For a serious presidential candidate with real grassroots support, it wouldn’t be that hard to qualify for the Americans Elect presidential ballot. 1,000 signatures in each of 10 states for insiders? Even without a dime, Howard Dean’s supporters could have accomplished that in a day. 5,000 signatures in each of 10 states for outsiders? Ralph Nader’s followers filled entire stadiums with people in 2000 on the basis of sheer excitement (and, it must be said, the overwhelming celebrity draw of Phil Donahue).
But Americans Elect candidates are not Howard Dean in 2004, or Ralph Nader in 2000. They’re not eliciting an overwhelming wave of grassroots support, and Americans Elect isn’t helping either. Americans Elect is demanding a variety of personal information from you including your full name, your date of birth and the last four digits of your social security number — while it won’t reveal the names or even the professions of its major multi-million-dollar donors. Privacy-conscious Americans are understandably hesitant about giving away their personal information to such an opaque corporation. What Americans Elect swears up-and-down are not its goals turn out later to have been its goals all along. Given the power of the Americans Elect corporate board to overrule Americans’ votes to put a candidate on the ballot, it’s understandable that Americans have been leery.
How leery? AE Transparency’s Bill Busa has run the numbers through March 31 2012, and has this graph to share:
How close are the top Americans Elect candidates to qualifying? The red-dotted line indicates where they should be now that the time period of voting to qualify presidential candidates for the Americans Elect ballot is two-thirds over. None of the presidential contenders are anywhere close to that pace — and the pace of additional votes for the top Americans Elect presidential contenders is actually slowing, from 1564 new votes cast two weeks ago to just 1165 new votes cast last week.
This is a nationally publicized election we’re talking about, and there are more people living in my very small town than have voted for the front-runner, Ron Paul. Ron Paul has run away from the Americans Elect draft process and his followers have become convinced that there’s a conspiracy against his proponents being run from the inside of the Americans Elect corporation. In the meantime, the top declared candidate — Buddy Roemer — has far to go toward the goal of getting 1,000 votes to support him in 10 states. After a month in which he’s dedicated himself to a full-throttle social media campaign and has nabbed solo national appearances on media outlets like CBS, MSNBC and NPR, Roemer’s 10-state vote total is just 1,304 out of the needed 10,000 votes this morning:
People have heard of Americans Elect. They’re just not interested. Where does Americans Elect go from here? In a new essay, John Lumea speculates that
even if Americans Elect manages to get on the ballot in most, or all 50, states, its wing-clipped messaging of recent days suggests that, in the House of Ackerman, political reality is coming home to roost…
“Throwing Down the Gauntlet or Throwing in the Towel?” is Lumea’s title, and he might not be far off. While Roemer tries in vain to swing voters to his cause, Americans Elect’s advertising budget seems to have slacked off according to Ispionage statistics:
Has Americans Elect at long last given up?