Let’s face it Clinton and Trump stink. And I mean bad! Poll after poll has shown the immense unpopularity of both these candidates. How America got into this sorry position in the first place is now irrelevant. In October a (likely) minority of the American people will grudging vote against one of these two jokes. The rest will wisely stay in bed.
This is not just my opinion, it’s also a fact. Check the polls.
If there ever was a time in the last 50 years to run as an Independent candidate for POTUS that time is now. But could an Independent win? If they had the money they could.
Winning is easy, take 270 of the 538 electoral college votes up for grabs. For all intensive purposes it’s winner take all in each state.
The Simple Scenario:
32% of registered voters are Democrats
28% of registered voters are Republican
40% of registered voters are Independent or non-affiliated.
True, not all Independents will vote for any old Independent candidate. But neither will all Democrats or Republicans stay loyal to their party in this year of discontent and fractured parties. Let’s say they all lose and gain evenly.
The Independent wins 40% in every state and has a very good shot at 270 electoral votes.
The Minimalist Scenario
You can also get to 270 votes by winning just 11 states. Forget the other 39 where the Independent doesn’t even need to run.
California (55 votes)
Texas (38 votes)
Florida (29 votes)
New York (29 votes)
Illinois (20 votes)
Pennsylvania (20 votes)
Ohio (18 votes)
Georgia (16 votes)
Michigan (16 votes)
North Carolina (15 votes)
New Jersey (14 votes)
57% of the electorate lives in these 11 states. So in the minimalist scenario if our Independent won 34% of this 57% while both other Parties each took 33% said Independent could become POTUS by winning only 19.38% of the National popular vote. That’s translates to roughly the support of 1 in 10 eligible voters. (Since about half don’t vote)
Both these scenarios can be viewed as highly unlikely. But a serious challenge from a strong third party run should not be so viewed. In 2016 it is not as impossible to win as “they” would like you to believe.