People don’t like Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. Both of them are likely going to be the nominees for the Republican and Democrat Parties respectively. It really is something to witness as poll after poll shows both of them with very high unfavorable ratings. When asked people are saying their votes are being driven in large part by voting against the other candidate instead of in support of their own.
In a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll, Donald Trump’s unfavorable rating sits at 60% while Hillary Clinton’s sits at 53%. We are looking at an election where two major party candidates are so unfavorable, the public is willing to give a third party candidate a good chance of making a big difference. This number sticks out, big time:
Indeed, half of each candidate’s supporters are negative voters, saying they oppose the other candidate more than they support their own choice. Fewer than half on either side back their candidate strongly. And while 51 percent of Americans say they’d be satisfied with a Clinton-Trump race, 44 percent say they’d want a third-party candidate to run.
Forty-four percent is not a small number. The potential for a third party candidate to jump into the race and have a major impact is something the country has not seen since 1992. Ross Perot won 19% of the popular vote that year and might have been able to win a state or two if he didn’t flake out, drop out of the race in mid-July and re-enter the race in October.
And yet he still won 19% of the popular vote.
Perot’s other mistake was he tried to run a 50 state campaign. With the crazy we have seen in this election, almost anything is possible. Therefore, if a candidate is going to try and make this happen, they would only need to focus on some key states. The intent being to win enough states in order to make it so that neither Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton reach 270 electoral votes. The election would then be decided by the House of Representatives. It is not unheard of. John Quincy Adams was elected President in 1824 after the House decided the election under the provision of the 12th amendment to the constitution. There is precedent for this happening.
But this is a small window of opportunity and it is closing. The big question that comes to mind is:
Who will it be?
Names have been floated such as Ben Sasse, Gen. James Mattis, Tom Coburn and Mitt Romney to be the ones to carry the torch. Thus far, Sasse, Mattis and Coburn have all said no.
That leaves Mitt Romney.
Romney has the name recognition, could raise the money needed to truly compete. In The Daily Caller, Jamie Weinstein writes this could the legacy that really leaves a mark for Romney:
It’s strange to think that Romney as the last best hope for conservatism. Many conservatives weren’t exactly thrilled with him as the 2012 Republican nominee because of the health care plan he instituted in Massachusetts. But in the age of a Trumpian Republican Party, Romney looks a lot like Attila the Hun. He may not be “severely” conservative, but unlike Donald Trump, he is at least something of a conservative — one that understands the importance of America’s role in the world, the need to fix our entitlement programs, the constraints of our constitutional system and how to create an environment where our economy can soar.
This is true. More importantly, unlike both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, Mitt Romney is fit to hold the office of the Presidency.
One has to wonder if Mitt Romney can do enough to win just enough states to keep Trump and Clinton from getting to 270, would the House pull the trigger and select Mitt Romney? You can bet that Trump and his supporters will be bellowing from the rooftops the moment Romney gets in the race, should he do it. If this election were to go to the House? Trump would attempt to burn things down.
It’s worth the chance. Turning the party over to Donald Trump is going to cause damage to the GOP that will be difficult to recover from. Hillary Clinton will be a disaster as President.
The time has come for a third party run.