The "throw the election" scenario

So let’s say the Republicans head into the convention without anyone having a majority of delegates. Trump has warned, as have many other observers, that giving the nomination to someone else would tear the party apart. But nominating Trump also tears the party apart. So I expect there may be at least some talk of a third option:

Instead of placing new names into nomination after the first couple of ballots, or trying to maneuver delegates to support either Cruz or Trump, the party lobbies delegates to stick to their commitment. The chair calls for as much as a dozen votes, but no one wins a majority. So the convention disbands, with no candidate. A halfhearted effort to back Gary Johnson by many in the establishment gets started, but really, Clinton is pretty much uncontested and beats Johnson by about 15 points.

Does just throwing the election to Clinton by not naming a nominee while the party is so divided a better option for Republicans than nominating someone? I have to wonder if at this point it might not be the best available option. The party is just too divided to get fully behind any candidate at this point. That has to be sorted out before we can move forward.

I know that it is just pie in the sky, but I am hoping for a similar outcome to the election of 1856. The Whig party was in disarray due to infighting between two factions, which allowed a third party (the Republicans) to gain traction, and actually finish second by electoral votes. This set up 1860, where the Republicans won the elections. The only difference is that today’s Libertarian Party can actually act to unite the country instead of the dividing it as the election of Lincoln did back then. Disclaimer I understand the disdain for libertarian ideals that exists on the Dope, but as governor of New Mexico, Gary Johnson did not try to implement a Randian Utopia. He cut government, cut taxes, while fighting vigorously for civil rights.

Works for me. :wink:

No part of this scenario is plausible. They will nominate someone, if only to get their diehard base to show up and vote downballot. There will never by any mention by Gary Johnson or any other libertarian in any event. Should the election boil down to Hillary vs a libertarian, she wins by 80 points.

No. Not if it’s just her and Johnson. Johnson is no fringe candidate. If he was the only option and was backed by the big money donors because there was no official GOP candidate, he’d get 40% of the vote at minimum.

Good point though about the downballot races. However, I’ve accounted for that. Lose the 2016 election by not having a candidate and it’s almost like a mulligan in terms of perceptions, whereas nominate Trump and the GOP is the party of Trump until it proves it isn’t. I’d rather lose one race than have the spectre of Trump hang over the party for the next several cycles.

It’s the downballot races that will keep this from occurring. A 3rd party conservative to challenge Trump is far more likely – that way, all the Republicans actually have someone to motivate them to come out and vote for.

True. And someone for downballot candidates to support and be seen with. But how plausible is a 3rd party effort started in July? Aren’t most states’ ballot deadlines after that point? I was led to believe that Johnson is the only Republican in the race guaranteed to be on the ballot in all 50 states. Seems like the best bet is for all the anti-Trumpers to just endorse Johnson.

Ted Rall at socialist site Counterpunch writes in Trump is Positioned to Win the Presidency,


So his dazzling conclusion?


RAll’s still writing? He always was a special one.:slight_smile:

But I do get his disgust with both frontrunners. There are great people in both parties ready to ascend to the Presidency. I guess the 24/7 media is just making it impossible to run now unless you’re already a big name. Which means we may never have a good President again.

Clinton and Sanders both poll as beating Trump soundly. Sanders might beat him even more soundly, but both still beat him. An eight-point advantage is huge.

Just ftr, Obama almost never led Romney in the polls by more than three points. And you know what happened.

This could be there break that the Libertarian Party has been waiting for!!

Considering that 17 people who either (a) had been at least a Senator or Governor, or (b) polled well into double digits at some point during the campaign, ran for the GOP nomination: sorry, we’ve already seen the GOP’s ‘deep bench’ and it pretty much sucked.

Who didn’t run who should have? Ex-Gov. Ehrlich of Maryland? Gov. Snyder of Michigan? (Man, he would have been good.) Gov. Brownback of Kansas? (The matter with Kansas? That Brownback has been in charge.) The yahoos who’ve been running North Carolina into the ground? Yeah, they’d be good too.

If the GOP establishment really believed that Trump was the sort of monster who must be stopped at all costs, nominating nobody would be a simple way to stop him.

But they don’t believe that, no matter what they say. They’ve consistently left themselves plenty of room to support him if he wins the nomination, and they will if he does.

Actually, they may be better off downballot with no Presidential candidate than if they’re saddled with The 4Chan Thread That Walks Like A Man. With T4TTWLaM as the face of the party, the downballot candidates would have to either embrace him (alienating everyone outside his peanut-gallery base) or distance themselves from him (opening the way for a local third-party candidate to ride the clown coattails to 10-20% of the vote instead of the 1-2% they would normally get).

Anyone who thinks forty percent of the voters will vote libertarian is sniffing glue. If somehow no Republican decided to run, Hillary Clinton would get at least ninety percent of the votes (albeit in a record low turnout). Gary Johnson would hit an all time high for a Libertarian presidential candidate with around five percent. All the other fringe candidates would collect the other few percent.

But it wouldn’t happen that way. If the Republican Party refused to name an official candidate, some Republican would run as an independent and declare himself the unofficial standard bearer for the GOP.

And all Americans should never let them get away with the naked hypocrisy; Trump is really like Palin with more money and the Republicans that criticized him before, that now will appear to support him, should make all Americans nauseous.

good point. The last truly uncontested election was during the “Era of Good Feelings” was when James Monroe won 80% of the vote.

I don’t quite think that could happen. I’d say 2016 winds up more like 1952 or 1956, not in the sense of going against a national hero, but for putting up a sacrificial lamb. Stevenson knew he had zero chance of winning anything.

Actually, angling for the Libertarian nomination would be an easier path to ballot access at this point than starting a whole new “really truly proper genuine Republican” run. If somebody with halfway decent name recognition as a relatively non-crazy Republican did that, he’d get twentysomething percent of the vote (nowhere near enough to win, of course). It would add another little bit of collateral damage for the GOP, in that the LP would then have a much easier time getting on future ballots (state laws allow prior election performance to serve as a substitute for petitioning, since that’s the only legal way to get the result “the Democrats and Republicans don’t have to jump through the hoops we put up for everybody else”).

Looks like even with Trump the current trend is looking as if the Republicans are throwing the election.

FOX came with the most recent poll having Trump behind Hillary by 11 points.

But that is FOX that, IIRC, has a partizan for a pollster; I have noticed that their polls are usually putting the democrats’ advantage in lower numbers.

And it could be, the Huffington poll aggregator also just posted the most recent Bloomberg one, it has Clinton now ahead by 18 points.

(Scroll down for the FOX and Bloomberg ones -as of 3/24/2016)