In a presidential race, third party candidates are a threat to the candidates with whom they have the most in common. Ross Perot was hardly a conservative, but his views were center-right. He managed to take enough votes away from George H.W. Bush to hand the election to Bill Clinton.
A group of conservatives lead by writer and pundit Erick Erickson are planning on running a “true” conservative third party candidate this election to thwart Donald Trump – and if there’s anything we’ve learned from history, it’s that third party candidates hand elections to Clintons.
As quoted by Breitbart, Newt Gingrich had a similar criticism of running a third party candidate, and summed it up in two words:
“Have fun. It’s an amusing parlor game. It has no meaning in the real world, but if it makes you feel better.
I draw a distinction, I mean John Boehner is genuinely fond of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) — as I am — and Boehner, frankly I think, would rather see somebody other than Cruz who caused him a lot of pain or Trump who I’m sure he sees as a very strange outsider for a traditional political standpoint.I’m not sympathetic at all to the Erick Ericksons of the world. If they want to form the let’s elect Hillary Clinton club, fine. But they ought to be honest about it. Any effort to help anybody but the Republican nominee helps Hillary Clinton. Meanwhile, I’ll keep my fingers crossed that Bernie opts to run as a third party candidate.
[Note: This post was authored by The Analytical Economist]