Renowned academic and social critic Cornel West’s announcement that he would run as a third-party candidate has sent shockwaves through the Democratic Party. The outspoken critic of Joe Biden recently defended his decision, implying that a second Biden term would merely delay the “inevitable rise of fascism.”
In a fiery commentary, West minced no words about his dissatisfaction with the Democratic Party. On the Tavis Smiley podcast, he labeled Biden as “mediocre” and “milquetoast,” highlighting a Democratic Party that, in his view, had failed to address the needs of “precious poor and working-class folk.”
Green Party candidate Cornel West defended his decision to run on a third-party ticket, claiming that a Democratic administration would only be a "postponement of fascism."https://t.co/KyKNjHZrLB
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) July 8, 2023
West’s bold move may cause a seismic shift in the political landscape, especially in a potential 2024 matchup between Biden and President Donald Trump. David Axelrod, a prominent Democratic strategist, has already sounded the alarm, pointing to a possibility reminiscent of 2016 when the Green Party played a significant role in tipping the election to Trump.
Axelrod’s fears aren’t unfounded. A recent Echelon Insights poll indicates that nearly half of voters would consider a third-party candidate in a Biden-Trump rematch. Moreover, the survey suggests that Biden would lose more support to a third-party candidate than Trump, further intensifying the Democrats’ anxiety.
West’s intentions resonate with some voters who perceive a need for more compelling options in the current political duopoly. “When somebody chooses to vote for you, you’re not pulling votes away. You see, Biden doesn’t own any votes. He’s got to earn it. He’s got to earn it,” West opined, driving home his perspective on a democratic process that two main parties shouldn’t dominate.
However, the core concern for Democrats remains the potential dilution of their voter base, particularly in key battleground states. The race is expected to be tight, with the Echelon Insights poll indicating Biden’s slight lead over Trump within the margin of error. But, in battleground states, Trump holds a clear advantage. And with West in the mix, Biden’s support weakens further.
As West steps into the ring, his presence could tip the scales in a hotly contested election. West’s charge against the current administration has resonated with some Americans feeling disillusioned with the political status quo.
While some Republican strategists, like former Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway, view West as a significant threat to Biden, conservatives can also see an opportunity here. If West draws votes from Biden, it might pave the way for a potential Republican victory.
While the race heats up, it’s clear that Cornel West’s third-party run isn’t merely symbolic. As an articulate critic of both major political parties, West presents a distinct choice for Democrat voters feeling overlooked by the current political landscape. His candidacy signifies a challenge to the two-party system and offers an intriguing subplot to the upcoming 2024 election.