Andrew Yang and former GOP officials form new political party to appeal to moderates

“Political extremism is tearing our nation apart and both major parties have failed to address the crisis,” wrote David Jolly, Christine Todd Whitman and Andrew Yang in a Washington Post Editorial released Wednesday. “Today’s outdated parties have failed by reaching out to the margins. As a result, most Americans feel they are unrepresented.”
Jolly is a former Republican congressman from Florida, Whitman a former Republican governor of New Jersey, and Yang is a former Democratic presidential and mayoral candidate in New York. The three will merge their political organizations into the new party, the launch of which was first reported by Reuters.
The group cites issues such as guns, climate change and abortion as ones that could benefit from a moderate approach. The new party will also advocate preferential voting and open primaries, an end to gerrymandering and national protection of the right to vote.

“Sixty-two percent of Americans now want a third, a record, because they can see our leaders aren’t doing it,” Yang told CNN’s Brianna Keilar on “New Day” Thursday during a joint appearance with Whitman. . “And when you ask about political goals, the fact is that the majority of Americans actually agree on really divisive issues. The hottest issues of the day like abortion or guns — there’s actually a common-sense coalition position on these issues and just about every other issue under the sun.”

Forward is planning a national convention next summer and will soon seek access to the ballot to field candidates in 2024, according to the Post editorial.

The party said in a press release that it would launch “a nationwide building tour this fall to hear from voters and begin laying the groundwork for expanded party registration and state ballot access through State, drawing on the combined national network of the three organisations. It plans to gain legal recognition “in 15 states by the end of 2022, double that in 2023, and in nearly every US state by the end of 2024.”

Although Forward is not fielding its own candidates in this year’s midterm elections, it will “support selected candidates in November who stand up for our democracy, even if they come from outside the new party,” according to the statement. hurry.

Jolly, Whitman and Yang acknowledged the obvious lack of success of third parties in the United States before, writing in their op-ed: “Most third parties in United States history have failed to take off, either because they were ideologically too narrow, either because the population was not interested.” But they said ‘voters are crying out for a new party more than ever’, citing a Gallup poll since last year.

“Americans of all stripes – Democrats, Republicans and Independents – are invited to be part of the process, without abandoning their existing political affiliations, by joining us to discuss building an optimistic and inclusive home for the politically homeless majority.” , Jolly said. , Whitman and Yang wrote.

Asked by Keilar on Thursday why they think their efforts to create a third party would work, Whitman said, “We’re in a different era.”

“When you have 50% of Americans saying they are registered as independents … people are fed up with what they see in Washington and the fact that nothing major is being done frustrates them. We have big problems and we want to see them resolved,” she said.

A few independent candidates have garnered national attention in their runs this cycle. In Utah, Evan McMullin, who ran for president in 2016 as an anti-Trump conservative, is challenging GOP Sen. Mike Lee and enjoying support from the state’s Democratic Party. In Missouri, John Wood, a former lead investigator on the House Select Committee investigating the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol, is touting himself as a “common sense alternative” to the field of Republican candidates and Democrats for the open US Senate from the state. headquarters. And in Oregon, former state senator Betsy Johnson, who left the Democratic Party last year, is a leading candidate in the open race for governor.

CORRECTION: This story has been corrected to indicate that Andrew Yang was not elected.

This story has also been updated with additional reaction.

CNN’s Rachel Janfaza contributed to this report.

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