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    John Phillips: The 2024 presidential race could be very fun
    • July 8, 2023

    For the 2024 presidential election, American voters might be considering a deeply corrupt candidate known for his bizarre outbursts whose mental capacity is seriously in doubt.

    What the Democrats see in Joe Biden I’ll never understand.

    Add to that appealing notion, Donald Trump could very well be the Republican nominee for president of the United States.

    Of course, a lot could change between now and November 2024.

    Even one felony conviction could cripple Donald Trump’s chances of being re-elected president.

    Then again, it would also make him a shoo-in for the next governor of Illinois.

    Many saw Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as a more palatable version of Donald Trump.

    But so far DeSantis has proven to be about as popular as Bud Light at a Kid Rock concert.

    All things being equal, and absent some unforeseen event, we are likely looking at Biden versus Trump, the sequel.

    And that means some voters will be looking for alternatives.

    But here’s a wrinkle to consider: in presidential politics, whenever a strong third-party candidate makes the November ballot, said candidate actually has a pathway to winning the election without getting 50% plus one.  In fact, in 1992, then-Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton won the presidential election with 43% of the popular vote and 69% of the electoral vote, defeating incumbent George H. W. Bush and Reform Party candidate H. Ross Perot. Perot pulled an impressive 19% of the popular vote in that election.

    In 2024, we could be looking at up to three prominent third-party candidates for president.

    Plus a fourth-party candidate, Marianne Williamson.

    Marianne Williamson had high hopes of winning the White House in 2020, but it just wasn’t in the tarot cards. But hey, maybe the second time’s a charm!

    According to Politico, the centrist political organization called No Labels is considering running a third-party presidential ticket, figuring that there’s a broad voter appetite for a candidate running in the political center (such as it is).

    No Labels has been flirting openly with recruiting a moderate household name like Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, to lead its ticket.

    No Labels is planning an April convention in Dallas — purposely scheduled after Republican voters go to the polls on Super Tuesday — at which they will make their decision.

    If Trump is the GOP nominee next year, No Labels will likely nominate a third-party candidate.

    If not, they’ll go back to being a group that nobody has ever heard of.

    In June, academic and left-wing activist Cornel West announced he’s running as a candidate for the People’s Party.

    West took to Twitter in a video and declared, “I have decided to run for truth and justice, which takes the form of running for president of the United States as a candidate for the People’s Party … I enter for the quest for truth. I enter for the quest of justice. And the presidency is just one vehicle we pursue that truth and justice.”

    West, a fixture on the chat show circuit and charismatic character, would offer a safe place on the ballot for Democratic voters who aren’t happy with Biden.

    West has since decided to seek the nomination of the Green Party, which currently has ballot access in over a dozen states.

    Another potential third-party candidate is current longshot Democrat Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

    So far, Kennedy’s pitch has been decidedly post-partisan.

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    When explaining his candidacy to my pal and former radio colleague Drew Pinsky, Kennedy said, “My aim is to convince every Democrat that you’re not a Democrat … and every Republican that you’re not a Republican.”  In describing Kennedy’s unconventional campaign, Vice surmised, “While the endgame is unclear, the type of coalition-building and appearance-making he’s doing suggests that Kennedy could be laying the groundwork to run as a third-party candidate — something he is, at the least, not denying.”

    Ironically, the numerous debates over COVID and vaccines have been the proverbial shot in the arm for RFK Jr.’s campaign.

    When it’s all said and done, we could have one major third-party candidate on the ballot … or we could have three.  And we also could end up with Donald Trump winning a second term as president with 43% of the vote … or less.

    Buckle up!

    John Phillips can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. on “The John Phillips Show” on KABC/AM 790.

    ​ Orange County Register