Third Way’s Misrepresentation of No Labels’ 2024 Victory Map

Third Way’s Misrepresentation of No Labels’ 2024 Victory Map

One easy way to twist polling data to say anything you want is to just leave out the parts you don’t like.

That’s what the Democratic Party-affiliated Third Way think tank did yesterday when they made the claim that No Labels’ own data undermines our case that an independent ticket could win the presidency in 2024.

Take a look at the charts below. On the left is how Third Way presented No Labels’ poll data in their memo and the one on the right is No Labels’ actual poll data.

Did you catch the problem with the Third Way chart? It only adds up to 82%. It conveniently (intentionally) leaves out the 18% of undecided voters who, in overlapping questions throughout the No Labels survey, say they don’t want Trump or Biden to run again in 2024 and are open to voting for a moderate independent ticket. These voters are part of the coalition that puts a potential No Labels ticket over the top.

Third Way’s half-baked analysis of No Labels’ polling is especially galling because all of it is public and widely available.

Why A Moderate Independent Ticket Can Win In 2024.

No Labels continues to articulate the reasons for the rise of a commonsense majority in America and clearly litigate the case for an unprecedented opening for a moderate independent or unity ticket.

Here’s our math – or the voter funnel – in simple words and by the numbers:

1. Most American voters do not want a rematch of the 2020 election:

a. 62% do not want Donald Trump to run again.
b. 69% do not want Joe Biden to run again.

2. If we do get a rematch of Trump and Biden, a whopping 59% of voters say they would consider a moderate independent ticket in the 2024 race.

a. This “ceiling” is much higher than the ceiling Ross Perot had in 1992. At the time, Perot never received more than 36% support, as cited by a June 1992 CNN poll.

3. To win, a moderate independent ticket would need to turn out 61% of this universe of voters (i.e. of the 59% who say they are open to voting for it.)

4. That translates to roughly 36-37% of the electorate and would give a No Labels ticket an outright victory of 282 Electoral College votes, as the map below indicates.

5. How do we get there?

a. We start off with a “hard base” of 20%. These are the voters who pick the moderate independent ticket in a three-way horserace question between Trump-Biden-Moderate Independent. The question also includes an Unsure/ Don’t Know/ Undecided option.
b. We win an additional 12% of the undecideds who are our “soft swing.” These voters are looking for a home. They don’t want Trump or Biden to run again and they would consider voting for a moderate independent ticket.
c. No Labels’ ticket would have to win over the final 4-5% from those who lean towards Trump or Biden now. This is the “hard swing.” Elections are competitive and they are about choices. It would be up the ticket to rise to the challenge of closing this 4-5% gap.
d. What’s important is that a moderate independent ticket evenly pulls voters from Democrats and Republicans. This is clearly shown in our analysis of the No Labels coalition.

      • Who are these voters? They are independents and disaffected centrist voters from both the Democratic and Republican camps who are looking for better alternatives.

We Can’t All Be Wrong

No Labels’ polling from December 2022 is unique for a few reasons:

1. Sheer scale with more than 26,000 registered voters interviewed in all 50 states;
2. State-by-state view of what an independent needs to win;
3. It’s been remarkably prescient and is increasingly being echoed by other polls like these:

    • May 2023: Monmouth University poll reveals that American voters have a better idea of who they won’t support in the 2024 presidential election than who they will support with 54% not supporting Trump and 52% not supporting Biden in 2024.
    • May 2023: Quinnipiac University poll reveals that 65% of voters believe President Biden is too old for a second term.
    • May 2023: CNN / SSRS poll reveals that 56% of Americans think that a Trump victory in 2024 would be a disaster or a setback for the country and 66% think that a Biden victory would be a disaster or a setback, too.
    • April 2023: NBC News poll reveals that 60% of voters do not want Trump to run for president in 2024 and that 70% of voters do not want Biden to run either.

All these findings align with the No Labels/HarrisX polling from December 2022.

Third Way’s memo attacking No Labels is another concerning example of Third Way misrepresenting data to fit a narrative. In 2017, The Atlantic and journalist Molly Ballquestioned the analysis and interpretation of focus groups conducted by Third Way, concluding they showed the opposite of what Third Way said they showed.

As we noted, we can’t all be wrong, and Third Way is neglecting both the unique moment in American history we are facing and all the signals outlining the widespread dissatisfaction of the electorate with both Trump and Biden and the public’s desire for better choices.