I’m with Al Hunt: The Americans Elect third party plan is a quixotic way to make the two major political parties hew more closely to the sensible middle. More importantly, it’s completely unecessary.
Creating a national third party is a Brobdingnagian task. If one had the millions of motivated moderate voters and millions of dollars to make a run at forming a “middle of the road” party, there is a far more efficient strategy to pursue: Organize people to vote in the primaries of the major parties for whichever candidate is less extreme. If the primaries aren’t open, disaffected independents will have to hold their nose and enroll in whichever one they consider more crazy.
Not many people vote in primaries, and as the Tea Party activists have shown a small, organized group can use this fact to shift a party’s center of gravity. If Americans Elect used its resources and its subscriber base to create an Internet-based service (supported by a good research team) that sent out millions of “who is less extreme in your district” bulletins during primary season, it could have more impact more quickly than it ever will trying to create a national third party from scratch.