Submitted to IPR by JR Myers
Now that we’re approaching mid-March 2019, one begins to wonder who the contenders for the Constitution Party presidential nomination might be? The CP is one of only five FEC recognized national political parties. According to Ballotpedia, as of March 11, 2019, there are 605 FEC registered POTUS candidates. They include; 206 Democrats, 12 Greens, 20 Libertarians, 78 Republicans, and 289 Others seeking their respective parties nominations for president. The Constitution Party has: ZERO.
Is 2020 shaping up to be a repeat of 2016? In that election, most CP candidates waited to get into the race. The eventual nominee, Darrell Castle, only entered the running at the actual nominating convention. He was chosen, along with his running mate, Scott Bradley on April 16, 2016. Six days after the convention, they formerly filed with the FEC. Many felt this delay in an announced campaign until after the nomination hindered our opportunity to gain more traction with the electorate.
While there have been some tentative inquiries and rumblings, no one has yet to step forth as an announced CP POTUS candidate. There are several rumors, hopes, and fears within the CP as to possible contenders. Yet, not one has stepped forth.
The National CP https://www.constitutionparty.com/ is dedicated to ballot qualification in as many states as possible prior to the 2020 elections. It clearly understands the worth of having ballot lines in enough states to theoretically elect a President, which is 270 Electoral Votes. They realize that the credibility of the CP depends in large part upon obtaining this minimal threshold, which they continue working towards.
The independent Idaho CP, http://www.cpidaho.org, is eagerly seeking candidates for its 2020 POTUS ballot line. Idaho represents 4 Electoral Votes. They have also opened up their primary to an additional nearly quarter of a million independent voters in Idaho. They plan on hosting candidate debates and other public venues for candidates. Yet, so far, they have heard from ZERO serious candidates.
Now, unofficial word comes from a source with the unaffiliated ballot qualified Oregon Constitution Party, https://constitutionpartyoregon.net/. Oregon represents 7 Electoral Votes. They are largely supporting President Trump. They haven’t made a selection yet. They may not run a POTUS candidate. They would consider the National CP nominee, but such a candidate would first have to gain support of a majority of the Oregon CP Steering Committee. So, there’s two potential CP ballot lines outside of the National CP nominating process for a motivated candidate to seek with a little effort.
Then there’s the American Independent Party in California, http://www.aipca.org/, (California represents 55 Electoral Votes), and the Alaskan Independence Party, http://www.akip.org, (Alaska represents 3 Electoral Votes). They have both run CP POTUS candidates before. They both continue to maintain ballot access. Perhaps a dynamic candidate could also secure those two ballot lines in 2020?
Altogether, Idaho, Oregon, California and Alaska represent 69 Electoral Votes! That’s a good way towards 270. Currently the National CP can claim about 13 states with about 124 Electoral Votes. Combined, it looks like about 193 potential Electoral Votes, leaving a gap of at least 77 to obtain prior to the 2020 election.
Some say Alaskan Joe Miller should get into the race, http://joemiller.us/. The former Federal Judge, AK GOP Senate Nominee, and AK Libertarian Senate Nominee, was well received last year at the CP National Committee meeting in Denver, where he gave the Keynote Speech. He has maintained a low profile since then, though he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of running. Joe is known to have a large dedicated following.
Some have touted West Virginia coal mine operator, Don Blankenship, https://www.donblankenship.com/. He was well received as a speaker at the CP National Committee meeting in Dallas last year. He has the passion, and the personal understanding of what a corrupt system can do to a person. Don is known to have the resources to fund a serious POTUS campaign.
Some say we shouldn’t even run a POTUS candidate in 2020. Either they support President Trump and don’t want to compete, and/or they think our resources are better spent locally. Many say we should only focus on state and local campaigns.
Thankfully, most say that we need to run a POTUS candidate. We must do so because of ballot access/maintenance requirements in many states. We should do so because it provides a unique public platform and potential widespread media exposure to our nominee, party and cause.
As to likely CP VP nominees, no one yet. Hopefully that will change soon. However, in the past, the VPOTUS has been chosen by the POTUS nominee at the Convention itself.
Time will tell. And I, for one, hope it is sooner, rather than later. The clock is ticking…