In a recent 60 Minutes interview, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said he is 'seriously considering running for president.' But not as a Democrat, the party in which he is a registered voter. Schultz is thinking of making a run as an independent candidate. And the decision is drawing a significant amount of criticism.
In the eyes of many, a serious run by Schultz would be votes taken away from the Democrats would sway votes to President Donald Trump at the polls.
Villanova's political science professors say while it may be too early to tell what impact a strong independent candidate could have come November 2020, an official Schultz campaign would not be good for those seeking change in the White House.
"Any independent with the chance to siphon votes from the Democratic nominee helps Trump, who cannot win a head-to-head but could find a way to slide through with less than 50% in a multi-candidate contest," said Matthew Kerbel, professor and the chair of VIllanova's political science department. "Democrats are heavily focused on defeating Trump and are in no mood for a spoiler. Besides, there is no political center right now, so I don’t see a constituency for a self-declared “centrist” candidate."
Political science professor John Johannes says it could bring up the subject of ranked voting, which was used in Maine during the 2018 midterm elections, but remains confident that the U.S. will never see a "genuine national third party."
Looking ahead to the campaign season, Schultz has what it takes to fund his own campaign and would likely be able to raise even more. Johannes says that we will yet again see a record breaking year for fundraising during next year's presidential election.
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Matthew Kerbel, PhD Professor and Chair of Political Science | College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Matthew Kerbel, PhD, is the go-to source for stories about political communication.
John Johannes, PhD Professor of Political Science | College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
John Johannes, PhD, is a go-to expert on legislative initiation, congressional activities and the reform of governmental institutions