Dick’s Sporting Goods CEO Ed Stack is reportedly eyeing a late-entry into the 2020 presidential election as a potential third-party candidate.
According to Politico, Stack is “testing the waters” on a potential bid and is asking voters in Wisconsin what they think of a potential three-way match up with him versus President Trump and Joe Biden or Elizabeth Warren.
The focus group, according to a source who took part in the testing, ran through varying themes involving Stack and heavily focused on his example of “showing leadership” by halting the sale of assault-style rifles at all of Dick’s Sporting Goods stores in the wake of the high school massacre in Parkland, Fla.
The prospect of a well-funded, third-party candidate could have a significant impact in a race where Trump is expected to be unable to win a majority of the popular vote. In 2016, Trump won just 46 percent against Hillary Clinton and has consistently scored below 50 percent in national polls.
The source reportedly commented that Stack, who is 64, looked like another aged candidate competing against what may likely be the oldest pair of presidential candidates in U.S. history.
“[Focus group members] mentioned that if Biden’s getting the criticism that he looked old, Ed Stack didn’t look young either,” the focus group participant reportedly said. The individual noted that some people expressed Stack “didn’t have the charisma it would take to attract a coalition that you’d need to have a chance as a third-party candidate.”
Here’s more, from Politico:
Stack has taken on a higher media profile in recent weeks, coinciding with the release of a new book, titled “It’s How We Play the Game.” This week, Stack took aim at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for failing to make headway on gun reform.
“I wish he’d have the guts to bring it to a vote,” Stack said.
Joe Hunter, an adviser to Gary Johnson’s Libertarian Party presidential bids in 2012 and 2016 said he has heard Stack’s “name come up” in discussions about a possible run for president.
But he cautioned about the uphill battle of landing on state ballots for any third party candidate.
“It’s massive; all the structural, institutional barriers are really, really difficult … Absent having extraordinary resources, it would be difficult to put it together.”