Americans Elect has been going on for two years now about how the American people are crying out for centrist solutions and bridge-the-middle policies that offer a combination of Republicanism and Democratism. Americans Elect has been going on about finding the vital center in politics on national television, over national radio, and in our national newspapers, over and over and over again, speaking as if most Americans agreed.
Well, most Americans don’t agree. As the Pew Research Center documented in a poll last December, most Americans don’t buy centrist talk. Most Americans — three out of four of them — believe there is “too much power in the hands of a few rich people and large corporations”. Most Americans believe the “country’s economic system unfairly favors the wealthy.” Most Americans “believe Wall Street hurts the economy more than it helps.” These are not centrist positions. They’re not Americans Elect’s positions. The few financiers of Americans Elect whose names have been leaked out are Wall Street money managers and hedge fund operators. Americans Elect spokeswoman Ileana Wachtel last week declared of her organization: “No one at AE can dispute that Mr. Peterson’s message is the right one.” “Mr. Peterson” is billionaire Pete Peterson, who wants to cut social security, cut medicare, cut medicaid and make this country safer for big business.
If Americans Elect’s bridge-the-middle, no-disclosure, no-popular-control, Republicratish approach were even remotely popular, then surely one of the candidates in its presidential nominating system would have attracted the mere 1,000 votes of support in each of 10 states needed to appear on its first presidential nominating ballot.
The deadline for that to happen was today. It didn’t happen. No declared or draft candidate in the Americans Elect system got even half that amount.
And so, as AE Transparency has discovered through repeated phone calls this morning, the first nominating ballot has been cancelled.
There are two more nominating ballots left for which an Americans Elect presidential candidate might qualify. The deadlines to get on those ballots are May 8 and May 15. No Americans Elect candidate is on track to meet those deadlines either.
Americans Elect failed. Not because nobody knew about it. Because nobody wanted it.
Update, 5:00 pm: As John Lumea points out to me in an e-mail message, Americans Elect has — sort of — announced the cancellation of its first round primary vote. I say “sort of” because Americans Elect refuses to use any form of the word “cancelled,” just like Americans Elect won’t name the actual number of candidates who have qualified for its ballot — namely, “zero.” Instead, they’ve chosen some odd euphemisms:
Caucus Schedule Updated
According to our rules, since fewer than seven candidates have received enough support to qualify for the AE nomination, the first caucus scheduled for May 8th will now take place on May 15th.
Remember that right now, you can support as many candidates as you like. Supporting a candidate now just means you want to hear more about them. It doesn’t mean you’re required to vote for them in our primary or the general election. So support candidates today!
It’s not a cancellation — it’s a “schedule update” in which the second caucus will now be the first caucus because “fewer than seven candidates” have gotten enough support to make the ballot. They’re not lying; zero is fewer than seven.
As Lumea pointed out to me, the reference to some “fewer than seven” standard in the Americans Elect rules is pretty odd, because if you follow that link to the rules, you’ll see there’s actually no such rule. The closest the Rules get to is this:
Rule 7.1 General. If there are 10 or more Declared Candidates and Draft Candidates in total, three Primary Rounds of voting for the office of President of the United States shall be held on the Website. Fewer Primary Rounds may be held in the event of fewer than 10 Declared or Drafted Candidates to attain six candidates for the office of President in the Nominating Round of Voting. The Primary Rounds shall be held on May 8, 2012, May 15, 2012, and May 22, 2012.
As of today there are 27 Declared Candidates and 456 Draft Candidates, making for 473 candidates in total, so that standard’s met. There really should according to the rules be three Primary Rounds held on May 8, 15 and 22. Americans Elect has made up the “fewer than seven candidates have received enough support” standard out of thin air.
Not one of the 473 Americans Elect candidates is on track to make any of those ballots. The top declared candidate, Buddy Roemer, has accumulated 2175 supporters from his top 10 states since the end of January 2012. The top draft candidate, Ron Paul, has accumulated 4518 supporters from his top 10 states since the end of January 2012. Each needs 10,000 from his top 10 states. A few more weeks at this rate isn’t going to accomplish that end for either candidate, and all the other candidates are doing worse.
If you build it, and it isn’t what the people want, then no, they won’t come.