No Labels, a 501(c)(4) political organization founded in 2010 with the goal of fostering bi-partisan solutions to effective governing, held a press conference on Dec. 18 to discuss its latest efforts in gaining nationwide ballot access for the upcoming 2024 presidential election with NC media.

Updates were given by the organization’s national co-chairs Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., a Democrat and civil rights leader who once led the NAACP; former North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory, a Republican; co-founder and retired US Navy Admiral Dennis Blair, and chief strategist Ryan Clancy.

The organization was officially recognized as a political party in NC in August, and thus far in 2023 has undertaken a multi-faceted effort to field a ticket for president and vice-president in all 50 states including the District of Columbia.

“By the end of this year it will be 27 states where we are doing one of three things. We are either on the ballot already, filed, or are in the process of getting signatures,” Clancy told the press.

Chavis, a native of NC, told reporters he is proud of his home state and the on-going efforts of No Labels.

“I’m very proud of my home state of NC,” he said. “We are engaged in 27 different states this month, and we are on the ballot in 12 of them. We have made significant progress in all states, looking for common-sense solutions from a bipartisan perspective. We believe in national unity.”

No Labels is also in the process of deliberating whether to field a “Unity Ticket” of a moderate Republican and moderate Democrat for next year’s presidential election. In terms of figuring out how receptive voters would be toward such an idea, Clancy pointed to a two-year data model they crafted which shows promising outcomes.

“We just completed a massive modeling exercise where we polled 12,000 voters,” he said. “Each one of the survey takers has a data footprint with publicly available information. Then, you group those voters into like-minded groups of people who most importantly are highly likely to vote the same way. From that, you create a model. One of the questions we’ve been asking now, this is over the course of two years, is: ‘If a moderate Republican and a moderate Democrat teamed up to run for president and vice-president on a “moderate” platform, would you definitely vote for that ticket, consider voting for that ticket, probably not consider voting for that ticket, or definitely not vote for that ticket?’ The first time we asked that question in February 2022, 64 million people said they would definitely or would at least consider voting for a unity ticket. That universe has now grown to 83 million. So, we’re are talking about a universe of almost 20 million people growing over time.”

Clancy then stated that the model trends show similar growth statewide in NC.

“That’s true nationally, and it’s also true in NC,” said Clancy. “The first time we asked that question in NC in March, 2022, 32.1% of the people answered in the affirmative that they would definitely or at least consider voting for a unity ticket. We came back and did the exercise in January of this year, and that number had reached 36.8%. It is now up to 40.4. In the latest model we just completed, 40.4% of people in NC said they would definitely or at least consider voting for the unity ticket. The growth we see happening at the state level is very consistent with what we are seeing nationally.”

From a policy perspective, No Labels recently created a booklet which lays out details with respect to its stances on crucial issues facing the nation. McCrory told reporters that while he is proud of the initiatives of No Labels, the current focus heading into next year is ballot access.

“Since I’ve joined No Labels as a volunteer, they’ve followed through with every one of their commitments,” he said. “They continue with the problem-solvers caucus, working with Democrats and Republicans to make sure the government doesn’t shut down. We are working very hard on issues and put out a problem-solvers common-sense booklet on 30 issues that are important to Americans. Dr. Chavis and [former Missouri] Gov. Nixon have been working very hard on that. We’re also reserving that ballot for access to a presidential ticket. With that access, were going to hopefully develop a process early next year on how the selection process would be for a presidential ticket. Sixty-five percent of the American people do not want a past repeat of the current leaders in the Democratic and Republican parties in the presidential primary campaigns. We firmly believe as a team that America deserves a better choice. We are working on that process to possibly have another choice for them, but our major goal right now is ballot access.”

Achieving ballot access in all 50 states plus DC is a tall order, given the complexity of state specific election laws, according to Clancy.

“In the end, No Labels will get on the ballot in 34 states,” Clancy said. “The reason we won’t do the remaining 16 plus DC is because those 16 states fall into one of two categories. Either those are states that require you to have a named candidate to get on the ballot or have a much lower threshold where they might require a group like No Labels to get 30,000 signatures, but if you’re a named candidate maybe you only need 3,000. So, we’ll get on in 34, but we feel very confident that if there’s a ticket, they’d be able to get over the top in that final 16 plus DC. If there’s a unity ticket, we feel very confident it will be able to compete in all 50.

Once ballot access is granted, McCrory stated that the goal for the potential unity ticket is to be viable and to win.

“Once we give access to the ballot, if we make that decision, we are going to do it to win,” he said. “We’re not going to do it if we don’t think we have an opportunity to win. But if we give access to the ballot, the campaigns will be running the election, not No Labels. No Labels’ job is to get access to the ballot and from there it will up to the people who are given access to the ballot to run their campaign.”