As speculation continues about whether or not David French will run as a third-party conservative candidate for President, many Donald Trump supporters are already griping that doing so would hand the election over to Hillary Clinton. This isn’t necessarily the case. In fact, it’s very possible that French’s candidacy could ensure that Clinton is NOT the President.
If nobody gets to the 270 electoral votes necessary to win the election, the next President is chosen by the House of Representatives. All 50 states (sorry DC and Puerto Rico) get a single vote decided upon by the state’s Congressmen. In that scenario, Clinton is out. California’s vote would be the same as Utah’s vote and there’s no chance that Clinton would win 26 states.
French doesn’t have to win a lot of states. He’d have to win a handful of red states. Trump would have to win a handful of battleground states. If Clinton could be held below the 270 mark, either Trump or French would be chosen as President. Depending on what happens between now and then, I would give the edge to French if its put to a vote of Congress.
Let’s cover a few naysayer issues:
- The Split Vote: It’s true that if French runs and is able to get on a good number of ballots, he could cause some battleground states to split, giving Clinton the wins. There’s no way to know the makeup of what the race will look like in November, but if the situation is favoring Clinton in key states, the French campaign would have to coordinate heartily to inform his supporters to vote for Trump in those states.
- No Logistics: Many are saying it’s too late to run because he doesn’t have the infrastructure in place. He’s too late to get on some of the most important ballots such as Texas. He doesn’t have an organization. These are all valid points. In fact, I won’t argue against them other than the organization component. It would require help in the form of one or more previous candidates lending a hand. The most obvious choice would be the candidate with the best organization during the GOP primaries: Ted Cruz. If he endorsed and assisted with both organizing and fundraising, they could slap it together sufficiently by August.
- No Money: This is the biggest issue for some. In reality, it’s not an issue at all. If ever there was a cause that could bring rich donors together under one rapid-response roof, it would be the threat of a Trump or Clinton White House. The key is whether or not he can achieve enough early velocity to convince donors that they wouldn’t be throwing their money away.
As Erick Erickson wrote, this might be an insurmountable improbability. But, as Leon Wolf wrote, we have a duty “to vote for the candidate who is most deserving” of our support. Following my initial research into the possibilities, I believe that French might be the perfect choice to win. Trump and Hillary are unfit and it’s our responsibility to oppose them.
Both Trump and Clinton represent different sides of the existential threat coin being tossed in the air this election cycle. French is a longshot, but he’s a shot nonetheless. His path to the White House would be bumpy to say the least, but if there’s a conceivable road to travel, that’s the course we must take.