Understanding Americans Elect—or at least trying to

Understanding Americans Elect—or at least trying to
Understanding Americans Elect—or at least trying to

Understanding Americans Elect—or at least trying to

Depending on whom you believe, Americans Elect is either a) a third party b) a centrist group or c) a presidential election spoiler. If you picked any of those three, you wouldn't be entirely right, but then again you wouldn't be entirely wrong.

Listen to a discussion on this post from Eight Forty-Eight

Don Gordon, a delegate leader for Americans Elect who teaches political science at Northwestern University, calls it a "movement" to overhaul a primary system dominated by political machines and special interests; its COO Elliot Ackerman recently told MSNBC that AE is an attempt for politicians and the public to "have a voice which doesn't have to modulate between the two parties."

This much we know for sure: Come June, AE says it will host a national primary. The nomination process—done exclusively online—will produce a presidential ticket, potentially, as the media likes to point out, a bipartisan one.

With the rise of Super PACs and a drawn-out Republican primary, the idea seems appealing or at least provocative. But, will it actually work?

The pitch convinced Jackie Freeman, a suburban woman who's worked on both Republican and Democratic campaigns. She currently serves as AE's co-director of the Great Lakes region. In a recent conversation, Freeman, who identifies as a moderate Republican, said she grew disillusioned by the extremism of both parties. A former California resident, she doesn't understand why the Golden State and Illinois would have less say in the nominating process than a few thousand Iowans.

Longtime journalist David Yepsen, now a professor at Southern Illinois University, has his doubts. Independent campaigns don't exactly have a track record for success. Others raise concerns about AE's anonymous donors.

Yepsen, along with Jackie Freeman and Don Gordon come on Eight Forty-Eight to discuss Americans Elect and examine whether the voting public has the desire to change the political system.