A group clearing the path for an independent White House bid canceled the first phase of its search for a bipartisan ticket Tuesday because declared and draft candidates aren’t mustering enough preliminary support. Americans Elect scrapped a virtual caucus that had been planned for next week. Another round of voting set for May 15 also is in jeopardy; a third is to be held on May 22. Candidates must meet a certain threshold of support to be eligible for the caucuses.
Ileana Wachtel, a spokeswoman for the group, said no one gathered enough online “clicks” to qualify. Candidates must show they have the backing of at least 1,000 people in at least 10 states. Some candidates must reach a threshold of 5,000 supporters in each of 10 states because they haven’t held high enough office before under the Americans Elect bylaws. “It is their responsibility to get the clicks,” Wachtel said. “We are just merely the platform for them to run on.”
Americans Elect, which in the eyes of the law isn’t considered a third party, is noteworthy because it has plowed months and many dollars into securing ballot space in all 50 states and is more than halfway to its goal. Its rules require the nominee to field a bipartisan ticket.