independent candidates in 2024, which it views as a threat to President Joe Biden’s candidacy, NBC News reported on Thursday.

Independent Robert F. Kennedy Jr., “Justice for All Party” candidate Cornel West, Green Party candidate Jill Stein and a No Labels “Unity Ticket” could all share a ballot with Biden and former President Donald Trump in November. The DNC’s coalition will focus on an aggressive communications strategy, as well as opposition research and legal challenges to counter candidates it views as potential spoilers, sources involved in the effort told NBC News.

“We’re facing an unprecedented election and we know the GOP is already working to prop up third-party candidates like Robert Kennedy Jr. to make them stalking horses for Donald Trump,” Matt Corridoni, spokesperson for the new team, told NBC News. “With so much on the line, we’re not taking anything for granted. We’re going to make sure voters are educated and we’re going to make sure all candidates are playing by the rules.”

DNC insiders Mary Beth Cahill and Ramsey Reid will lead the group, with the help from veteran Democratic consultant Lis Smith, according to the outlet. (RELATED: Dems Launch Latest Attack To Hamstring Another Third-Party Candidate)

Stefanie Spear, press secretary for Kennedy’s campaign, told the Daily Caller News Foundation that he is planning on taking votes from both Trump and Biden.

“Americans want a third choice. Eighty percent of Americans say they don’t want to be forced to choose in this election between the lesser of two evils,” said Spear. “They’re ready to vote for someone they like, for someone who represents hope and healing, for someone with an inspiring vision for America’s future. Trump and Biden are the actual spoilers of this election cycle. Voters are looking for a fresh alternative and Mr. Kennedy is providing it.”

The DNC has already taken aim at Kennedy’s candidacy, and filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission in early February over alleged illegal cooperation with an aligned super political action committee (PAC). The complaint is rooted in American Values 2024 collecting signatures for Kennedy to secure ballot access in various states, which the DNC argues is a form of in-kind contributions.

GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN - FEBRUARY 9: As Robert F. Kennedy Jr. campaigns in Grand Rapids, billboard launched by the Democratic National Committee highlights how Robert F. Kennedy's Super PAC is allegedly receiving millions from Donald Trump's largest donor, Timothy Mellon on February 9, 2024 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. (Photo by Emily Elconin/Getty Images for DNC)

GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN – FEBRUARY 9: As Robert F. Kennedy Jr. campaigns in Grand Rapids, billboard launched by the Democratic National Committee highlights how Robert F. Kennedy’s Super PAC is allegedly receiving millions from Donald Trump’s largest donor, Timothy Mellon  (Emily Elconin/Getty Images for DNC)

Stein’s campaign manager Jason Call told the DCNF that the allegation that her candidacy has spoiled Democratic candidacies in previous cycles is “ludicrous and offensive to democratic principles.”

“Rather than try to take away ballot options that would better represent the interests of the American public, perhaps the Democratic Party should focus on passing legislation that would actually help struggling people such as a universal single payer healthcare program or guaranteed housing,” said Call. “Sadly, both major political parties in America are fully beholden to the corporate interests which fund the political system. Third parties, in particular the Green Party, are a challenge to that system of corporate hegemony which seeks to deny the general public their own collective power.”

Various other left-leaning groups are targeting independent and third-party candidates ahead of November for fear of them siphoning off more votes from Biden to swing the election to Trump, including American Bridge, MoveOn, Third Way, Citizens to Save Our Republic and End Citizens United, according to NBC News.

“Trump needs to split the anti-Trump coalition. If we’re united, we win. If we’re not, he wins,” Pat Dennis, the president of American Bridge, told the outlet. “We see [Kennedy and No Labels] essentially as an arm of the Trump campaign and we intend to treat it as such.”

Trump’s campaign touted his lead in various polls upon request for comment regarding the DNC’s new efforts.

“There are more than 100 polls showing President Trump crushing Joe Biden, including recent polling that has him leading in every key battleground state and winning independents by double digits,” Karoline Leavitt, national press secretary for the Trump campaign, told the DCNF. “Joe Biden no longer has a base as key Democrat constituencies such as African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and women are supporting President Trump because they are sick and tired of Crooked Joe’s record-high inflation, open borders, crime and chaos.”

Polling indicates that when Kennedy, West and Stein are on the ballot, Trump’s lead over Biden grows slightly, according to the RealClearPolitics (RCP) average.

The DNC, No Labels and West’s campaign did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s requests for comment.

This story has been updated with comments from the Stein, Trump and Kennedy campaigns 

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