Could an independent succeed in 2020? Howard Schultz putting question to test

Howard Schultz: We can't have a country where millions of people are being left behind
Howard Schultz: We can’t have a country where millions of people are being left behind

Howard Schultz explains that the reason he’s seriously considering an independent run for the White House is “the two-party system is broken.”

And despite historical headwinds and what would be fierce opposition from the political machines of both those parties, analysts suggest the increasingly polarized climate could give the former Starbucks CEO an opening — however narrow — to mount a competitive bid in the 2020 cycle.


At the very least, Schultz could soon test the conventional wisdom that third- or no-party bids are lost causes in a modern presidential race.

“We have issues right now that must be solved. They will not be solved by two parties that are in bed every single day to defeat one another as opposed to representing the American people,” the billionaire coffee magnate said this week in an interview on “Fox & Friends.”

Schultz argued that the more than 40 percent of Americans who call themselves independents “are looking for an alternative other than a Republican or a Democrat.”

While it’s true that independents nowadays make up the largest bloc of voters, many of them lean toward the Democratic or Republican parties. And the deck remains very much stacked against a White House bid by an independent or third-party candidate.

“An independent could win the presidency, but I don’t think it’s very likely,” said Nate Silver, the founder and editor in chief of FiveThirtyEight, a well-known website that focuses on polling analysis.

George Washington was the first – and last – independent to win the presidency. And he had the support of the Federalists, the most powerful political party at the beginning of the republic.

Alabama’s George Wallace was the last independent or third-party candidate to grab any electoral votes,…

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