Less than one year out, the 2012 Presidential Election is likely to be a very close contest. The moderate Americans Elect could be the difference maker in aiding President Obama to win reelection next year. If the Americans Elect presidential nominee is able to garner more than 1% of the general election vote in any of the top tier battleground states (Florida, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, Colorado, Nevada, Pennsylvania or New Hampshire), the eventual GOP presidential nominee’s bid could be doomed. Krissah Thompson at The Washington Post has more:
A bipartisan group of political strategists and donors known as Americans Elect has raised $22 million and is likely to place a third presidential candidate on the ballot in every state next year. The goal is to provide an alternative to President Obama and the GOP nominee and break the tradition of a Democrat-vs.-Republican lineup.
Americans Elect has ballot slots in Florida, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio and five other states, with certification pending in several others.
The group is relying on an ambitious plan to hold a political convention on the Internet that would treat registered voters like fans of “American Idol,” giving everyone a shot at picking a favorite candidate.
All of this has the potential to affect the 2012 election, said Nicco Mele, who lectures at Harvard University on technology and politics and helped build an online following for former Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean.
Americans Elect’s online nomination process could be “potentially disruptive” to the presidential campaign, he said.
No candidates for the Americans Elect nomination have officially declared, but some prominent people are associated with the effort, including former New Jersey governor Christine Todd Whitman (R), who serves on the group’s board of directors.
New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s name has also been mentioned, probably because a leader in the effort to draft the independent into the 2008 presidential race is involved in Americans Elect.