After dropping out of the 2016 presidential race as a Democrat, former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb said he was “seriously” pondering an independent third party run last week. Yet, the Washington Post’s Dave Weigel noted that Webb’s fundraising numbers were underwhelming, and that an independent run would require (as always) millions of dollars. Simply put, Independent Webb 2016 would have to hit fundraising goals that the maverick Democrat has yet to hit this cycle:
Little about Webb's lethargic presidential bid suggested that he could raise the money for an independent campaign. When he left the Democratic race, he had just $317,000 left in his campaign fund. Former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson, who quit the 2012 Republican primary to run as a Libertarian, told The Washington Post this week that an independent could expect to burn through $8 million just to establish campaigns and ballot access in all 50 states.
The RNC noted how Webb’s exit represents the Democratic Party’s shift to the left, as exemplified in their first debate. Webb is known for being somewhat of a gun rights advocate. In March, CBS News reported that in 2007, an aide of his was arrested trying to bring a firearm onto Capitol grounds. Webb treaded carefully, but used this incident to defend Second Amendment rights saying, “I believe wherever you see places where people are allowed to carry, generally the violence goes down.” He’s also against affirmative action programs, and walks a more realist line than the Obama administration on foreign policy. So, we’ll see how this Webb reloaded idea works out. One thing is for sure: he didn’t turn out to be, as Bloomberg's Al Hunt noted, Hillary’s "worst nightmare" after all. For a moment, maybe there was a sense of nervousness on the Clinton campaign, which quickly dissipated.