One of the underlying subplots of the 2016 election cycle has been that of the disaffected Democrats: blue-collar, socially conservative voters who vote Democrat out of loyalty on labor issues who have been thrown under the bus by the Obama administration and would likely see more of the same if Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton is elected.
They are becoming a force in the Republican presidential race, providing a boost to national front-runner Donald Trump. But in many ways, they align more closely with former U.S. Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.), who has been rumored for months to be considering an independent bid for the presidency.
Thursday, those rumors gained steam once again when CBS affiliate KTVT-TV reported that Webb was in Dallas to speak at the World Affairs Council about foreign policy. The affiliate quoted sources who said he was also there to seek support for his independent bid:
"CBS 11 News has learned Webb will discuss his intentions to make another run for the White House when he addresses the Dallas World Affairs Council at the Belo Mansion this afternoon."
Webb, who also served as Secretary of the Navy in the Reagan administration, spent less than 90 days in the Democrat presidential race last year. He dropped out after expressing he was "uncomfortable" with many of the party's positions.
He supports Roe v. Wade, and is in favor of gay marriage, but has been critical of Obamacare and Democrat positions on trade and foreign policy, which he says cost American jobs. Ballot access would be his biggest challenge, the other big hurdle would be finding a way to win electoral votes.
But if Webb does jump back in, the immediate benefactor is probably U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, who would gain an advantage if former Democrats who are Trump supporters suddenly switched to Webb.
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