Donald Trump, and other candidates, have felt inequity in various ways in the 2016 primaries. Trump fears there will be an attempt to steal a hard-won nomination away from him at the Republican convention. Rumors of a plot to stop Trump are corroborated by journalists and the candidate himself. Other Republican candidates also complained when they were excluded from debates and media coverage. Candidates of both parties feel they were treated unfairly, either by their party or by the media. There are rumors that some of them are investigating the possibility of a third-party run.
Media coverage of Bernie Sanders has been almost non-existent, despite his success as a candidate. Also, the continued counting of Clinton’s superdelegates as part of the primary election coverage gives her the illusion of a huge lead, when in fact the vote is very close, and superdelegates are by nature uncommitted until the convention.
Donald Trump could be the cause of a three-way presidential race, according to USA Today. If he does not get the nomination, he is seriously considering a third party or independent run. Trump has said his unfair treatment by the Republican party establishment would justify an independent or third-party run, according to Inquisitr.
“I signed a pledge but it’s a double-edge pledge, and as far as I’m concerned they’re in default. That means the other side can do what they have to do.”
If Donald Trump does win the nomination, Republicans who oppose Trump’s candidacy may be plotting to find a third party or independent candidate to at least spoil The Donald’s chances. Politico reports that certain GOP donors are researching what it would take to get an ultra conservative third party candidate on the ballot in time for the November election. No one knows however, who this candidate might be. Speculations include Rick Perry and Jeb Bush.
Bernie Sanders told Mediaite back in July that he would not consider running for president as a third party or independent candidate in 2016, no matter how the primaries turn out. He also pledged to support the nominee if he doesn’t win the nomination. Considering Sanders’ reputation and track record, it is doubtful he would change his mind or break his word. Still, it remains a possibility.
Donald Trump, however, says he is ready to explore his options if rejected at the convention. As an independent, it would be virtually impossible to get on the ballot in at least 11 states, registering after the primary, while it would be possible to register with 31 states who have later registration and fewer requirements for candidates. The District of Columbia would also allow a later registration. The most states a late registering candidate could hope for would be 39, and that would be difficult. Running as an independent might not not yield the kind of results Trump wants.
Donald Trump, other disgruntled candidates, or some ultra conservative picked by GOP donors would have their best shot as a third party candidate. The only third party that is currently on the ballot in all 50 states and the District of Columbia is the Libertarian party. USA Today spoke with Nicholas Sarwark, Libertarian Party chairman. Starwark confirmed that more than one of the 2016 presidential candidates had inquired about the Libertarian nomination. He would not reveal which candidates had approached him, or even specify if they were Democrats, Republicans, or a couple of each. When asked if any had a chance of acceptance, he explained they would have to match the Libertarian platform.
“It would be up to that candidate to make the case that they were Libertarian or Libertarian enough.”
Gary Johnson, the Libertarian nominee in 2012, expressed a different view. While having mainstream Republicans at the convention would gain the Libertarians much needed publicity, he felt none of them stood a chance. The ultra conservative GOP stand on social issues would undermine their standing with Libertarians.
Still, Donald Trump doesn’t fit in with Republicans or their conservative views. He might stand a chance of gaining Libertarian approval, while other Republican candidates really don’t fit the platform of the Libertarians at all, maybe Donald could find some common ground with them.
If Donald Trump, or any other candidate, could not garner support from the Libertarians, he or she might still have a chance. Many third parties already have a spot on the ballot, in at least a few states. There are many ballot ready political parties who might accept Trump, according to USA Today. While none of them are on the ballot in all states, they each have some. It might be possible to cobble together multiple nominations to get on the ballot in most states. It could be that by combining numerous small parties and instituting write in votes, where allowed, a well known candidate might have a chance.
Donald Trump, if rejected by the Republicans, could still run as a third party candidate, or if he gains the nomination he may be opposed by one or more conservative third party candidates.
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