Could Republicans run third party against Trump?

I just read a rumor that if Trump wins, Republicans could run a third party against Trump to split the vote and cause Hillary to win. This sounds far fetched but they, but maybe not so far fetched because they are running adds against Trump. Also, professional gamblers betting odds on international sites are that Hillary wins 70% trump loses 20%. So is it possible that Republicans could nominate someone to run against Trump?


There is no legal obstacle to them doing so, and a significant percentage of them are appalled by Trump.

It’s possible, but (a) unlikely, (b) who are they going to run that people will take seriously enough to consider voting for, and © with what rationale?

If the Republican establishment, as it were, feels Trump is too heinous to be allowed to be the Republican nominee, it has options. If Trump fails to win 1237 votes, they can swallow their disgust and with any luck, convince the Kasich and Rubio delegates that Cruz is the lesser of evils. And just take the hit from losing the votes of a good deal of Trump supporters.

Alternatively, they could decree a stalemate if nobody can get 1237 votes, and simply not have a top of the ticket.

And if Trump has >1237 delegates after California votes, then the party could change its mind about holding a convention, period. (Again, no nominee.)

IOW, if Trump is so awful that he must be opposed to the extent of running against him in the fall, then there’s no reason NOT to pull out all stops to prevent him from being the nominee in the first place.

But while there’s a lot of talk from various GOP operatives about how Trump is a demagogue who must be stopped, it’s funny how few of them will say they won’t support him if he wins the nomination. So when push comes to shove, it looks like they’ll be at least nominally getting behind Trump.

A very simple rule change could handle that: Require that the winning candidate must get a majority in two consecutive roll calls. That way, delegates could fulfill their duty to vote for him in the first round, but be free to block him afterwards.

The big question would be ballot access for their chosen “third-party” candidate. They’d almost be better off getting behind someone like Gary Johnson (former Republican) on the Libertarian ticket or whatever nut is running on one of the other right-wing third-party tickets.

Wouldn’t it be cheaper and easier for them to just go and vote for Mrs. Bill?

It would be cheaper, but when they have a visceral hatred for all things Clinton and liberal, the fig leaf of voting for a not-Clinton candidate preserves their dignity, even if the outcome is the same.

This would be fun. I bet some of the delegates would try to take advantage of the vacuum and hold a “convention” that would only be partially recognized. You could have a situation where, say, Indiana recognizes the certificate of nomination from the rump convention but Ohio says no. (If Ron Paul was running again, this would definitely happen. His crazy supporters would have loved something like that.)

One of the big reasons to do this is that some Republicans are worried that a Trump nominee could lead to many Republican voters staying home, which could seriously damage down-ballot candidates. If enough Republicans stayed home, then the Democrats would not only win the Senate, but could have a chance to win back the House, unlikely as it is. Providing a reasonable third-party Republican/conservative could motivate these voters to come out and cast a symbolic vote for President, hopeless as it may be, while also voting downballot.

With the exception of a couple of early-deadline states like Texas and North Carolina, you could probably get on the ballot almost everywhere with a June 8 start, if you were ready to go and just waiting to pull the trigger based on the June 7 primary outcomes. Ballotpedia has a good table here summarizing the filing deadlines and signature requirements.

When they talk in aghast tones about how dreadful Trump is, and what a threat to democracy he constitutes, somehow he’s still the lesser of two evils when compared to Hillary.

I so don’t take their talk seriously.

And here’sa bit more of Ryan’s denial:

Sounds pretty definitive to me. Sure, he could always change his mind, like he did with the speakership. But the deal with the speakership was that nobody else with a patina of Reasonableness wanted the job, and somebody had to be Speaker. (What a clown show that was, too! But I digress.)

OTOH, the Presidential nomination IS much sought after, and he’d have to take it away from two or three guys who’ve been campaigning for the job, won a bunch of primaries, and have piled up a lot of delegates. It’s easy to back into a job nobody wants. Not so easy to try to fill a hole that doesn’t exist.

I agree overall, but note the first part of Ryan’s quote is full of “should” not “must”.

The Rs *should *be doing those things. No shit Sherlock. They also *should *be running non-insane candidates and *should *be reality-based. And *should not * be letting random celebrities run under their banner.

Since they’re not doing so good on all my shoulds it seems there’s plenty of room for them to fall short on Ryan’s shoulds too.

So, are you saying that they should have never let the people get involved?

Just forget all those expensive caucuses and primaries?

Just have the elites meet in Cleveland and pick their guy?

You seem to confuse involving the people, which is an excellent idea, with that causing insane candidates. Hint: it doesn’t, or at least doesn’t have to.

You seem to confuse involving the people, which is an excellent idea, with adopting positions based on faith and fantasy not on science & knowledge. Hint: it doesn’t, or at least doesn’t have to.

That’s pretty much how it worked up until the 1970’s. It was called the “smoke-filled room”.

Them starting a third party effort June 8 would sure make for an interesting convention. I suspect Ryan is smart enough to want to stay in Congress and not be involved in this debacle, but it seems that Rick Perry has nothing better to do. The Libertarian Party is on the ballot but don’t choose their candidate until later - I can see the third party Republican going there for a lot of money paid to the Libertarian war chest.
You may not take their talk seriously, and it might never happen, but the fact that the talk is happening and involves the power structure, not a bunch of radical nutcases (well, maybe power structure nut cases) is important enough.

Wouldn’t that cause problems with future ballot access, though? In every state, the Republicans and Democrats both always appear on the ballot, but that’s not due to laws specifying those two parties by name. Usually it’s things like “any party that received more than x% of the vote in the last election”, a bar which is always cleared by both major parties, and only rarely by any third party. If they let that lapse, then they’d have to get back on the ballots the hard way, with a whole bunch of petition signatures and the like. Now, the Republicans surely have the resources to make that possible, but it’d be a lot more effort than they’d want to go through.

It’s also the way it works in the remainder of the democratic world, generally speaking. The US is alone in having a 2 stage elections system where the first stage is constrained by 50 different rules for voter eligibility. I’m not sure how to characterize our primary system, but it sure as heck isn’t democratic.

Thread: Democracies outside of the US: How do parties choose their nominees?

Why are these two words ever even associated?!

Of course, it would be smoke-free nowadays.