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HuffPo: "How Paul Ryan Will Pick the Next President" (with a GOP Spoiler Candidate)

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QuiteWhittle

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Dec 13, 2009
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Even that doesn't help us too much. Ross Perot is the most successful third party candidate of all time and he didn't win a single electoral college vote. The crackpot theory in the OP proposes this spoiler candidate actually wins states, and enough to bring Hillary below majority. I think it would be totally unprecedented?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_1912

All of this would just allow the Democrat to win with a large EV majority. They know this. They won't do it.
 

Cagey

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Jul 28, 2011
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Based on the 2012 election, I think a 3rd party candidate would have to take away Florida, Ohio, Virginia, and New Hampshire from the Democratic side. That would have given Obama 268.

Kasich as "third party", meaning the de facto Republican nominee with full support and money and campaign allies, could take Ohio. That's about it. I don't know who else GOP can field that could take any of those states.
 

Dishwalla

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The takeaway I'm getting from this is the Republicans are driving that wedge in further between them and Trump. Should he win in November it's clear he'd have no support in Congress from Republicans, and since Democrats won't support him either he'll be the most powerless ineffectual president we could possibly have. So I guess keep driving that wedge in Republicans.
 

Snaku

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If this were to actually happen I would be fucking disgusted, and wash my hands of this fucking country.
 

Ogodei

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Not how it works due to FPTP in the states. Even if we look at the electoral map as of 2004, when it was easier for Republicans to win, if W. Bush had faced a popular, charismatic christian dominionist or something, even if that individual had been competitive in some deep-red states, in most of the states it would have led to Kerry winning as votes were sapped from Bush, Kerry would have taken the states he got, plus all of the swing states and won it in a walk, with precisely the same number of votes.

With a strong conservative-leaning third party run, all of the swing states become a lock for the Dems and Clinton cruises to the white house.

The election of 1824 was an aberration in this regard because it was a very different time, per how electors behaved and how the voting process worked, even though it technically operated under the same rules as today. But even if we were to entertain a scenario where the House could pick the next president, it would have to come from a third party candidate who drew evenly enough from Rs and Ds to be competitive across all states and not just play spoiler by sapping one side or the other.
 

Akiraptor

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May 26, 2014
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The problem with this is that the GOP establishment would be destroying their party either way. All of those people who vote for Trump? Yeah, they're never going to vote for another GOP candidate again.

Hillary might still get the presidency in this scenario, but even in a situation where Congress picks the next president, the GOP would ultimately lose out.

Their best shot at this point is for Trump to win outright and then lose to Hillary in the general election. Anything other than that and they risk never winning another presidential election.
 

SolarPowered

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Feb 17, 2009
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How does this even work?

How does Romney win states he lost in 2012, along with another candidate stealing a third or more of his votes?
It doesn't work without a strong democrat spoiler like Bernie Sanders somewhere in there. This would be a bigger waste of cash than all the money the Koch brothers and other billionaires/millionaires spent on Scott Walker, Jeb! Bush and Marco Rubio.
 

QuantumBro

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Only way I could see the presidency vote going to congress is if Bernie (for some reason) decided to also run as an independent candidate.
 

Macho Madness

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The person who gets the highest percentage of votes from each state uhhh wins that state. And they win ALL of the state.

How are they not just guaranteeing a Clinton victory doing that?

Also, Ross Perot "giving the presidency" to Bill is false. Studies have been done on that election and Perot took voters equally from Bill as he did HW. HW was going to handily lose the election with or without Perot.
 

smurfx

get some go again
i see republicans wanting trump to go 3rd party so that there is higher than average conservative voter turnout and all those people choose the conservative nominations for other positions like senate and congress. if they can stop the democrats from regaining the majority in the senate then they can pretty much stop hillary from doing anything for a couple of years.
 

jgwhiteus

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Oct 12, 2007
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Even that doesn't help us too much. Ross Perot is the most successful third party candidate of all time and he didn't win a single electoral college vote. The crackpot theory in the OP proposes this spoiler candidate actually wins states, and enough to bring Hillary below majority. I think it would be totally unprecedented?

Yeah, as others have mentioned, I don't think it would work with this particular set of candidates and dynamics, but it's not outside the realm of possibility for this to happen down the road - every presidential election season has a bit of unpredictability. No one expected Trump or Bernie to be the forces that they are in this election (what if they'd decided to run as independents, and siphoned the white male vote from both the GOP and Hillary?), and every month there's some new twist or turn with previous favorites dropping out, etc.

This election in no way resembles what people expected it to be a year ago, and I guess it's sort of interesting / also terrifying that the only thing that separates us from the chaos described in the article are the particular slate of candidates that decide to run each year.
 
Dec 22, 2011
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Amazing that people get paid to write this shit.

The entire article is baseless speculation combined with ignorance about history and our electoral system.

The way the Electoral College works there's a really high bar to earn electoral votes. Perot got almost 19% of the popular vote in 1992. That earned him a whopping zero electoral votes. If there's a strong third party challenge that's de facto Republican, they'll just end up splitting the conservative vote with Trump. The likely result here wouldn't be to peel off just enough states to deny Clinton 270 electoral votes, but rather for her to score some surprising state wins by getting a plurality.

As others have pointed to, 1912 is a good analogy for how this would likely play out.
 

B-Dubs

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Mar 19, 2012
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Technically they'd only need the third candidate to win a few key states. Instead of focusing on a national campaign, they focus their efforts on those states, it could work?

Nope. They'd need a 3 party candidate on the left to peel votes off as well. Assuming Clinton wins everything Obama did they'd have to deny her all of the swing states for this to work. This would just result in them splitting the conservative vote and making it easier for Clinton to run the table.
 

GoldenEye 007

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The Big D
Right? This is the height of silliness.

I mean, this is something they might actually do but the chance of it working out as described here is basically zero.



Yeah, I mean, she doesn't even really need those votes which is one of the reasons the strategy's logic is defective.

Some others in here have suggested it, but the only way this is plausible is if the Dem vote is split. Meaning Bernie jumping in and running. That would allow such a scenario to play out. But I don't think Bernie is that stupid.
 

Ogodei

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The entire article is baseless speculation combined with ignorance about history and our electoral system.

The way the Electoral College works there's a really high bar to earn electoral votes. Perot got almost 19% of the popular vote in 1992. That earned him a whopping zero electoral votes. If there's a strong third party challenge that's de facto Republican, they'll just end up splitting the conservative vote with Trump. The likely result here wouldn't be to peel off just enough states to deny Clinton 270 electoral votes, but rather for her to score some surprising state wins by getting a plurality.

As others have pointed to, 1912 is a good analogy for how this would likely play out.

Exactly. You'd not only see Hillary stomp in the swing states, but see her pick up everything Obama got in '08 plus some, places like Georgia and Arizona could turn in this situation.
 

Orbis Tabula

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While I could actually see a third party Republican manage to win a few red states over Trump, I think there would be far more swing states that would be lost in Clinton in that case. It would be an extremely narrow shot of success for the GOP.

But then, running Trump is pretty much lose lose so maybe they'll try it. 1% is better than 0%.
 
Aug 29, 2009
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Not GAF, lol
Even that doesn't help us too much. Ross Perot is the most successful third party candidate of all time and he didn't win a single electoral college vote. The crackpot theory in the OP proposes this spoiler candidate actually wins states, and enough to bring Hillary below majority. I think it would be totally unprecedented?

As far as I remember, Theodore Roosevelt is the most successful third party candidate.

He cut Taft's votes in half, and neither ended up beating Wilson, despite more people technically wanting a Republican.

That's the exact scenario here. Minus the more people technically wanting a Republican part. It would be smooth sailing for Hillary.
 

CDX

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May 31, 2012
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What likely Democratic voters are Trump vs Some Random Republican candidate going to sway from Hillary, that Trump isn't going to sway already by himself?

That seems like it would only split the Republican leaning vote, letting Hillary win by massive amounts. It could possibly help the Republicans save the Senate and House races though. As it would allow likely Republicans to still come out to vote on election day even though they fall into the category of either hating Trump or hating the GOP establishment candidate.


This sort of scenario could happen for the Presidential race if the 3rd party candidate was someone that legitimately could sway voters from both sides. OR If it's a 4-way race Trump vs Some Random Republican VS Hillary vs Bernie.

But I don't see it happening in a 3 way Hillary VS Random Republican VS Trump race.
 

fauxtrot

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May 10, 2006
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The Republicans have to be so far up their own asses to think that something like this can even be done with any of the potential people they could prop up for a third party run, let alone Mitt Fuckin' Romney.

The only way something like this works is if the Democrat is on shaky ground, and while Clinton is not the ideal candidate for a lot of people, those that are iffy will side with her more often than someone like Trump or Romney.

With that said, I want to see this happen just to watch the insanity.
 

Bedameister

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Aug 21, 2013
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Yeah no way Hillary will not take this.
The only way a third party candidate would make a republican president is if Bernie would run as 3rd party and then Trump might win
 

Poodlestrike

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May 28, 2014
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This is the opposite of how things actually work. Splitting Republican votes between Trump and, say, Romney guarantees Hillary a MASSIVE electoral college landslide.

Running a spoiler might help them hold the House and maybe the Senate, though, but this particular tact is just... like, that's not how things work. At all.
 
Dec 22, 2011
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Also, Ross Perot "giving the presidency" to Bill is false. Studies have been done on that election and Perot took voters equally from Bill as he did HW. HW was going to handily lose the election with or without Perot.

Yup. Exit polls indicated that 38% of Perot voters would have voted for Bush, 38% for Clinton, and the rest would have stayed home. Bush's approvals were hovering around 40% (about the same as Jimmy Carter's approvals around the 1980 election), and opinion polls consistently showed Clinton winning a two person race. The notion that Perot cost Bush re-election was disingenuously pushed by Republicans to de-legitimize Clinton's presidency, and it has sadly become conventional wisdom. But it's completely false.

Here's a nice article on the subject.
 

Angry Grimace

Two cannibals are eating a clown. One turns to the other and says "does something taste funny to you?"
Mar 16, 2007
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Except that would just make Clinton win every state
 

Armaros

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People wanting a 4 way electoral battle in the GE election do know that if no one gets 270 electoral votes, it goes to the House to pick the President?
 
Aug 29, 2009
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Not GAF, lol
Can you imagine the riots if Paul Ryan gets to pick the president.

You'd have Democrats and Trump people out there protesting the stolen election. Especially if Romney only managed third place.
 
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The person who described this election as America's last season and the writers just throwing everything at the wall really got it right.

I know it's not quite the same, but I can't help but be reminded of the season 4 finale of Veep. Maybe the GOP can borrow from the season 5 script for how to proceed
 
Dec 22, 2011
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How does a moderate republican third party candidate take electoral votes away from Democrats?

Am I missing something here?

No, you're not missing anything. The article has no basis in reality. In this scenario Clinton could get like 40% of the popular vote and still wind up with an electoral college landslide (and I seriously doubt they'd hold her under 45%).
 

Angry Grimace

Two cannibals are eating a clown. One turns to the other and says "does something taste funny to you?"
Mar 16, 2007
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fun fact: you can't get on the ballot this late in a lot of states
 

wildfire

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Jun 5, 2011
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Not seeing how running two Republican candidates would cause Hillary to lose votes. If anything I would think a 3 candidate race would make it even easier for her to win.


The in fighting is getting absurd.

Certain republicans are increasingly calling trump voters democrats. Not sarcastically.
 

Orbis Tabula

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Aug 20, 2010
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fun fact: you can't get on the ballot this late in a lot of states

I think the theory is that you run in one of the already established third parties, like the Constitution party or something. If they let you. They've usually done the legwork to get on most ballots.

Maybe Bill Clinton can't, but his long lost identical twin brother Buzz Clinton can.

Now Buzz I can get in to.
 

Nozem

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May 24, 2013
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How well would a hypothetical 3rd party do if it was for small government, fiscally conservative but socially progressive?
 

Anoregon

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Jun 9, 2011
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I don't really get how this is possible. If Hillary was going to get to 270 electoral votes vs trump, she's still going to get there if there is a third party republican spoiler. Someone like Ryan or Romney getting in the mix isn't going to peel a meaningful number of votes away from Hillary. All it's going to do is split the conservative vote for the "anyone but hillary" camp.

Like, imagine any of the battleground states (ohio, or florida for example.) If Hillary was going to win the state in a 2-way race, how would the addition of a third person who would be unappealing to the vast majority of Hillary voters change things?
 
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