He keeps, in his words, winning, and winning, and winning. And with each win, Republicans and America, at large, are slowly coming to grips with a Donald Trump general election candidacy…or are they?
Like a 6.8 Richter Scale earthquake, each tremor of victory creates a deeper chasm of resentment in the Republican Party. “If the Republican Party were an airplane, and you were looking out a passenger window, you would see surface pieces peeling off and wonder if one of the wings or engines was next,” said Tim Pawlenty (former governor of Minnesota and a former Republican presidential candidate) in a recent article for The New York Times*
With Hillary Clinton in the driver’s seat for the Democratic nomination and Donald Trump steamrolling his way to Cleveland, could there be a chance for the Republican Party to renege on their promise to not run a third-party candidate (ironically, an early agreement from the first debate to block a defiant Trump who was certainly supposed to lose)?
“If the Republican Party were an airplane, and you were looking out a passenger window, you would see surface pieces peeling off and wonder if one of the wings or engines was next.”
The answer, most likely, is yes. If so, this is where former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (a billionaire worth more than Trump) could finally make good on his high-office designs. He could also steal some votes from more conservative Clinton voters—but probably a smaller percentage of them.
Another dark horse option is the return of Jeb Bush. He could make a “drop-the-mic,” or “I bet you miss me now” kind of return. He could easily reignite his donor base and raise substantial money to get back in the game.
Either way, a third party would more likely divide Republican votes and bring independents to the left—if begrudgingly. However, given Trump’s all but certain nomination, it may be worth the risk.
*The New York Times article referenced above written by Staff Writers—Jonathan Martin and Michael Barbaro. Jeremy W. Peters, Matt Flegenheimer, Jennifer Steinhauer and Thomas Kaplan contributed reporting.