Mike Gravel as a Third Party Candidate?

According to this source, former Alaskan U.S. Senator and current contender for the Democratic nomination Mike Gravel may be considering an independent or third party campaign.

The Rev. Robert A. Vinciguerra writes:

“Hold out your hand, take your thumb and connect it to your little finger. What do you get,” Gravel asked his on looking audience. “A third party!” he answered.

“I’m running as a Democrat right now, and my string is going to run out in February. It’s already run out; I just don’t know it,” Gravel said to a small group of supporters. “If I want to stay in this election all of the way until next November, I will have to make a decision: ‘Will I go as a third party?’ Obviously you can figure that out.” The implication is that he will.

Considering factors such as Gravel’s age, his willingness to buck the system and that he has no concerns about holding on to some other elected office, a third party or independent run is certainly plausible.

Gravel is entertaining a notion that he can approach established existing third parties, such as the Libertarians, Greens, and perhaps also the Reform or Constitution Party, and who knows what else, and unite them under one cause with himself leading the charge.

“We’re going to coalesce … we’re going to take all of the other parties together,” Gravel explains. “We’ll go… you’ll go to the Green Party, to the Libertarian Party. Let’s coalesce, let’s come together, we’ll coalesce to win.”

The article also brings up the Ron Paul factor.

Moreover, Gravel is ignoring the strong possibility that Ron Paul may make a run for the White House as an independent.

Though Paul has repeatedly denied such plans to run as an independent, he has increasingly left his statements open ended. The former Libertarian Party presidential candidate says that he plans to win as a Republican, but will not discuss any actions that he might take were he to lose the GOP nomination, other than to say that he will likely not support any other nominee.

Ron Paul is currently polling poorly both nationally and in important early nominating states, but he is sitting on a mountain of gold. Without a doubt, he could raise enough money to finance his own third party candidacy and make a strong showing in national polls - maybe even strong enough to be included in debates.

The virtual inevitability that Paul will lose his party’s nomination coupled with his uncanny fund raising ability and massive support base makes his third party run all the more likely. With a crowd that size and that passionate, they’re not going to just go away because their candidate lost a silly thing like a primary.

During the 2004 elections, voters were inclined to support the Iraq War. Neither the Greens nor the Libertarians fielded strong candidates with impressive political resumes. Ralph Nader was dogged down with ballot access woes and couldn’t mount as effective a campaign as he would have liked.

For 2008, voters again will probably be facing two candidates from the major parties who have supported the war in Iraq. However, the voters no longer support the war. This alone could help boost third party presidential vote totals for the more typical third party candidates. Throwing higher profile names like Mike Gravel, Cynthia McKinney, Ron Paul and perhaps Ralph Nader into the mix (in addition to Unity08 and a possible Bloomberg campaign) will certainly increase public attention to whomever the eventual third party and independent candidates will be.

22 Responses to “Mike Gravel as a Third Party Candidate?”

  1. Eric Dondero Says:

    Awww man. This is getting serious now. You literally beat me to the punch on this story by a mere two minutes.


    Score so far:

    Stephen Gordon & TPW - 2

    Eric Dondero & MainstreamLibertarian.com - 0

  2. Mike Gillis Says:

    I’d certainly vote for a Nader/Gravel ticket. Or a Gravel ticket, if Nader doesn’t announce.

  3. Jonathan Cymberknopf Says:

    Ron Paul has flately denied any possibility of running on a Third Party Ticket or as an Independant. Cynthia McKinney will be The Green Party Candidate. Enough with stirring up hopeful rumors.

  4. Eric Dondero Says:

    Jonathan, I thought so too about RP. But last week he gave an interview to Newsweek Magazine where he indicated that he might do it. I think he’s starting to lean away from previous Shermanesque statements. But if he does do it, he’ll have to give up his Congressional seat.

    Note to Stephen Gordon - I just beat you on breaking the Bob Smither story!! Fort Bend Now has just reported Smither is considering switching from Libertarian to Republican to run for the CD - 22 seat in Houston (Tom DeLay’s old seat now held by Nick Lampson.) I just posted the story to Mainstream Libertarians.

    Score now - Gordon - 2, Dondero - 1.

  5. Stephen Gordon Says:


    Please provide the exact quote.

  6. The New Fascist Says:

    Breaking News! Researchers in Germany have announced that Eric Dondero and Adolf Hitler ARE indeed related. More news at 11!

    Gee now, I know why Dondero is so passionate about the constant use of the Islamo-fascist word.

    Can one see Eric having a mustache like Hitler. Scary. I can see it happening!

  7. Chris Says:

    Fort Bend Now has just reported Smither is considering switching from Libertarian to Republican to run for the CD - 22 seat in Houston

    Sounds good to me!

  8. Eric Dondero Says:

    There are 12 other Republicans running for that seat, including Sekula-Gibbs and a libertarian-leaning Conservative State Rep. Bob will have a tough fight. But with 12 in there, he could make the run-off. Then, it’s anyone’s guess?

  9. Fred C. Says:

    Unfortunately a late bolt by Gravel would mean he’d have (almost) as much trouble as Robert Milnes trying to get the Green nomination. I don’t think former Senators like playing second chair to former House members either, so I doubt he’ll try to get on as McKinney’s VP. Even so, I understand he has some kind of following among Greens, and more experienced candidates seeking their nomination has to be considered a net positive.

  10. Richard Winger Says:

    Ron Paul has never, ever “denied any possibility of running” outside the major parties for president. Can’t people read? He always says he has no intention of doing that. But anyone’s intention can change tomorrow.

  11. Tom Blanton Says:

    Mr. Winger is right.

    I like Mike Gravel, but wouldn’t vote for him. That said, I think he would be a great VP choice for Cynthia McKinney. After all, he’s been out of politics for decades.

    When the Dems stopped inviting him to the debates, the entertainment factor dropped by 90% - they should have made him a debate moderator.

    It’s certainly no surprise that Bob “The Real Conservative” Smither would be joining the GOP, he was a Republican when he was a Libertarian.

  12. Robert Milnes Says:

    Fred C., Interesting that when Gravel grasps at straws with an idea that I’ve advocated for years, he actually at least gets listened to. He’ll run into the same problems e.g. party bylaws demanding membership exclusivity for candidates etc. It is only necessary to get the nomination of the green & libertarian parties. They would become more inclusive & the rest would become superfluous/irrelevent. At least I don’t have the baggage of being a member of the dem or rep party like Gravel & RP/RP.

  13. Seth Cohn Says:

    Gravel spoke at the LPNH convention in Oct 2006 seeking our support, and had no real support there, and everyone felt he was completely out of place, and didn’t have a clue about Libertarian ideals at all. That said, Dan Belforti of http://leftrightandcorrect.com has supported him for quite some time.

  14. Jason Gatties Says:

    Haha..he should seek the LP nomination. I started a myspace profile titled “Libertarians for Gravel” and although I have a few “friends”, most are bands spamming and current Gravel supporters and I’m pretty much the only Libertarian supporting Gravel. I may be alone but if he did seek a 3rd Party run, I’d vote for him. I like the guy.

  15. Rainer Says:

    Paul / Gravel would be great, and Paul/Kucinich would be even better, for a Unity Third Party ticket.

  16. Austin Cassidy Says:

    Wow, so in theory would could wind up with…

    A Democrat
    A Republican
    Mike Bloomberg
    Ron Paul
    Cynthia McKinney
    Mike Gravel

    And who knows… maybe Ralph Nader, Sam Nunn, Alan Keyes, and others.

    I could very easily see Gravel creating his own party around some of his ideas, which go far beyond anti-war stuff into direct democracy and national initiative elections and such.

  17. johncjackson Says:

    I doubt Gravel would do any better than the candidates in the “lower tier” minor parties always do. Maybe he could do as well as Cobb did!

    As much as Ron Paul fans complain about his lack of coverage in the mainstream, he probably gets 1000 times the recognition Gravel does. If Ron Paul goes 3rd party, he takes a lot of money and probably hundreds of thousands of passionate supporters with him. He has raised money, made the news on many occasions, been in high profile debate exchanges. IF ( even though I still doubt and hope he does not) Ron Paul decides to run Ind/3rd, running as a Republican will have helped him greatly.

    Gravel, on the other hand. Has running as a Democrat really helped him at all? Has he raised millions of dollars? How many supporters does he have, A room full?

    Once you go “3rd party” you get even less media coverage, zero debate inclusion ( well, excepts for those debates with all the other minor parties on CSPAN) and so on. If you have zero support as a Republican or DEm, you are prbably going to get even less.-the standard fraction of a %.

  18. Eric Dondero Says:

    Austin, you left out Wayne Root on the Libertarian ticket.

    You could see:

    A Democrat
    A Republican
    Wayne Root, Libertarian
    Cynthia McKinney, Greens
    Jim Gilchrist, Constitution Party
    Mike Gravel, Independent
    Michael Bloomberg, Independent
    Ron Paul, Independent/American Party coalition

  19. G.E. Says:

    “Ron Paul has flately denied any possibility of running on a Third Party Ticket or as an Independant.”—This is an outright lie. How can someone be so bold in their lying? It’s amazing.

  20. Eric Dondero Says:

    I’m an ass. I think I can leverage my bad name by using it to try to crush Ron Paul’s run for President. I’ll do everything I can if I think it will hurt Ron Paul.

  21. Dave Says:

    If Gravel gets enough money for the real presidential race he can run ads exposing the other candidates as being for continuing the war and politics as usual. People are tired of this shit. They should be ready to take a third party candidate seriously. And maybe the guy will win and save our country. Or probably some turd or douche will win. And we’ll be royally fucked. I hope it’s the former.

  22. graysonga Says:

    I am from Georgia, Cynthia will not have even a slight chance here much less on a national scale. She is far to into herself and her own pockets. Her father a long time state rep has been defeated as well and Georgia has all sighed collected sigh of relief. Not to mention she is a radical Islamic and that would never play on a national scale. The only vialble third party candidat looks like Mike Gravel or possibly Ron Paul if he would commit to run…..Paul / Gravel ticket?..... ponder the possibilities!

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