The following is an excerpt:
Howie Hawkins likely will not be the next president, but the Democratic socialist’s third-party run could still have an effect on the presidential election, especially in states with as razor-thin margins as there were in 2016.
While all attention was on Hillary Clinton and then-candidate Donald Trump in 2016, Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party candidate, and Jill Stein, the Green Party nominee, won small percentages in states across the country, meaning the eventual winner could take the state with less than 50 percent of the vote.
Many Democrats who may have waived away third party runs in the past are now taking them seriously.
“I definitely think it’s a threat and we can’t take any vote for granted,” Irene Lin, campaign manager for Andru Volinsky, a New Hampshire candidate for governor backed by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, told Newsweek.
Hawkins, who won the Green Party nomination Sunday and the Socialist Party nomination in October, has said the “democratic socialism” of people like Sanders and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who won reelection Tuesday, is modeled on the liberalism of the New Deal and depends on progressive taxation of billionaires to fund social programs.
“Until we democratize wealth and the economy through social ownership and democratic planning, the concentrated economic power of the billionaire class will be expressed as concentrated political power that will undermine progressive social programs. We need economic democracy, not just progressive taxation,” Hawkins said during the fall nomination.
But while Hawkins called for a #DemExit and tried to lure disillusioned Sanders supporters to his cause, the Democratic Party’s 2020 nominee Joe Biden is in a much different place than Clinton was in 2016. Trump was just an idea then, not a president with a record, Democrats said. Biden’s polling amid a pandemic, an economic crisis, and protests spurred by police brutality has also been strong, with the former vice president crossing 50 percent support in many recent polls, something Clinton never did in June 2016.