As GOP Primaries Come to an End, Americans Elect Begins
“BREAKING: The GOP primary is turning out as everyone has known it would for months now,” wrote Ezra Klein of the Washington Post following Mitt Romney’s decisive victory in Florida on Tuesday. Although only four states have voted, the Republican presidential primary is coming to a close. Over half of the original field of candidates has fled, leaving behind broken-hearted supporters and half-hearted endorsements.
“Newt is not perfect, but who among us is,” said Rick Perry of the candidate he decided to support, shortly before the South Carolina primary. In his farewell speech, Jon Huntsman said the race “has degenerated into an onslaught of negative and personal attacks not worthy of the American people.” Huntsman then endorsed Romney and brushed off reporters who asked if he still thought Romney was, in his own words, “a perfectly lubricated weathervane” and “unelectable.”
In the beginning of January, 44% of Republicans had a negative opinion of their crop of candidates. That number increased to 52% by the end of the month, according to Pew Research. “I’m thinking of writing in Homer Simpson,” one Republican voter in South Carolina told me.
But it’s not just Republicans who are dissatisfied with their options for president this year. Less than half of all Americans, according to a recent Gallup poll, believe there is any candidate in the race who would “make a good president.”
It’s now too late in the process for any new candidate to enter the race through either major party. So what’s a concerned voter to do?
In years past, the answer was to hold your nose and pull the lever for the least worst candidate come November. This year, however, you can take charge and make 2012 a three way race through Americans Elect. (Imagine: someone to vote for, not just someone to vote against.)
Americans Elect is securing a line on the ballot in all 50 states for a ticket to be named directly by the people through the first-ever online nominating convention. Any registered voter can sign up to participate as a Delegate at AmericansElect.org. And, starting today, Delegates can begin supporting and drafting specific candidates for the Americans Elect nomination. If you’re one of the 61% of Americans who want to see a third choice on the ballot who is untethered to either major party, this is your chance to decide who that candidate should be.
Take a look around the country. Of all the people in America, who is smart enough, tough enough, bold enough, the right age, wise beyond their years, experienced, decisive, compassionate, and honest? America could use a president like that. So go find her. Draft him. Rather than complaining about this year’s election on Facebook and Twitter, why not use these tools to build a draft movement for the candidate you want to run?
Beginning this spring, the field of qualified self-declared and drafted candidates will be winnowed down to six through a series of primary balloting. At that point, the candidates must agree to accept the nomination if they win, answer a “platform of questions” assembled by the Delegates, and pick a running mate from a different political party than their own. The Americans Elect ticket will then be chosen through runoff voting in June and placed on the general election ballot.
Presidential elections belong to we, the people – not the super PACs, talking heads, or campaign consultants, and not the handful of states that get to vote early in the process. Americans Elect is shifting the power to choose our candidates from the parties back to the people, where it belongs. Today’s technology makes it possible, and today’s politics makes it necessary. But it’s up to you to help make it happen at AmericansElect.org.
Now is not the time to settle down. Now is the time to sign up.
Nick Troiano is National Campus Director at Americans Elect and a recent graduate of Georgetown University. Full details about candidate committees and draft movements for Americans Elect is available on their website.
Photo Credit: Nick Troiano, AmericansElect.