Jim Webb Rules Out Independent Bid in 2016 – news reports

MSNBC and other news sources are reporting that former Senator Jim Webb (Dem-VA) has decided against mounting an Independent campaign for President in 2016.

“We looked at the possibility of an independent candidacy. Theoretically it could be done, but it is enormously costly and time sensitive, and I don’t see the fundraising trajectory where we could make a realistic run,” Webb said during a speech to the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas, according to his spokesperson.

A decorated Marine veteran who worked in the Ronald Reagan administration before running for the Senate as a Democrat, Webb said he believes that both parties have turned their backs on the American people and that he is concerned by the lack of attention on foreign policy in this year’s presidential race.

Source: http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/jim-webb-rules-out-independent-presidential-bid


10 thoughts on “Jim Webb Rules Out Independent Bid in 2016 – news reports

  1. Thomas L. Knapp

    Wise decision.

    I’ve always liked Webb, among other reasons, because he has always had an independent streak versus his party affiliations (liking him isn’t the same thing as agreeing with him). But the time to go independent for him would have been before he tried to go Democrat and got zero traction and near-zero polling.

  2. Andy Craig

    He’s pro-gun, and incompatible with Bloomberg in a number of other ways.

    I like Webb, in spite of some of his voting record. I could have seen myself voting for him over an awful LP nominee, if it played out that way. But I’m glad he’s not running against us, competing for a lot of the same support, and this is good news for the LP. I expected this is how it was going to play out, too: he’d take a good long look at ballot access and realize what an impossible brick wall he’d hit running without even a minor party nomination.

  3. Richard Winger

    I think it is plausible that he would be Bloomberg’s running mate. Presidential and vice-presidential candidates frequently don’t agree on some important issues. “Balancing the ticket” can refer to independent groups as well as the two major parties.

  4. Andy Craig

    I can see that in the abstract, but I don’t think Bloomberg would go for it when gun control has been not just one of his issues, but one of his most famous defining issues that he’s sunk a lot of money into, and his opposition to gun control was one of the widely cited reasons Webb left the Dems. There are other issues, too. In a sense they both left their respective parties heading in opposite directions, and are probably further apart now than they were when Bloomberg was a nominal Republican and Webb was a Democrat.

    It would be very *smart* of Bloomberg to have Webb as a running mate, but there’s also still the factor that Bloomberg won’t run against Hillary, only Bernie, and it doesn’t seem very likely Hillary will be out of the race or effectively defeated by Sanders as early as March (Bloomberg’s reported ballot access deadline). There are many primaries into April and May, even some in June if I recall correctly. Sanders would have to completely sweep the upcoming primaries for Bloomberg to jump in by March, it would seem.

  5. Matt Cholko

    This was inevitable. Until ballot access laws change significantly, in the direction of lower barriers, I don’t think we’ll see any serious independent POTUS candidates, except for extremely wealthy guys that can throw several million dollars at ballot access, and several million more into the campaign coffers, to get things jump started.

    Maybe someone that is just moderately wealthy, that could put $5MM into their campaign in the year before the election, could make a real run at it. Their campaign would have to get some real traction with that $5MM, in order to raise a good bit more very early in the cycle.

  6. Richard Winger

    Although there are many unjust ballot access laws, people should realize that they have improved significantly, especially for presidential candidates, during the last 30 years. In 1984 the number of signatures needed to get on all ballots was .72% of the total vote cast that year for President. Now it is down to .53% (using the 2012 vote total as a denominator).

  7. Matt Cholko

    That’s nice, I guess, Richard. But, you’re still talking about an incredibly difficult challenge fo ra candidate without some significant party infrastructure behind him. The LP is rarely able to get its candidate on 50 state ballots, and it has half of those states in hand, a little bit of money, hundreds of volunteers, and a lot of experience.

  8. Thomas L. Knapp

    In order to have a running mate, Bloomberg would have to actually run, instead of just publicly posturing about the possibility of running like he does every four years. I don’t think that’s going to happen.

  9. Andy Craig

    Elaborating on the thought above: that is an interesting dynamic of the primary schedule being pushed back after having leapfrogged all the way to Jan 1. They got it pushed back a month and they were able to hold the line on that this year, I think they’ll try to get Iowa even later than Feb 1 in 2020. That basically means Bloomberg has a month less to see if Sanders is really beating Hillary, and the same dynamic could play out with other third/ind. candidates whose runs are heavily contingent on who’s winning a major-party nomination. It also makes it harder for a candidate to abandon the major-party primary and keep running independent (or minor party) after having contested several states (cf. Anderson 1980). It means, like Johnson in 2012 and Webb in 2016, such candidates are usually forced to drop out of the primaries before they can really get a “road test” demonstration that the primaries provide to candidates. For example, if he were to (don’t think he will), Kasich is now much better positioned to run as an ind./”independent Republican” against Trump after his result in New Hampshire, than would be, say, Scott Walker, or than Kasich would have been w/o taking a double-digit second place in NH.

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