Online Originals: ECU professor says challenges ahead as MAGA Patriot Party files with the FEC

Online Originals

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – A new political group, called the MAGA Patriot Party, was started Monday after the organization filed paperwork with the Federal Elections Commission..  But, there are challenges that the new “third” party will have to overcome.  

“For one, of the non-major parties to get on the ballot is a herculean effort. And to get a guaranteed slot, like the Democrats or Republicans have, you have to have been successful in the past,” said Brad Lockerbie, a Political Science Professor at East Carolina University.

Lockerbie said to start a political party, you have to establish it by filing paperwork in all 50 states and with the FEC. The group filed with the FEC on Monday.

A spokesperson for former President Donald Trump told NewsNation on Monday he is not involved with the organization.

Lockerbie said the new party will likely have many challenges, including money.

“If it doesn’t have the resources of Donald Trump behind it, whatever they may be, or even the name behind it, they may have a harder time getting of the ground,” says Lockerbie.

There’s also the former President’s second impeachment trial, charging him with inciting an insurrection for the US Capitol riots on Jan. 6. A potential U.S. Senate conviction and a separate Senate vote could keep him from running for president again. But, the new political party could influence the outcome of his upcoming impeachment trial.   

“I wouldn’t be surprised if that was a large portion of it, using it as a cudgel against Republicans who are contemplating on voting against impeachment, basically letting them know he would fund candidates, whether it be the Patriot Party or something else, against them in the general election,” said Lockerbie.   

Trump has discussed running again in the 2024 election. Lockerbie said it could be a repeat of his first run for the White House, at the very least, a shot at winning the Republican Primary.  

“And he runs in 2024, he may have the same advantage as in 2016, in that, there would be a fractured party, a lot of candidates running again, and so he doesn’t need to do all that well in the primary to get delegates in the National Convention,” said Lockerbie.  

Trump could possibly get enough delegates across parts of the country to land him on the Republican ticket.   

“I think if Republicans saw that coming down the road, they might be prompted to go away from winner-take-all primaries,” Lockerbie said.  

Trump’s record as president and the impeachment are hurting his popularity, Lockerbie said.

“And if Twitter and Facebook keep him off, he won’t have as many ways of communicating with the American populace. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him fade out of the political arena,” Lockerbie adds. 

Lockerbie said the major issue with the Republican Party is the division within it.

“I think the two coalitions that you’re going to see within the Republican Party for the next couple years will be the quote “Trumpist” coalition and then, more traditional conservatives,” said Lockerbie.

Overall, Lockerbie doesn’t see the Patriot Party taking off. 

“Sting once and die,” Lockerbie said. “In that, minor parties out there may cause harm to a political party. May get some votes, but, the last minor party to sustain itself was the Republican party, who supplanted the Whigs back in the 1850s.

“Since then you’ve had third parties rise up and inflict some damage on a party but then quickly die off.”

We conducted a Facebook poll, asking viewers if they would be interested in the party’s platform and candidates, these were the results.

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