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On Wednesday, several former Republican and Democratic officials announced a new national political party — the "Forward Party" — to appease the growing number of voters who see America's two-party system as dysfunctional.
Speaking to Reuters, who exclusively broke the news, the party's leaders cited a Gallup poll last year showing a record two-thirds of Americans believe a third party is needed. The Forward Party will have centrist views, though specific policies have not yet been laid out.
The party's official launch will be in Houston on Sept. 24. Party leaders also plan to hold a series of events around the nation this autumn to rally support, then host the party's first national convention in a major U.S. city next summer.
The new party is the result of three alternative political groups coming together. The merger involves the Renew America Movement, formed in 2021 by former officials in the Republican administrations of Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush and Donald Trump; the namesake Forward Party, founded by the formerly Democratic and independent Yang; and the Serve America Movement, led by former Republican Rep. David Jolly.
Though vague, the Forward Party aims to "reinvigorate a fair, flourishing economy" and to "give Americans more choices in elections, more confidence in a government that works, and more say in our future," Reuters reports.
Third parties don't generally take off in America, given its deep-rooted two-party setup. But in today's hyper-politicized environment, it could certainly affect future elections — and if history repeats itself, it may come at a cost to Democrats.
In the infamous 2000 presidential election, Green Party candidate Ralph Nader got just enough support to strip Democratic nominee Al Gore of the win, handing Republican nominee George W. Bush the presidency. In 2016, Green Party's Jill Stein and Libertarian Party's Gary Johnson are partially credited with Donald Trump's victory over Hillary Clinton.
Understandably, Democrats are already expressing fear that Yang's new group will tamper with the fragile 2024 election.
If Forward succeeds at carrying out its goals, it will be on the ballot in all 50 states by late 2024, Reuters reports. In addition to looking at nominating someone for president in the next election, it will focus on elevating candidates for local, state and congressional elections.