Howard Schultz for president?

Howard Schultz for president?
Starbucks founder and CEO Howard Schultz is a leader in the world of coffee, but could he soon become the leader of the free world?

A prominent non-profit organization called Americans Elect doesn't think that's such a far-fetched idea.

The organization is running its own online election to find a third-party candidate who can buck next year's presidential race. And this isn't just an Internet popularity contest either, because Americans Elect is also collecting signatures to put the winner on actual ballots. Officials say they already have enough signatures to get on the ballot in California, and their goal is to eventually have their candidate on every ballot in the country.

Political analysts now say Schultz could top the list of Americans Elect candidates, joining other high profile politicians such as Hillary Clinton and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Schultz recently sent out a politically-charged letter to fellow business moguls calling on them not to give out campaign contributions, and there's been a presidential buzz surrounding him ever since.

Political analyst Ron Dotzauer said a strong third-party candidate, such as past contenders Ross Perot and Ralph Nader, could do a lot of damage in next year's election.

"Who does he or she hurt by jumping into this race as a third party candidate?" he said.

While he can envision a potential spoiler entering the race, Dotzauer doesn't think it will be Schultz, and neither does Starbucks.

Reached for comment, a company spokesperson said Schultz has no plans to run for political office.

Americans Elect hopes to have their candidate finalized by next June.