Conservative Independent Candidate if Trump Wins Nomination?

Nate Silver coyly suggests that establishment conservatives might consider running some true believer for President if Trump wins the GOP nomination.

The practical effect of this would be to guarantee a Democratic win (Silver thinks even a Naderesque level of support for such a candidate would make a Trump win virtually impossible), but this might be viewed as a lesser evil. It would create a theoretical chance that a conservative Republican could be elected in 2020, whereas a Trump victory could lead to them losing control of the party permanently.

Thoughts? Would this work? Would it be a good idea? Would our conservative Dopers consider voting for such a candidate?

My thoughts are that it looks like a pretty good idea (especially the part about guaranteeing a Democratic win;)), and I hope they run with it. I’m optimistic that it will, since it would only take a small faction of conservatives to make it happen, not a general consensus.

If Trump wins the nomination the best plan for them would be to let him lose entirely on his own, if you give him the excuse of a third party run he will be back next election and even if he doesn’t win he’ll just do the same trick to them and run third party. The only thing that nips this Trump thing in the bud is a catastrophic loss that he has no excuse for.

The problem with this idea is the lack of a clearly-suitable candidate. The GOP simply has no conservative-consensus star, at the moment, short of some secret lab having cloned a young Reagan.

Didn’t Bloomberg say he’d run?

The other problem is getting a third party candidate on the ballot. Getting someone on the ballot in Texas involves approximately 80,000 signatures of people who didn’t vote in their primaries - and getting it done by early May. That’s a fairly high bar to clear - and if it were a small blue state, you could ignore it - but you can’t ignore Texas in that play - even if its a play for show knowing you are going to lose.

Well, if they had such a star, they wouldn’t be in this position. And I don’t think anyone who hopes to develop into such a star would be willing to undertake this suicide mission. It would need to be someone with conservative credentials but no political future…Romney? Remember, it doesn’t have to be a great candidate, just someone who can siphon off 10% of the Republican base.

Ah, that is a real problem, though there’s always the write-in option.

IIRC correctly he said that he might run if both Trump and Sanders were nominated. Clearly the one thing that matchup would need is a third grumpy old white guy from NYC.:stuck_out_tongue:

I don’t know about the Republican “establishment,” but I predict that if Trump gets the nomination there will be a lot of Republicans who will be desperate for an acceptable 3rd party candidate to vote for rather than Donald or Hillary.

This is just the break the McCain campaign has been waiting for!

Now that Trump appears to be the presumptive nominee, this is my wife’s favorite question to our conservative friends and associates we see socially. Who will you vote for: Trump or Clinton? So far she is 100% on the squirm factor for all respondents, with about half saying they would begrudgingly vote Trump and the other half saying they couldn’t say now or they wouldn’t vote. A vote for a 3rd party conservative candidate would be a vote for Hillary, but it might be a way to ease certain people’s consciences.

. . . But, how is it that none of them are actual Trump supporters?

Why couldn’t you ignore Texas? The idea is just to siphon off a few votes in Pennsylvania, Florida, and New Mexico to make sure Trump’s run is spoiled. Texas is largely irrelevant.