Former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer’s long-shot bid for the White House came to an ignominious end Thursday night when Americans Elect, the bipartisan group that hoped to field a serious third-party candidate on ballots in all 50 states this fall, announced it was throwing in the proverbial towel.
Americans Elect tried — and failed spectacularly — to mount a decidedly 21st century campaign: use an on-line nominating process in which contenders for the ticket would be nominated based on clicks. Roemer fared the best among the field of declared candidates, garnering nearly 6,300 clicks. Unfortunately that’s 3,700 short of the 10,000 threshold the group required for nominating a presidential candidate.
Roemer initially tried to run as a Republican but failed to get any traction with the party. His central message — that the huge sums of corporate and millionaire money flowing into the electoral process has a corrupting influence on American politics — never seemed to resonate with a party built on huge sums of corporate and millionaire money. He was unable to generate enough support within the GOP to participate in any of the debates hosted over the last several months and turned to Americans Elect early this spring.
Backed by some big-money donors, virtually all of whom were anonymous, AE hoped to offer a centrist alternative to Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. But, despite polls suggesting Americans are hungry for an alternative to the Democratic and Republican parties, Americans Elect failed to ignite sufficient interest. “As of this week, no candidate achieved the national support threshold required to enter the Americans Elect online convention in June,” the group announced in a statement released Thursday night. “The primary process for the Americans Elect nomination has come to an end.”
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