How Hard Would It Be for a Third Party Presidential Candidate?

The race for the Republican presidential nomination is far from over. But some ordinarily on Team GOP seem willing to consider different options should Donald Trump pick up the 1,237 to secure the nomination.

There has been talk of a possible independent or third party bid so the Republican faithful could, uh, not vote for the Republican nominee.

Any credible independent or third party bid that is backed by those traditionally in the Republican fold would almost certainly throw the presidential election to Hillary Clinton. In a recent editorial, Randy Barnett, a constitutional scholar and professor at the Georgetown University Law Center, embraced the idea, writing that “[w]in or lose, such a new party can even sweep away the existing out-of-touch national Republican Party.”

Similarly, Erick Erickson recently opined that “[i]t is time for Republicans to seriously consider an exit strategy as they grapple with the rise of Trump.” His solution, however, is for anti-Trump Republicans to adopt an existing third party.

Barnett and Erickson do have a point, though. Polls have frequently found the desire for more options on the ballot box. In September, for example, Gallup noted that 60 percent of Americans saw the need for a third party because Republicans and Democrats do such a poor job of representing them.