Libertarian Congressman Justin Amash‘s exploratory committee for the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination has caused backlash from both Democrats and Republicans who already worry about a volatile 2020 election. In a Thursday opinion piece for The Detroit News, Business Insider political columnist Michael Gordon argues that Amash’s entry into the race will undoubtedly help presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
Gordon points to Amash’s high lifetime scores from the Conservative Review and the conservative PAC Club for Growth, as well as the overlap between his policy positions and those of his Republican colleagues. While a 10-month old speculative poll suggested that Amash would eat into Biden’s vote more than Donald Trump‘s, Gordon suggests this data is not reflective of the current 2020 presidential race.
“More likely, by joining the race Amash will give many conservatives who have had enough of demagoguery, dysfunction and division a palatable alternative who is not a Democrat,” Gordon wrote.
“If Amash weren’t in the race, these Never Trumpers would vote Libertarian anyway, stay home or hold their noses and cast again for the president.”
While Gordon claims a small portion of this group voted for Biden, he believes Amash will siphon more votes from Trump due to their higher “philosophical alignment.”
“By contrast, there is no natural pull from Biden to Amash on any substantive level,” Gordon writes.
A poll released by the Monmouth University on Wednesday suggested that Amash would not harm Biden or Trump. Per The Detroit News, the survey showed Amash gained 5 percent of the registered voters polled, while Biden received 47 percent support, and Trump received 40. Without the 40-year-old congressman in the race, Biden earns 50 percent support and Trump 41 percent. In this scenario, 3 percent said they will support an independent candidate, and 5 percent remained undecided.
Others, including former Illinois congressman Joe Walsh, who briefly ran for the Republican nomination, believe Amash will help Trump.
“I think it’s a huge mistake, it’s the wrong thing to do,” Walsh said of Amash’s late entry into the race. “It will help get Trump elected.”
Walsh, who noted he considers Amash a friend, accused the congressman of doing what’s best for himself instead of putting America as the first priority.
As The Inquisitr reported, Amash previously pushed back against criticism of his presidential bid and suggested it is tantamount of voter suppression. He also noted that the backlash he experienced after his announcement came from both Republicans and Democrats and suggested it’s impossible to know for certain the effect his entry into the race will create.