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Americans Elect to Buddy Roemer: Thanks for playing, but no thanks

May 17, 2012|By Doyle McManus
  • Former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer won't have Americans Elect around to give him a line on the ballot.
Former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer won't have Americans Elect around… (Gerald Herbert / Associated…)

Americans Elect, the millionaire-based attempt to launch a centrist third party for this year’s presidential election, has officially thrown in the towel.

As I reported in my column Thursday, the independent group’s attempt to run a primary election on the Internet was an embarrassing failure. After months of drumbeating and rule making, the group never recruited any big-name candidates willing to offer themselves as candidates -- unless by “big name,” you count former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer or former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson. 

And partly as a consequence of the shortage of big names -- but also because of the group’s insistence on keeping its donors and its decision-making secret -- not many voters turned up. Roemer, the biggest vote-getter among declared candidates, collected 6,293 website clicks of support. That’s 73 more than the 6,222 he had Wednesday but still short of the 10,000 he needed. Even Ron Paul, with his legions of libertarian supporters, attracted only 9,498.

COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS: Presidential Election 2012

Some supporters wanted to change the rules, hold an Internet convention and nominate Roemer. Instead, the group’s board of directors -- including some of the donors who have been paying the bills -- quickly pulled the plug.  Sorry, Buddy.

“The rules are clear,” a statement from the group said. “The primary process for the Americans Elect nomination has come to an end.”

But never say die!

“We are continuing the Americans Elect mission of creating more choice in our political system [and] giving candidates unaffiliated with the nominating process of either major party an authentic way to run for office,” the group said.

Which seems to mean: Wait til next year.

ALSO:

Goldberg: Romney's media handicap

McManus: The third-party wildcard

McManus: Americans Elect meets reality

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