No Labels Gives Up on Dream of Centrist 2024 Ticket No One Wanted

no labels plan

The centrist group No Labels is scrapping its plan to offer a third-party choice in the 2024 election after failing to recruit a credible presidential candidate to lead the ticket.

“Americans remain more open to an independent presidential run, and hungrier for unifying national leadership, than ever before,” the organization said in a statement. “But No Labels has always said we would only offer our ballot line to a ticket if we could identify candidates with a credible path to winning the White House. No such candidates emerged, so the responsible course of action is for us to stand down.”

According to The Wall Street Journal, the dark money group had reached out to 30 potential candidates as it sought to build a so-called “unity” ticket for voters disappointed with the looming rematch between President Joe Biden and Donald Trump. 

No Labels launched its third-party pitch with grand ambitions and a reported mountain of cash: The organization planned to spend $70 million on its campaign to secure ballot access around the country for a unity ticket. From the start, the project raised concerns among Democrats that the third-party effort could undermine Biden and help tip the election to Trump — a fear that is further exacerbated by Robert Kennedy Jr. running as an independent.

While the organization billed its ticket as a centrist option for Americans who “feel politically homeless,” No Labels is best understood as a voice for billionaires and corporate executives — a front group that has repeatedly fought for the wealthiest Americans’ interests in Washington. No Labels steadfastly refused to disclose who was funding its ballot access campaign — and due to a campaign finance loophole, the group will never be required to report who paid for this failed effort. 

It’s not clear there was ever a mass audience for the brand of centrist, corporate politics the organization has espoused — but its primary challenge has been finding a candidate. One major reason for that is that organizations like the centrist Democratic group Third Way worked diligently to dissuade potential candidates from joining the No Labels effort, arguing the group had no chance of winning and would only boost Trump. 

Retiring Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), a No Labels co-chair, passed on running on its ticket. Another co-chair, former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R), decided to run for Senate instead. Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) and ex-New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie both declined the idea of running on the No Labels ticket after ending their Republican primary bids against Trump.

As one longtime political operative told Rolling Stone last month, No Labels was desperate “to nominate any credible candidate, and none want to run with them.”


No Labels’ unnamed delegates voted last month to move forward with the unity ticket plan, despite its inability to find a candidate. The organization announced the formation of a “Country Over Party Committee,” a group of 12 people who would help No Labels select a presidential and vice presidential candidate. 

Last week, a key member of that presidential selection committee — No Labels’ founding chair and former Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) — died after a fall.

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