Thursday, March 17, 2016

#NeverTrump advised to hijack Libertarians

If NeverTrump Wants To Matter, Look To The Libertarians - Ben Domenech, The Federalist:

March 17 - "So there is a clear movement underway to challenge Donald Trump via a third party vehicle, a movement featuring a group of #NeverTrump figures including radio host Erick Erickson, lobbyist Bill Wichterman, and businessman Bob Fischer. They are agitating for a third party candidate who could potentially appeal to the host of Americans who seem to be with them in opposing Trump to the last, even as a nominee – exit polls from Tuesday suggested plenty of appetite for a third-party alternative to Donald Trump, with 37 percent of the Republican electorate in Ohio or Florida saying they would consider a third party given a Trump-Hillary nomination pair.

"That’s a far more significant number than we’ve seen under prior candidacies, and it’s certainly possible that a portion of that will actually bolt. If just a third of the Republican primary voters who say they would vote third party over Trump end up sticking to their word, that’s 12 or 13 percent – enough to swing the election to Hillary Clinton absent a major uptick in Independent voters to offset the loss.

"Of course, as Independent candidacies go, the Libertarian Party is a far more appealing vehicle than mounting a bid unattached to any party, as Philip Bump notes.
A more likely scenario would be finding a candidate who could run on a party line that’s already likely to qualify for the ballot in enough states to make a difference.... the Libertarian Party will likely hit that mark – meaning that conservatives could find themselves in the unusual position of encouraging Republicans to avoid the Republican candidate for president and vote for the Libertarian, at least this once. If they find a candidate. And if everything else falls into line.
"Here you have to make a real decision about what you want to achieve with a third party candidacy. Is it merely an expression of rage against the dying of the light, an opportunity to throw your vote away on a true believer or someone who can give voice to the case for free markets, free hearts, free foreheads? Or is the intention to actually undo the nominations by both parties by sending the nomination to the House of Representatives?...

"The smart thing for both the #NeverTrump folks and for the Libertarian Party – assuming that neither faction would ever come around to supporting Trump as the nominee – would be to nominate someone with regional political appeal and the capacity to win a handful of key states, enough to prevent either Clinton or Trump from achieving an electoral college majority. At that stage, the House votes based on state delegation for any of the top three vote getters....

"The Libertarians have their convention at the end of May, and the current likely candidate is Gary Johnson, the former New Mexico governor, climber, and generally nice oddball. But he’s pro-choice and has never shown appeal beyond the normal Libertarian ranks.

"If the #NeverTrump people want a protest vote, their best path is a Libertarian takeover, with someone who is Libertarianish on some issues – pot, prostitution, marriage – and yet pro-life and pro-religion enough to win over the votes of the holdouts to the Trump machine.... Whoever the #NeverTrump folks settle on, they’d be wiser to choose someone with the ability to win a few key states, not just to make a generalized protest vote case against Clintonism and Trumpism."

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