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Republican Turned Independent Turned Dem Announces 3rd Party Lincoln Presidential Run

CNN reported on Sunday that there is a new candidate throwing their hat into the race for president in 2020. 

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Rather than run as a Democrat or Republican under which both banners he has assumed, this former Governor of Rhode Island and previous presidential candidate has decided to run as a Libertarian.

Washington (CNN)- Former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee has filed to run for President as a libertarian in what appears to be a new long-shot White House bid following his failed campaign for the Democratic nomination in 2016.

Chafee filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission on Sunday to form the Lincoln Chafee for President campaign committee based in Wyoming.

A website linked to Chafee's FEC filing states "Lincoln Leads with TRUTH" along with the phrase "Thirty Years, Zero Scandals."

Chafee has spent most of his life as a Republican. He was nominated to his late father's Senate seat in 1999 and then was elected as a Republican in 2000. He served only one term, losing to Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse in 2006, but then successfully ran for governor of Rhode Island as an independent.

His 2016 bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, however, was marked by anemic poll and fundraising numbers.

"As you know, I have been campaigning on a platform of Prosperity Through Peace," Chafee said in announcing the end of his campaign in October 2015. "But after much thought I have decided to end my campaign for president today. I would like to take this opportunity one last time to advocate for a chance be given to peace."

This information introduces chaos into the 2020 election, as it is generally understood that third party candidates fail to win, but succeed in stealing votes from the party that they are mostly in line with.

This was a reality for George Bush in his loss to Bill Clinton, per History.com:

After supporters gathered enough signatures to place him on the ballot in every state, Texas billionaire H. Ross Perot surged to the top of the polls in the spring of 1992. Advocating for a balanced federal budget, campaign finance reform and congressional term limits, Perot capitalized on low public support for President George H.W. Bush.

Despite his support, Perot made the sudden decision to drop out of the race in July 1992, saying that he no longer believed he could win the presidency with the improving performance of Democratic nominee Bill Clinton. He later said the decision was based on his belief that the Bush campaign planned to spread rumors about his daughter and sabotage her impending wedding. Weeks before Election Day, Perot made the equally surprising announcement that he was resuming his campaign. The independent candidate’s poll numbers remained high enough to permit his inclusion in the presidential debates with Bush and Clinton.

With his folksy manner and half-hour infomercials on broadcast networks, Perot received 19 percent of the vote, compared to 43 percent for Clinton and 37 percent for Bush. Some Bush campaign officials believed Perot spoiled Bush’s re-election by drawing more votes from Republicans than Democrats.

So who is Chafee more in line with, the Republicans or the Democrats?

Although President Trump doesn't suffer from low public support from the Republicans, could Chafee actually steal enough votes to make a difference?

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Or will it even matter, given his previous track record of dropping out before the going gets tough?

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