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.
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.