Bill Kristol has been making news for months. The neoconservative political analyst tweeted over the weekend: “Just a heads up over this holiday weekend: There will be an independent candidate – an impressive one, with a strong team and a real chance.” Donald Trump has fired back: “Bill Kristol has been wrong for 2 yrs-an embarrassed loser, but if the GOP can’t control their own, then they are not a party. Be tough, R’s!” Well, it turns out Kristol did have a candidate in mind. And we are prepared to announce that candidate’s name here.
First, let’s be fair to Mr. Kristol. He correctly and repeatedly states the contradiction that is Donald Trump. “Donald Trump would be the most unreliably conservative president the Republican Party has ever nominated,” he says. “He is a candidate of convenience, committed to one cause – himself.” So, for the sake of everything sane, Kristol has recruited a mystery candidate. And as of today, we can announce this candidate’s name . . .
Her name is Hillary Clinton. No, Kristol won’t say that. Reportedly, Kristol has tried to recruit the likes of Mitt Romney or Rick Perry to run, with no success. And while polls show support for a generic third-party candidate, when a name is dropped in, it always helps Mrs. Clinton. The Data Targeting Poll finds that 55 percent want another candidate to consider, but when actual names are floated, none gets over 10 percent support. And because Kristol’s choice would certainly be conservative, any such candidate would clearly take votes away from Trump, thus securing the election for Clinton.
Bill Kristol is no dummy. So what is he thinking? It’s called the electoral college. It’s called the House of Representatives. Kristol knows a third-party or independent candidate can’t possibly garner 270 electoral votes. But in his thinking, this person wouldn’t have to. The idea is to keep both Clinton and Trump from reaching that sacred number – because if no candidate gets over the 50 percent threshold, the election is tossed to the House, which will still presumably be under the control of Republicans. And Republicans in the House, Kristol believes, would prefer this Romney-type to Donald Trump.
The logic is sound. Except for one thing. It won’t work. Here’s why. In the presidential election, each state is winner-take-all. That means that for the mystery candidate to successfully toss the Kristol monkey wrench into the election, he/she would have to win at least one strategic state. And that won’t happen.
It is conceivable that a third candidate can exceed ten percent in the national vote. But it is inconceivable that he/she will win 35 percent in a single state, the threshold necessary to have a chance at winning that state. So this mystery candidate would take away votes from Trump, get no electoral votes himself, and would thus elect Hillary Clinton the 45th president of the United States.
So, Bill Kristol does have a new candidate in mind. And effectively, her name is Hillary Clinton.