Liz Cheney for third-party spoiler candidate?

So I’ve seen Liz Cheney making the rounds promoting her book, most recently on the Today Show this morning, and talking about what a dangerous thing a second trump admin would be for the country.

It occurred to me that she might just be perfect to play a spoiler candidate-- other than her public damnation of trump, her conservative credentials are solid. If she ran as a third party “sane conservative choice” candidate, she wouldn’t have a chance of winning, but could possibly draw enough votes away from a very likely trump Republican candidacy to derail his reelection chances.

It would also give her more of a platform to share her anti-trump views than just a book tour, and who knows, maybe even eventually repair her political career by establishing herself in a trumpless future (he won’t be around forever, even though it seems that way) as the only ‘brave conservative’ who was willing to stand up to him.

Not that I believe it will happen, just proposing it as a thought experiment. Dumb idea, even as a pure hypothetical?

She would be the perfect spoiler candidate. But she’s not interested in political suicide - I think she’s hiding her time and trying to restore the GOP back into the realm of what it was during pre-Trump times, and run as a legitimate candidate then.

What Republican would vote for her?
What Democrat would vote for her?

Democrats wouldn’t vote for her.

I’m thinking maybe she would get some conservative independents who might have otherwise held their noses and voted for trump, and Republicans who don’t like trump (there are a few of those; my sister and BIL are two of them). As I said she’d have no hope of winning, but might draw enough votes away from trump to derail his election chances.


More likely they would vote for a true Moderate.

I just don’t see Liz getting many votes so as spoiler it would have to be a true purple state and a close election with EVs.

I don’t think right-of-center voters are nearly as dedicated to protest-style votes as lefties are. IOW, we may see a lot of lefties voting for Jill Stein knowing she can’t win, but probably not many righties doing the same for Cheney. They’ll fall in line to vote for the GOP nominee, even if they revile Trump, or they simply won’t vote at all.

There’s also the chance that moderates who’d otherwise vote for Biden as the not-Trump would choose Chyeney instead.

Well, yeah, exactly; the whole idea is that she draws votes away from trump, and not from the 2024 Dem candidate.

Whether or not she could draw many votes away from trump, that is the question.

Yeah, true, that could be an unintended consequence.

I know at least one person that voted for Trump twice that would vote for Liz Cheney in a heartbeat. Not that it matters much, as NJ will vote the Dem Candidate over Trump no matter who the would be spoilers are.

I do think there are a segment of Republicans and ex-Republicans that won’t vote Biden or probably any other leading Dem that would vote Cheney, but I suspect most of them are in very Blue States and so would be making a minor protest without result.

But even in making a protest vote, they show the world: There are people who will vote Republican, but won’t vote MAGA. One of the big reasons the MAGAs are running roughshod over the rest of their party is the perception that if the party isn’t MAGA enough, they’re all doomed. Knowing that there’s a contingent of traditional GOP voters still out there might give the non-MAGA members of the party enough backbone to start pushing back.

Unlikely, sure, but possible, and worth giving it a shot, were Cheney to decide to take one for the country.

She supported most of what Trump wanted though, didn’t she? I’d support her as a spoiler as long as there wasn’t any chance she’d win. Does “I voted against Trump” really give her enough fuel for a spoiler run?

There are Republicans that respect her for standing up to Trump and think she has a lot of integrity. The whole thing is a little Ironic to me as her father was an evil puppet master to Shrub, but that is another story.

Yes, I wouldn’t want her to win, but there’d be little or no chance of that.

But even if she did somehow win, she’d still be a better choice than trump, despite supporting most of his policies. She at least likely wouldn’t be weaponizing the Justice Dept. and trying to subvert elections.

And her first term in office would be taken up almost completely by trying to fix the shit Trump pulled, and trying to rally the more extreme parts of her party to her banner. She wouldn’t have the time or political capital to make many real changes such as Republicans would want.

It wouldn’t be as good as a second Biden term, or any other Democrat’s term, but it would still be an overall improvement over Trump.

Maybe, somehow, Liz could get her father to invite Trump to go hunting?

I think what is lost here is people tend to protest by voting more extreme than more moderate. The Democrats protest by voting Jill Stein and Ralph Nader. The Republicans protest by voting Pat Buchanan and Pat Robertson. The idea of protesting to the middle simply doesn’t exist in our electorate enough to make any difference.

Do you remember Anderson in 1980?

Nader in 2000 was different, not more extreme.

Was Perot in 1992 actually more extreme? I don’t think so.

ETA: @Saint_Cad 2 posts up.


A LOT of what drew the huge R turnout for trump was exactly that he was more extreme. Extreme in a weird 3rd dimensional direction that did not exactly align with the traditional 2-dimensional left/right axis, but it was the extremity that drove then, and still drives now, his raging popularity.

So would you say Trump was a protest vote that won? Like Jesse Ventura in Minnesota?

Normally I’d agree, but nothing about the trump Presidency or candidacy is normal.

Liz as spoiler only matters in a few, key states. If she can pull just a few R votes away from Trump, those are votes for Biden/Harris. She does not need to win, and she does not need to turn blue states red. She needs to shave-off juuust enough R votes to deny Trump the EC votes in a few key states - Biden’s win in those states was in the 10’s of thousands or less last time.

I think she can do that - I think there are many voters who would never vote for Biden, but gag at the idea of having to vote for Trump (but will). They can in good conscience vote for a Republican even if their vote is throw-away. Cheney-Christie ticket, anyone?