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Americans Elect announced that they officially won't be fielding a third party presidential candidate after all, the group said in a statement Thursday. The leaders announced  earlier this week that no would-be third party candidate had received enough votes to pass the threshold for the nomination in their online primary election. Buddy Roemer, pictured above, came closest. But not close enough.

There was some speculation that they'd refuel and try to find a candidate, but alas, as, as the group said in its release, "The primary process for the Americans Elect nomination has come to an end." Earlier this week, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman wrote, a little too gleefully, "Basically, about seven people were actually excited about the venture — all of them political pundits. Actual voters couldn't care less."

Seven is a pretty unfair exaggeration, but, yes, it has seemed unlikely for awhile now that their well-funded venture would live up to initial hopes. Oh, and who are these pundits Krugman was referring to? Oh yes, his Times colleague Tom Friedman. No wonder these two don't seem to get along.

Here's the full Americans Elect memo (via Talking Points Memo):

There is a desire among Delegates and millions of Americans who have supported Americans Elect to see a credible candidate emerge fromthis process.

However, the rules, as developed in consultation with the Americans Elect Delegates, are clear. As of this week, no candidate achieved the national support threshold required to enter the Americans Elect Online Convention in June. The primary process for the Americans Elect nomination has come to an end.

Americans Elect, from the outset, has been a rules-based process, with the rules publicly available and open to debate by the Delegates. Our key priorities have been to: 1) honor the trust Americans Elect has built with the Delegates and American public; 2) require candidates to earn the nomination by building support among the Americans Elect Delegate community and American voters; and 3) create a basis for a solid future for the Americans Elect movement.

This decision honors these priorities.

Through the efforts of thousands of staffers, volunteers and leadership, Americans Elect has achieved its operational goals, including:
·       Creating a pathway for nationwide ballot access for a balanced presidential ticket
        unaffiliated with the nominating process of either major party to compete in the
        2012 race;
·       Building the technological platform for the first nonpartisan secure national online
        primary at AmericansElect.org;
·       Attracting a significant base of more than 4 million supporters, including Delegates,
        petition signers and volunteers;
·       Educating the national and local media on the Americans Elect mission; and
·       Finishing an extensive candidate briefing program involving more than 100
        potential candidates.

As always, we thank everyone who has helped build this organization and are grateful for the work, efforts, and trust so many people have placed in Americans Elect. We are continuing the Americans Elect mission of creating more choice in our political system, giving candidates unaffiliated with the nominating process of either major party an authentic way to run for office and giving the American people a greater voice in our political process.

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