Could Third-Party Candidates Sway the Election?: Kiplinger Economic Forecasts

Keep an eye on possible candidacies from Sen. Joe Manchin and Cornel West.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) speaks during the Senate Appropriations Committee hearing
(Image credit: Jemal Countess/Getty for JDRF)

The lead-up to the 2024 U.S. presidential election prompts more questions than answers. To help you understand what is going on and what we expect to happen in the future, our highly-experienced Kiplinger Letter team will keep you abreast of the latest developments and forecasts (Get a free issue of The Kiplinger Letter or subscribe). You'll get all the latest news first by subscribing, but we will publish many (but not all) of the forecasts a few days afterward online. Here’s the latest...

President Biden isn’t worried only about his future Republican opponent. Democrats are also sweating possible third-party presidential candidates who would disproportionately draw votes from the Dems if they entered the race. 

Their biggest concern at the moment is Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), amid speculation he may run on a third-party “unity ticket” in 2024, pushed by the centrist No Labels group. (Manchin hasn’t committed to anything, yet.) A Manchin bid for president would be a double blow to Democrats since his Senate seat in deep-red West Virginia would almost certainly flip to the GOP. 

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Another possible threat to Democrats’ White House chances: Cornel West, the popular academic running for president under the Green Party banner. West is a minor candidate, but he could still cost Democrats votes in critical states.

With current control of the White House and Senate, Democrats are celebrating the recent confirmation of one of the president's nominees. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) will have a Democratic majority for the first time in years, now that the Senate has confirmed Kalpana Kotagal, Biden’s nominee to fill the panel’s last remaining vacancy. 

Kotagal’s confirmation spells greater progressive influence on EEOC policymaking as the commission tackles issues such as artificial intelligence bias and enforcement of a recent law addressing pregnancy discrimination in the workplace. Many business groups strongly opposed Kotagal’s nomination, hence the narrow Senate vote to confirm her.

This forecast first appeared in The Kiplinger Letter, which has been running since 1923 and is a collection of concise weekly forecasts on business and economic trends, as well as what to expect from Washington, to help you understand what’s coming up to make the most of your investments and your money. Subscribe to The Kiplinger Letter.

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Matthew Housiaux
Reporter, The Kiplinger Letter
Housiaux covers the White House and state and local government for The Kiplinger Letter. Before joining Kiplinger in June 2016, he lived in Sioux Falls, SD, where he was the forum editor of Augustana University's student newspaper, the Mirror. He also contributed stories to the Borgen Project, a Seattle-based nonprofit focused on raising awareness of global poverty. He earned a B.A. in history and journalism from Augustana University.