"I wouldn't want to join a party that doesn't want me" A hypothetical Four-Way Presidential Race

I don’t think it’s controversial to state that Donald Trump is hated by the Republican Party and Bernie Sanders is not the candidate of choice for the Democratic Party, even if we might quibble over the reasons those things are true.

What would happen if Sanders and Trump both ran as independents?

Sanders and Trump both are able to raise and/or spend the money it takes to compete for the Presidency, plus if both candidates are running as independents, neither can be accused of throwing the election to the other party.

Tossing aside how likely or unlikely this is, how would a four-way race with each candidate on the ballot in every state go?

I personally think such a scenario favors Clinton over the other three in a general election, mainly because I think that Trump would take more Republicans than Bernie would siphon off Democrats and independent voters would probably not as a whole favor one person much more than another, but I am open to other theories.

Also, would such a thing be good for this country’s democracy, actually getting away from the two-party dominance, or bad since it might mean that a president be elected with only a third of the country’s support? How would the electoral college handle such a thing?

“How would the electoral college handle such a thing?” If no candidate got a majority, they wouldn’t have to. It would go to the House, with each state, regardless of population, getting one vote, and wouldn’t that be fun. The states would be limited to picking from the top three, so at least there’d be one odd man (or woman, out.) The Senate would pick the VP.

Electors are theoretically bound to vote as their state did, but I bet there’d be wheelin’ and dealin’ to get somebody to 270.

One would expect Representatives to vote the party line but if you’re from one party and the another candidate won your district, the temptation to follow suit or get booted next time would be pretty strong. I imagine reps would cite either the vote of their district, the vote of their state, or even the total popular vote of the country as rationale for doing whatever the heck they wanted to do anyway.

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Did you just spam my thread?

If both Sanders and Trump ran as independents, it would actually be a 5-way race.

Because the egomaniac known as Michael Bloomberg would convince himself that he could win.

I’ve seen this assertion made many times but I don’t recall seeing anything to back it up.

One thing that I’ve never seen addressed: How is each state’s vote in the House decided? What if the state’s representatives disagree-- How is that disagreement to be resolved? Majority vote amongst the state’s representatives (and what if they’re tied?)? As directed by the state’s legislature? That state isn’t counted in the total? Coin flip?

Aside from water being wet, the fact is that Bernie self-identified as an independent throughout his political career and Trump was a registered Democrat for nearly all of the 00’s. You can go back to Hillary supporting Goldwater but that was in 1964; she has been a Democrat ever since. I don’t think any of the Republican candidates left were ever registered as anything but a Republican.

So, there’s that.

There was a 4-way election in 1948 (Truman-D; Dewey-R; Thurmond-Dixiecrat; Wallace-Progressive), so I’m sure the system could survive another.

On the other hand, the four-way election of 1860 had some fallout.

Yeah, if it had been held down to just Lincoln and Douglas, a lot of fuss could have been avoided.

Nice hypothetical. . .

Trump would take his 30% or so of Republicans and maybe a couple percent of Indys.

I think Sanders would take more of the Democrats, maybe up to 40% or so.

If it’s Rubio/Clinton/Sanders/Trump. . . I think Rubio takes it. He has more middle appeal.

If it’s Cruz/Clinton/Sanders/Trump. . . I think Clinton wins it. Too many of Cruz’s far-righties will go to Trump, and more of the middle will go to Hillary.