On Tuesday, Politico reported that three influential conservatives have summoned others for a closed-door meeting to consider a possible third-party run should Donald Trump become the GOP nominee. Bill Wichterman, a former Bush liaison to the conservative movement, South Dakota businessman Bob Fischer and RedState.com founder Erick Erickson organized Thursday’s meeting to discuss ways to stop Trump.
“Please join other conservative leaders to strategize how to defeat Donald Trump for the Republican nomination,” said an invitation Politico obtained, “and if he is the Republican nominee for president, to offer a true conservative candidate in the general election.” An unidentified source reportedly told Politico the effort is in the “embryonic” stage at this point.
“It’s not like there’s a royal grand plan that’s going to be unfurled,” the source said. “People aren’t giving up on the Republican Party yet.”
On Tuesday, Trump won all but one state — Ohio. That state was won by Gov. John Kasich, a Republican reports say has received over $700,000 from George Soros and his surrogates in what many believe is an effort to sabotage the GOP and give the White House to Hillary Clinton. Kasich has decided to stay in the race despite the fact that he would need to win over 100 percent of the available delegates to secure the nomination.
This isn’t the first time such a move has been considered. In February, Politico reported that a group of conservative donors asked a GOP consulting firm to research the feasibility of such a run. A confidential document authored by the Gainesville, Florida-based Data Targeting said that “it is possible to mount an independent candidacy but [it] will require immediate action on the part of this core of key funding and strategic players.”
How immediate would the action have to be? As the American Thinker observed, filing deadlines in some states are just days away, and it is highly unlikely the necessary signatures can be gathered in time to ensure a spot on the ballot. Besides, Rick Moran added, such a move could “blow up” the GOP and certainly lead to defeat in November.
According to Politico, an independent candidate would need to obtain over 460,000 valid voter signatures by July 15 to get on the ballot in 11 states. That means organizers would have to collect over 4,300 valid signatures per day, assuming an April 1 start date.
When asked about the possibility of a third-party conservative run, Trump said such a move would certainly hand the presidency to Hillary Clinton in November. “Let me tell you, a third-party guarantees — not 90 percent, or 99 percent — 100 percent that your Democrats will win, probably Hillary,” he told “Good Morning America” host George Stephanopoulos.