The No Labels Party has Arrived in Arizona: What Does It Mean for the 2024 Elections?

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A recent bombshell hit Arizona politics recently, one that will have very significant ramifications for the 2024 election, but one that hasn’t gotten as much widespread attention as it may deserve. Another party has qualified to be on the ballot in the ‘24 election, the relatively centrist “No Labels Party”.

The No Labels Party will join the Libertarian Party alongside the Democrats and Republicans as recognized political parties in the state, offering them ballot access and the ability to field candidates. But unlike the Libertarian Party, which has always been on the fringes in politics and typically has only served as an additional option for disaffected Republicans, the No Labels Party has the opportunity to do the same for disaffected Democrats AND Republicans, but this time with some relatively big guns (and likely some decent funding) to bring it to larger prominence.

The efforts are spearheaded by former US Senator Joe Liebermann, well known for having left the Democratic Party to become an independent, along with North Carolina Governor Patrick McCrory and civil rights leader Benjamin Chavis. The group states that it will only field candidates if the electorate seems displeased by the two options presented, a slightly veiled dig at Biden and Trump. That said, one wonders how they could reasonably field a candidate after the finish of what may be a tough and long Republican primary in a way that could be anything but purely a spoiler.

So what will it mean for Arizona? It could very much impact the two biggest ticket races in the state next year.

First and most obvious is the Presidential race. After Biden won the state by a razor thin margin in 2020 and with his approval ratings currently underwater (and facing the specter of a potentially difficult economic landscape 18 months from now), he has little room for error. A centrist candidate could easily pull a few percentage points away from him; while it could do the same for Trump, it seems less likely. Perhaps a Libertarian candidate could also be put on the ballot to further balance out the dynamic, but that’s not a small feat either.

That said, the entire premise that it will be Biden against Trump round 2 is a tenuous one. While there may not be anyone challenging Biden on the Democratic side, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is almost guaranteed to give Trump a very strong run for his money. He has both a highly successful track record, has been very good about using his pulpit to stay in the headlines regarding controversial social issues (ergo becoming a darling on the right), and will almost certainly be very well funded.

Second is the US Senate race. As you are likely aware by now, US Senator Kyrsten Sinema abandoned the Democratic Party and is now an independent. Her political orthodoxy does seem to align well with the No Labels Party, and she could perhaps be the very first big ticket candidate to run under that moniker, something that would give the party real gravitas (and also likely give a boost to the Presidential candidate). Her participation could be transformative for the new endeavor, even if it likely wouldn’t impact her chances much in either direction.

There is still a lot of time to go until the 2024 election, and many things can still happen. But this move has inserted some true electoral intrigue in those races already, and yet again Arizona will be Ground Zero for all of the excitement.