Clinton runs as independent?

A friend just posed this hypothetical: Sanders wins Dem nomination. Clinton runs as independent, vowing to go back to Dems when she wins. What happens?

Two scenarios - Clinton v Sanders v Trump, and Clinton v Sanders v “ordinary” Republican candidate.

Can she raise enough money? Can she win from the centre? What would the Dems do when faced with a renegade? How many R voters would pick her over Trump?

Can she? I would have that was being excluded somehow, either legally or contractually.

She wouldn’t. That is all.

She might actually. In a three way race with say, Sanders, Trump, and Clinton, I think anything you could imagine in the electoral college would be possible. Bloomberg could come into the race too (his impact I suspect will be small, maybe Nader 2000 at best and only then because he’s worth $40bn and can force himself some votes.)

Or, maybe Trump wins a plurality of the GOP’s delegates but they give it to Cruz or even an establishment guy like Bush and angry Trump goes third party out of pure spite. So then you could have a four way match up between Bernie / Clinton / Trump / {Cruz/Bush/Rubio}. It’s not unprecedented and you saw things like this sometimes in the first 50-60 years of American history. It’d likely lead to a House of Representatives election which could end up being very troubling.

Clinton is an incredibly ambitious woman, I don’t think she’d intentionally tank the Democratic party, but if she saw any kind of opening in a three way race she’d take it.

As for questions above–no, there is no legal bar to this. The registration date for the general election in all states is a long time from now, she has more than enough time to get on the ballots of all 50 states as an independent. The earliest filing deadline for General is Texas on 5/9/2016.

My crazy four way scenario that might lead to a House election I think Clinton wouldn’t be part of that, because she wouldn’t deliberately put the election in the House, but a lot of independents who don’t vote in Democratic primaries are going to have a real problem with Bernie once the GOP gets a hold of him. They only have to Mondale him–just repeatedly run ads showing nothing but what Bernie has actually said, he will increases taxes on middle class families by 10% or more, and will expand government spending by tens of trillions. They will repeat that over and over with $1b+ in Super PAC funding. Bernie also is going to be in a real tough position. If he is legit to his values, then unlike Obama he won’t be able to take big donor money from industry as a general election candidate. He also will not be able to form a Super PAC. Obama did both of those things in 2012, and in 2008 he took a lot of big donor donations in the general after being fueled in the primary by small donations like Sanders today.

If Sanders isn’t willing to get on that money train he will be tremendously outspent in every State with negative ads about his tax hikes, and if the Republican candidate is Trump–a man with insanely high unfavorability ratings, there’s a genuine chance that Clinton could run as a third party candidate and win.

Yea, this. The Clinton’s are basically the face of the modern Democratic party as an institution. They’ve spent decades building it up from what was left of it after the Reagan/Bush victories. There’s no way Hillary would want to seperate herself from that legacy, and even is she did want to, her brand is way to wrapped up with that of the party to make her viable outside of it.

No, she wouldn’t. No chance. She’d kick and scream all the way to the convention (in the unlikely event that it starts to look like she’s going to lose the nomination), but there’s no way she’d torpedo whatever remaining chance of winning the WH for the Democratic party.

Well, this is the last chance she’s going to get, so why not? But no, she probably won’t. Plus she’d have to run to the center, as in a little to the right of her husband’s record, to be plausible. It just wouldn’t be believable after she’s tried to run so hard to the left to cope with Bernie.

If there’s any third party run, it’s going to be Bloomberg.

Good Lord, none of those questions are relevant, because if she split even 10% off the Dem vote, whoever the Republican nominee is would win, and she knows that.

I would have thought. I am dropping words a lot lately. :frowning:

Trump is so horrible that Clinton might actually out-Perot Perot in this scenario and actually pull off a win.

There are many of us who just wouldn’t vote for Bernie. A write in for Hillary or, gawd forbid, a vote for the Donald is the only other option if she doesn’t win the nomination and doesn’t run as an independent.

What about Bloomberg? I’d think that Clinton is closer to Bloomberg than Sanders given their records.

There are a few states (Texas is one) where the “sore loser” law applies to presidential candidates. If you run in one party’s primary, you are legally barred from running as an independent in the general, so the filing deadlines don’t matter.

Yip. All the stuff we say about Trump not being able to win is because he needs nearly 50% of the vote to do so. Clinton has a decent following, so even running independent would siphon off enough of the vote.

Clinton would only run if she wanted Trump to win. As much grief as people give her, she’s not that selfish.

This is preposterous. Bernie won’t win a state.

Prepare for Clinton vs anyonebutTrumpy debates.

This has come up before, but I can’t find the post. Ref this there are a lot of states with sore loser laws, but very few apply to the presidential election.

So an issue, but not a big one.

Dorothy wakes up from her dream and realizes that there’s no place like home.

There are only two possible outcomes in this scenario:

  1. Clinton draws enough votes away from Sanders for the Republican candidate to win outright
  2. No candidate wins a majority in the electoral college, and the House of Representatives elect the Republican candidate as President

All of this talk about a third-party run by any candidate is silly. As we’ve seen in previously elections, the only thing that a third-party candidate achieves is splitting the vote on their side of the political spectrum, which gives victory to the other side.

Clinton is the quintessential conventional centrist establishment candidate. It seems inconceivable that in the race as presently constituted she could be sidelined, but if she was indeed rejected by the Democratic establishment for some reason, it seems even more inconceivable that she could get significant support as an independent in those circumstances. Or, IOW, what John Mace said.

The problem with the hypothetical is that Sanders is winning the nomination only if Hilary does one of the following (presented in approximately decreasing likelihood), none of which will leave her as a viable third-party candidate: a) has a serious health problem such as a debilitating stroke; b) dies; c) gets abducted by aliens; d) fulfills the GOP’s wet dreams by getting indicted for having bludgeoned Vince Foster to death using the illegal email server where she hid the secret orders for security to stand down on Benghazi.