What if another Republican ran as an independent?

Suppose Trump gets the nomination; what would happen if another Republican ran as an independent? If he (she) called themselves The Real Republicans, could they pull enough Republican votes from those who are dissatisfied with Trump, plus conservative independents to mount a credible challenge to Hillary?

The way I see it, if Trump is nominated, the party is screwed. If Trump isn’t nominated, he will run as an independent, and the party is screwed. There is nothing to lose by trying a Trumpless independent run, and if Hillary stumbles, or is damaged in the Democratic primaries, could that provide an opening for an independent Republican?

I’m pretty sure there’s not enough potentially conservative voters. The more candidates that might appeal to conservative voters, the better for the Democratic candidate. If Trump is nominated, the best (and only) hope for the Republicans is to rally around him and pray (and he probably will still lose in a landslide). If Trump runs 3rd party, then they have even less hope, but the only remaining hope would be to dig like madmen into Trump’s past and try and find something disqualifying.

I think the chance that Trump will be nominated by the Republicans is about 20% or so – and if he’s not nominated, then his chances of a 3rd party run are probably about 33% (something like 10% if Cruz is the nominee, and 50-70% if not, IMO).

Many states have a “sore loser” statute that prevents a candidate who lost in a primary election from then being on the ballot as an independent in the General Election. In other words, if Trump wins the nomination, no other candidates who still had their name on the primary ballot can then also be on the general election ballot as an independent. Likewise, if Trump starts to lose primary elections, he can all of a sudden jump ship and run as an independent in November.

If the Republicans are screwed this cycle regardless, then they need to be looking at how to unscrew themselves for the next cycle. One can see how renouncing Trump might help with that.

The Republicans are going to have a bitch of time winning this time even without the headache of an Independent challenger. Throw that monkey wrench into the works and they don’t stand a chance.

But, I don’t think Trump will run as an Independent. That sounds more like wishful thinking than anything else.

I have a dear friend from college who, unfortunately, grew up a die-hard Republican. She’s not one of the crazy ones, much more of a traditional establishment Republican. A few months back she said she’d taken some kind of pledge to vote for whichever candidate won the GOP nomination, grudgingly admitting she’d hold her nose and vote for Trump if he were the nominee.

I don’t know if her opinion may have changed given the Donald’s recent more fascistic bellowings, but … I think there is a very significant group of GOP voters like her. If Trump becomes the nominee, they’ll vote for him (or, perhaps, not vote at all). They won’t deliver their votes to some other independent candidate running as a “Real Republican” or “New Republican” or whatever. Anyone trying that tactic would be doomed to fail, and would absolutely sew up the White House for the Democrats in 2016.

Trump isn’t going to run as an independent. He isn’t about to throw good money after bad, he has to realize that his best chance to win, if he even wants to, is to run as the nominee.

Likewise, no Republican is going to bolt and run as an independent should Trump win. They know it would be a fool’s errand. Their best strategy should Trump win the nomination would be to pour money in the downticket races and concede the White House.

Ben Carson blasts RNC, threatens to leave Republican Party

It really doesn’t matter if Trump is the Republican candidate and not-Trump runs as an independent, or not-Trump is the nominee and Trump runs as an independent. Either way you have two candidates competing for the voters who won’t vote for the Democrat.

I think a more entertaining imaginary exercise is “What if Sanders ran as an independent against Hillary and Trump?” Would he be the anti-Trump protest candidate and cost Hillary those voters?

A worthy topic for another thread.

Not sure about other states, but here in NC you cannot run 3rd party if you already ran in a party primary.

So they would have to go rogue before the first primary?

According to Wikipedia only four states have neither “Sore-loser” laws, or same deadline registration laws.

In essence you’re talking about a national version of what Joe Lieberman did to win his last Senate election. Could work, I suppose, but don’t forget that in that election the Republicans basically laid down and died. Not going to happen with the Dems and Hillary.

If you trace the cites in that article, it is indicated that that is a Wikipedia article that is simply crying out to be re-written. I can’t find anything in the cites that supports the claim.

I can’t imagine any conservative-leaning third candidate not sinking a Republican candidate. (It goes without saying that the third candidate is already sunk.) Modern elections are just too close. Losing even 5% of the votes you’d normally expect would be enough to kill you off.

The same would be true for a Democrat’s chances with a liberal-leaning third candidate.

Presidential elections work completely differently, and there are many fewer states with sore loser laws for the presidential election.

No, the money and support wouldn’t be there. The big money men are perfectly fine with backing the warmonger Clinton this round.

As compared to all the warmonger GOP candidates?

How about we go all-in?

Clinton and (Rubio or Cruz or ???) are the traditional big party candidates, and both Sanders & Trump try their luck as independents.

So we have a 4-way race with candidates arrayed from loony-left to middle-left to middle-right to loony-right. (For 2016 USA values of “loony” and “middle”; not that any other country would recognize the borders where we seem to. :eek:)

Again fodder for another thread. Although this is so far-fetched as to be pure fantasy. The leverage applied to stop whoever would be the 4th independent from splitting that team’s vote would be incredible and irresistable.