Having played an oversized role in the 2016 presidential elections, the Green Party has so far received only 363,000 votes in this year’s presidential election – less than a third of the support it received four years ago.
Party spokesman Michael O’Neil said they had always known that the 2020 election cycle would be a tough battle.
“We have to run and we will run to win, but survival is the condition for victory because the Democratic Party has spent the last four years wiping us out,” O’Neil told Washington Newsday.
In 2016, Green candidate Jill Stein played Queen on the battlefield in several key states. Her vote was higher than that of Donald Trump in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan, leading to strong backlash from Democrats and policy experts. Stein was not only widely condemned as a spoilsport, Hillary Clinton later accused her of being a “Russian asset”.
Howard Schweber, professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said that people would “not make the same mistake again” and that an analysis of the 2020 election campaign would probably find “that a large majority of former or potential green voters chose Biden this time because they realized that Trump’s re-election was a real possibility.
Overall, the Green Party received only 0.2 percent of the vote in 2020.
But now, after Trump’s defeat, coupled with the power struggle between the moderate and progressive wings of the Democratic Party, the Greens hope for the rise of a new American left.
“The Democratic Party and Joe Biden narrowly won a victory, even though it should have been a landslide victory…”, O’Neil said. “Joe Biden is already on the way to the right, and the Democratic Party leadership is already on the way to the right.
“They have won, but in the most embarrassing way from a leftist or progressive point of view. So this means that this is the perfect time for an independent party that, like the Green Party, is committed to the people, the planet and peace rather than profit, to build, grow and win.
Following the November 3 competition, before the race for Joe Biden was announced, the House Democrats held a conference call to present their grievances. The exchange, which was leaked through various news channels, including the Washington Post, was described as members of the center, berating liberal colleagues for losing the race for ideas such as Medicare For All, the Green New Deal, and defining the police force.
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) pushed back to this logic in an interview with the New York Times. Instead, she blamed the Democrats’ losses on a lack of digital campaigning and the avoidance of popular progressive issues. She said the party was so “hostile” that it considered not running for reelection and was uncertain about a future in politics.
Howie Hawkins, the Green Party’s 2020 presidential candidate who called for a “withdrawal” and tried to persuade disillusioned Bernie Sanders’ voters to support his cause, said the party was ready to welcome frustrated progressives.
“The Corporate Democrats have tried to blame the progressives for the fact that the race was close and they couldn’t win those seats in the Senate,” he said on Newsday in Washington. “[Ocasio-Cortez] at least pushed back.”
Hawkins added: “My attitude is that when people like the AOC realize that the corporate Democrats are in charge, they always have been and always will be, we are there for them.
The Green Party has also reinforced the narrative that the Biden campaign will do little to promote progressive ideas, picking up on the former vice-president’s statements to wealthy donors that “nothing would change fundamentally” if he were elected.
“We are glad that @realDonaldTrump is no longer in the party, but don’t ignore the ‘nothing will change fundamentally’ dems,” the party tweeted on November 7. “In 2020, the Green Party fielded 210 candidates & 21 have won so far, including a 26-year-old green mayor in CA. We have over 115 elected officials at the local level. LET’S BUILD!”
In another post-election tweet, the Green Party mocked the Democratic Party’s lack of progress and encouraged its supporters to “break the cycle of