The candidates being served up by both major parties in the 2016 general election are looking like pretty shabby fare for many impassioned supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders, and for the majority of Republican primary voters who voted for someone besides Donald Trump. Disaffected voters are now in position to either begrudgingly fall in line with one of the major parties or seek out other options. In addition to the likely Green Party nominee Jill Stein and the Libertarian Party's Gary Johnson, voters might see an independent on the ballot. "Better for America" wants an independent candidate on every state's ballot, and they are working to make it happen.
The Better for America website explained that the group's effort is a response to the widespread dissatisfaction with major-party options among voters:
According to a recent poll, the majority of American voters (including 90% of millennials) want to see an independent candidate run. Nearly two-thirds of Americans said they are willing to support an independent candidate.The time is ripe for an independent run, according to Better for America. You might be thinking it's too late to enter the race, but as of Tuesday, only two state deadlines have passed for ballot access, and even those, according to Better for America's legal team, could become accessible through some fancy legal maneuvering.
The group believes that, with widespread support for an independent run, along with its team of legal and campaign experts, an independent candidate can either win the election against Trump and Clinton or at least keep enough electoral votes away from either of them for the win. That would spark a process in which Congress decides on the president, something unheard of in modern history.
Though Better for America claims no particular political leaning on its page, progressives might want to take a beat before getting too excited. The New York Times reported that Better for America is funded by John Kingston, a conservative donor who has worked with other conservatives in the dwindling "Stop Trump" camp, including William Kristol and Mitt Romney. It would be highly unexpected if these conservative politicos opted for a progressive candidate. We can expect, if they do indeed run a candidate, that it will be someone more like Romney than Sanders.
Better for America is asking for donations and seeking volunteers to help collect the many signatures required for ballot access. The amount of work required to run a candidate — particularly one they hope to be viable — at this stage in the race is a testament to just how badly some conservatives don't want Trump as their nominee, and especially not as their president.