Let’s be honest about any kind of third party or independent Presidential run: It’s to play spoiler and not for any real chance of winning outright. Although the climate is ripe for it and hasn’t been this way since 1992, it’s still a super long shot.
The best thing any independent candidate can hope to do is perhaps win several states that could potentially throw the election to the House of Representatives. While that seems unlikely, who knows what can happen in this crazy election cycle? The Politico Playbook is saying the following:
Members of the conservative intelligentsia aching for a Republican to run independent against Trump have concluded that there is “a difficult but viable path” for an independent, based largely on the unusual unpopularity of the two nominees.
A well-known conservative told us the final three possibilities are Sen. Ben Sasse, age 44, of Nebraska; former Sen. Tom Coburn, 68, of Oklahoma; and Mitt Romney, 69.
This conservative told us to expect renewed buzz around this possibility over the next week, and sees “a 50-50 chance that one of the three will do it.”
As much as Ben Sasse has been vocal in his opposition to the Trump candidacy, he risks nuking his career as a Republican by launching an independent bid for President. I see him more working the inside game and being the GOP face of the #NeverTrump movement.
People love Mitt Romney but conservatives are still wary of him. For Romney, there would be some strong ideological opposition to him running and he likely would not garner enough support to the spoiler in any states.
Tom Coburn on the other hand, would be the one who could really throw a wrench into Donald Trump’s presidential aspirations. Coburn, an easy going fiscal and social conservative has been a favorite of both the establishment and the conservative grassroots his entire time in Congress. Coburn year to year released what he called ‘The Wastebook’ showing just how much money was being spent by Congress on total garbage.
I for one would love to see Coburn leap in and do this but alas, I think the odds are much worse than 50-50. Coburn is 68 years old and has battled three different types of cancer in the last five years. He may just want to enjoy his retirement.
Time is running out though. In fact, if this happens, there will have to be a court challenge in Texas as the deadline has already passed to be on the ballot there in November. Whoever decides to do this has to raise money fast, put together a team and hit the ground running. It’s a tall order.
But it would be so much fun to watch.