Water Cooler 5/6/16 - Third Party Edition

Erick Erickson Working the Phone Lines for a 3rd Party Candidate Today

Erick’s been holding conference calls to gather momentum for a 3rd Party candidate, and is planning two more today, according to an interview in The Hill. Even though May 9th is the deadline to get over 79,000 signatures to get on the Texas ballot, Erickson believes the time is right for a 3rd party candidate to declare:

“It’s an uphill climb, everybody recognizes that, regardless of the route we go, but there are a lot of Republican donors sitting on the sidelines who would rather fund a third party than fund Donald Trump,” said Erickson, who said campaign finance experts within the movement estimate it will cost a minimum of $250 million to fund a third-party bid.

However, ballot access dates may be something that can be successfully challenged in court:

Erickson, however, said there’s a compelling legal case for pushing back the state ballot deadlines until the Republican and Democratic nominating conventions in late July.

Erickson is not afraid to look at Gary Johnson or Rand Paul and the Libertarian Party as a vehicle, since that would ensure a candidate ballot access:

“Everybody is looking at Gary Johnson right now to see where [he] decides to settle on some of these issues,” Erickson said.

He added that Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (R), who dropped his bid for the GOP nomination earlier this year, “would be viable” as well.

Erickson said the key issue is abortion. Any candidate who will at least leave it to the states instead of the federal government to set abortion laws could draw strong support, he said.

Senator Ben Sasse from Nebraska and former Senator Tom Coburn from Oklahoma are also being considered by 3rd-party enthusiasts, although neither has said they would run.

Expect to hear more about the outcome of today’s conference calls in the very near future. If something is going to start to happen, it will probably begin to form very soon.

Via Greg Skidmore and Flickr cc 6871647433_1ecbd0068a_o


David French – Time to Take Another Look at Gary Johnson

The National Review came out with a major article yesterday by David French telling Conservative voters to take another look at Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson:

Good news, disgruntled Americans: As you ponder whether to vote for one of the two most-disliked, dishonest, and morally corrupt politicians ever to run for president — Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton — you just might have a third option. His name is Gary Johnson. He’s a popular two-term former governor of New Mexico. He’s the likely Libertarian party nominee. And he’s set to be on the ballot in the vast majority of states.

French points out that Johnson has a strong two-term record as the governor in a blue state of cutting taxes, balancing the budget, and creating a reserve fund, all while using his veto power hundreds of times. He’s strong on the 2nd Amendment, and to the right of both Clinton and Trump on abortion:

He calls himself pro-choice, but he’s well to the right of Hillary Clinton — supporting late-term abortion bans, parental-notification laws, and opposing public funding for abortion — and he’s indicated that he’d appoint judges “who will interpret the Constitution according to its original meaning.” He also believes Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided because it “expanded the reach of the Federal government into areas of society never envisioned in the Constitution.” In the past, Johnson has indicated that he’d rather leave abortion policy to the states.

However, Johnson has problems for any Conservative voter – BIG problems. On immigration, he’s apparently in favor of expediting the entry process, and on marijuana – well, he is literally “ON” it. And into it:

Johnson, however, is an actual drug user — boasting recently that he’d just consumed “Cheeba Chews,” a form of “marijuana-infused taffy.” (To be fair, he claims that he does not drink alcohol.) But that’s not all, not by a long shot. In 2014, Johnson became a “pot entrepreneur.” He was named the CEO of Cannibas Sativa. The company’s intended products included medicinal oils and — get this — a “cough drop–like” pot candy. Johnson of course tried and endorsed the product, asking, “Why would anybody ever smoke marijuana given this as an alternative?”

Regardless of his problems, French says that now is the time for Gary Johnson to make himself known to Americans. Johnson has built his own multi-million dollar business, has successfully managed a state for an extended period of time (more executive governing experience than either the Republican or Democratic nominee will have), and has an “interesting” take on foreign policy. Johnson will probably never have a better chance to jump into the national spotlight.


1824 Speaks To Us – If No One Gets to 270 Electoral College Votes, it Goes to the House of Representative

Contributor drlorentz posted an interesting review of the Presidential election of 1824 on the Richochet website today, discussing the last time every candidate failed to get a majority of the electoral vote.

A bit of historical background – Candidates that year were Andrew Jackson (the leading vote-getter), John Quincy Adams, William Harris Crawford, and Henry Clay. Interestingly, they all ran to be nominee of the party that had won 6 straight Presidential elections – the Democratic-Republican Party. When the party failed to choose a nominee, the four candidates ran, the Party ceased to exist, and the Democratic Party (under Jackson) and the Whig Party (under Adams and Clay) rose up as the new dominant parties.

When none of the candidates reached the 131 electoral votes needed to win the election, under the terms of the Twelfth Amendment, the election was given to the House of Representatives to decide. Under the Amendment, only the top 3 vote recipients could be voted on – Jackson, Adams, and Crawford. With Clay throwing his support behind Adams (due to his hatred for Jackson), Adams won on the 1st ballot – 13 states, to 7 for Jackson, to 4 for Crawford.

In his post today, drlorentz makes an interesting observation – if a Republican dropout were to run (and possibly Sanders as well), then if the Dems and Republicans could be prevented from taking some major states like Texas, the election could be thrown into the same situation.

Republican-controlled state delegations are a clear majority in the House now, and this would likely remain true even if the Republicans lost the House majority and the House vote didn’t occur until after the 115th Congress is sworn-in on January 3rd. Most Republican House members prefer someone other than Trump — and won’t even consider Hillary Clinton — so they would elect the other guy.

This thinking points to the importance of running a 3rd party candidate who could potentially carry a major state like Texas. Possibly a candidate like Ted Cruz…

JD Rucker at The New Americana today describes how a House of Representatives floor fight could elect a 3rd party conservative:

The vote is divided up equally by state with one vote chosen by the representatives. In other words, California with their army of Congressmen would get one vote for Hillary while Iowa would also get one vote determined by their three Republican and one Democratic Congressman. With 50 total votes (DC doesn’t get one), whoever gets 26 wins.

In a situation where a conservative is able to start pulling support in red states from Trump, the GOP nominee would likely make his predicted shift to the center. There, he could pull states from Clinton, particularly if her email scandal grows. It’s not entirely impossible for a conservative third-party candidate to send the election to the House and have a realistic chance of winning the Presidency.


Thomas Sowell – A Third Party Candidate Needed to Save us from an “Unmitigated Disaster”

Sowell has written a new article on TownHall today, declaring the Trump-Clinton nominations as a disaster of epic proportions, and calling on a 3rd party candidate to save the nation:

What was once feared most by the Republican establishment — a third party candidate for President — may represent the only slim chance for saving this country from a catastrophic administration in an age of proliferating nuclear weapons.

If a third party candidate could divide the vote enough to prevent anyone from getting an electoral college majority, that would throw the election into the House of Representatives, where any semblance of sanity could produce a better president than these two.


A Republican Burning his State Delegate Card

Steve Berman put a video up two days ago of burning his Georgia GOP Delegate card. Read his reasoning on The Resurgent.


Well That’s it for the water cooler today. It’s an open thread so have at it.