We need to recognize the role of labor and collective organizing in achieving democracy.
A new poll released this morning by POLITICO shows that former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz might disrupt the 2020 race for president if he decides to run as an independent candidate. The poll gives credibility to the opinion of many Democrats who have been saying that a Schultz candidacy could help re-elect Donald Trump as president.
The major finding of the POLITICO/Morning Consult poll is that Democratic voters are more open to supporting third-party candidates than Republicans. Which means that someone like Schultz would likely siphon more votes from a Democratic presidential candidate than from a Republican candidate.
Given that in recent elections the margins of victory — especially for Republican presidents — have been very thin, taking away even a small number of votes from Democrats could assure a Republican victory.
The poll for the first time provides statistical evidence supporting the conclusion that an independent candidate may greatly increase Donald Trump’s chances of winning the presidency again in 2020.
Just 26 percent of poll participants who approve of Trump’s job performance are “very or somewhat likely” to consider a third-party candidate such as Schultz.
But among those who do NOT approve of Trump, and are most likely to vote against him in 2020, fully 41 percent say they are “very or somewhat likely” to consider a third-party candidate.
And that’s where the problem lies for Democrats. If the anti-Trump vote is split among different candidates then Trump’s core base of voters may provide enough of a plurality for him to win again.
When broken down by party, 31 percent of Democrats say they would consider a third-party candidate while just 25 percent of Republicans say they would.
Independents (49 percent are very or somewhat likely to consider an independent candidate) and self-described moderates (42 percent) are also more likely to consider voting for a candidate outside of the two major parties. Younger voters are more likely to vote third party than older voters.
The poll also shows that voters most likely to vote for an independent candidate are not necessarily moderates, which Schultz has maintained.
According to Dan Schnur, a strategist for the late Sen. John McCain:
“There’s a common misperception that independents are moderate. Most independents aren’t any more centrist than traditional partisans. Rather, they’ve made the decision to switch because of a hostility or disdain for the way politics is practiced.”
Billionaire businessman Howard Schultz, who said he is “seriously” considering an independent 2020 presidential bid, was shouted down by a protester at the kickoff event for his nationwide book tour on Monday night in New York City.
“WATCH: Howard Schultz heckled at first campaign appearance”
— The Hill (@thehill) January 29, 2019
“Go back to getting ratioed on Twitter,” the protester added, pointing to Schultz’s tweets that were garnering substantially more comments than retweets or likes, a sign of disagreement with his message on the platform. “Go back to Davos with the other Billionaire elite who think they know how to run the world.”
Schultz was speaking at the Union Square Barnes and Noble when he was interrupted by the protester. He commented that he was not surprised by the criticism after announcing his possible run.
“I’m not running a primary race on Twitter” he said.
In a “60 Minutes” interview that aired Sunday, Schultz said he would run as an independent instead of as a Democrat because “we see extremes on both sides.” Schultz told The New York Times he planned to tour the country for the next three months before deciding whether to ultimately run. In an NPR interview, Schultz said it “would kill me to see” Trump re-elected, which he believes would happen if a progressive won the Democratic Party’s nomination.
“Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz told @nprinskeep he believes the Democrats will be too far left to win against President Trump in 2020.”
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz told @nprinskeep he believes the Democrats will be too far left to win against President Trump in 2020.
Full interview tomorrow on Morning Edition. pic.twitter.com/CBhPviE7uj
Most Democrats don’t want a billionaire as their presidential candidate in 2020, according to an article published this morning by NBC News. And many of them are now telling longtime Democrat and billionaire businessman Howard Schultz that if he runs as an independent candidate in 2020 he may help Donald Trump get reelected.
“Democrats have been out in full force blasting the idea of an independent presidential bid by longtime Democrat and billionaire businessman Howard Schultz.”
Democrats have been out in full force blasting the idea of an independent presidential bid by longtime Democrat and billionaire businessman Howard Schultz. https://t.co/Cv4Y7r9q1j
— NBC Politics (@NBCPolitics) January 28, 2019
Schultz had said he was “seriously thinking” of running, but he has not convinced many people that the country wants or needs his leadership.
Julián Castro, a former member of Barack Obama’s cabinet, who has announced he is a contender for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, said that the former Starbucks CEO should not run.
“I have a concern that if he did run, that, essentially, it would provide Donald Trump with his best hope of getting re-elected,” Castro said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress, went much further than Castro, tweeting:
“Vanity projects that help destroy democracy are disgusting. If he enters the race, I will start a Starbucks boycott because I’m not giving a penny that will end up in the election coffers of a guy who will help Trump win.”
“Lord, it’s not living up to the ideals of democracy to have a billionaire be able to launch a run simply because he has billions to do it.”
Vanity projects that help destroy democracy are disgusting. If he enters the race, I will start a Starbucks boycott because I’m not giving a penny that will end up in the election coffers of a guy who will help Trump win. https://t.co/epUYVrcEg8
Starbucks, which offers healthcare benefits to its eligible part time employees, is expanding with 1500 more cafes in America in the middle of ObamaCare.