The coalition opposing the No Labels effort — which already includes Third Way, the progressive group MoveOn.org, the Democratic opposition research firm American Bridge and the anti-Trump Lincoln Project, formed by Republican consultants — will be joined next week by a bipartisan coalition headed by Richard A. Gephardt, a former Democratic House leader.
To No Labels’ most ardent opponents, the group’s lofty rhetoric and appeals to centrism mask a secret agenda to return the Republicans to the White House. They point to a number of No Labels donors, such as Woody Hunt, senior chairman of Hunt Companies, John Catsimatidis, head of Gristedes Foods, and Ted Kellner, a Milwaukee businessman, who have given lavishly to Republicans, including Mr. Trump, suggesting such donors know full well that No Labels’ main role now is to damage the Democrats.
Polling conducted by an outside firm for Mr. Gephardt appeared to indicate that a candidate deemed moderate, independent and bipartisan could not win the presidency but would do great damage to Mr. Biden’s re-election effort. In a national survey by the Prime Group, a Democratic-leaning public opinion research and messaging firm, Mr. Biden would beat Mr. Trump by about the same popular vote margin he won in 2020. But were a centrist third-party candidate to enter the race, that candidate could take a much greater share of voters from Mr. Biden than from Mr. Trump.
The same group surveyed seven swing states — Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — and found that Mr. Trump would win three of those states in a head-to-head matchup with Mr. Biden, Mr. Biden two. In two of the states, Mr. Biden and Mr. Trump would essentially tie, according to the survey.
Nancy Jacobson, a founder of No Labels, said — as she has before — that the effort should be considered an “insurance policy” for an American electorate dissatisfied with a potential rerun of the Biden-Trump election of 2020. The “common sense” document is a catalyst for tempering that dissatisfaction or channeling it into a genuine political movement.