An Independent Ticket For 2020? Why It’s More Than Political Gossip.

“Kasich-Hickenlooper 2020” wouldn’t fit on a bumper sticker, John Kasich quipped on NBC’s “Meet the Press” recently. But seriously, the Republican governor of Ohio was asked, are he and the Democratic governor of Colorado really thinking of mounting an independent bid for president?

“The answer is no,” Governor Kasich said, responding to reports that just such a “unity ticket” may be in the works....

Not that a denial puts anything to rest. Politicians are famous for saying “nothing to see here” until there is something to see. In Kasich’s case, the denial about a joint bid with Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) of Colorado could mask a more likely scenario: that Kasich will make a third run for president, and challenge President Trump for the Republican nomination in 2020.

Still, chatter about the Kasich-Hickenlooper trial balloon – born of common-ground efforts on policy and joint public appearances – amounts to more than just political gossip. It speaks to widespread disaffection among Americans with the two major parties, as seen in Gallup data that show “independent” as the preferred political affiliation since 2009. Today, 41 percent of Americans self-identify as independent, with Republicans and Democrats at 28 percent each.

“Third parties work great until you have to caucus,” says Republican strategist Ford O’Connell.

Read more from Linda Feldmann at The Christian Science Monitor

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Analysis & Political Strategy