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Is Americans Elect Liberal?

3:18 PM, Feb 27, 2012 • By MICHAEL WARREN
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At the Daily Caller, Mickey Kaus took a look at the Americans Elect website and answered their policy questions that the group promises will "shape the Americans Elect process." Kaus concludes the Americans Elect effort may end up hurting Obama:

This is a pretty “liberal” group. They want to legalize pot, mandate health insurance, spend federal money on public schools while keeping religion out. They’re pro-choice on abortion. They don’t think cutting taxes or government spending creates jobs and they feel the amount of taxes they pay is “fair.”  They’re recycling, Darwinist Keynesian spenders who worry about global warming.  …. There are exceptions to this Jon Stewartish profile, though: When it comes to the deficit, they tend to prefer spending cuts to tax increases. They think government regulates “too many things.” They favor gun rights. Only a minority (44%) sees unions as “crucial,” while the rest either see them as no longer necessary (35%) and or an actual “hindrance” (21%).  A slim 49-42 plurality says teachers unions in particular are obstacles to needed reform.

Overall, the answers don’t completely fit the profile of any group actually known to exist–including the Ron Paulites–which is why they’re intriguing.* To the extent a coherent profile emerges, though, Obama should be worried, because it overlaps more with his than with, say, Mitt Romney’s (let alone Santorum’s).  Unless, of course, a Mitt-like GOP nominee moves a lot closer to the center for the general election in a bid for independents. The presence of third party ready to steal those same voters should act as a deterrrent to that move, no?

It's an interesting possibility, though the alternative is that a more Republican-leaning candidate, either a moderate centrist Jon Huntsman type or even Ron Paul himself, could win the support and bring along disgruntled voters who might otherwise hold their nose to vote for a Republican. I explored this, and Americans Elect in general, in a recent issue of THE WEEKLY STANDARD:

So what will the people’s candidate be like? Elliot Ackerman says they have no “ideal” person in mind but hope to see a candidate who can resist being forced “into the two narrow boxes that the two major parties have regarding policy positions.” That sounds like a job for one of the aforementioned moderates, but Ackerman seems laissez-faire when it comes to ideology. I ask him if there is fear that Ron Paul’s massive online organization could hijack the Americans Elect process.

“It’s just not something we’re that concerned about,” Ackerman replies. “First of all, we’ve existed in a system that’s already been hijacked. Additionally, whoever the candidate is, they’re going to have to reach across the political space and run with somebody outside of their party.” So … Paul-Kucinich 2012? 

Read the whole thing here.

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