all the ways to beat trump, some easy, some hard
Sadly, various news sources report that anti-Trump forces within the GOP have begun to weaken. This is unfortunate because it actually isn’t that hard to prevent a Trump nomination or a Trump presidency. The Constitution and the party system has a lot of built in features that were specifically designed to prevent a Trump like figure from gaining power.
Let’s go through them, starting with the hardest:
- Republican voters can actually start voting for Cruz or Kasich. There are more than enough delegates left to get Cruz to 50%. This will not happen because about 40% of GOP voters simply want Trump and nothing will stop them.
- The establishment rallies behind Cruz. This isn’t hard to do in theory, but Cruz is a notoriously difficult personality and has alienated the people who can help him the most. If that actually happens, Cruz could probably prevent Trump from getting 50% of the pledged GOP delegates.
- Even without the establishment endorsements, Cruz and Kasich might realistically keep Trump below 50% of the delegates. Then, Trump might lose on a second ballot at the convention as delegates are released from their candidate. But that assumes that the delegates from Rubio, Cruz, and the others stick to a single anti-Trump candidate. This requires coordination that the GOP does not have. But it can happen and states can ensure that Rubio or Cruz loyalists become non-Trump delegates.
- If Trump manages to get 50% of the delegates, the RNC could simply refuse to hold a vote. Just as the Senate is under no obligation to vote on a President’s nominees, a party is not under obligation to actually nominate a candidate.
- If Trump becomes the nominee, establishment Republicans can run a Third Party and it would easily prevent a Trump presidency. For example, a Romney campaign could probably win Utah, Idaho, and a few other mountain states and steal enough electoral votes to make a Trump win impossible. A Romney campaign could also suppress the non-Democratic vote just enough to throw Florida to the Democrat.
- If no candidate wins a majority of electoral votes, the House of Representatives will vote for president and they could choose Cruz or Paul Ryan.
- The Constitution makes it clear the States choose electors. And, as has happened in the past, States could simply pass legislation to appoint electors who will vote for a person that did not win the state. Even if one big conservative state did that (e.g., Texas or Florida), it would prevent a Trump presidency.
In other words, there are actually lots of ways to stop Trump from becoming president or even the nominee. It’s really pathetic that anti-Trump republicans have given up so quickly. For a party that sees itself as the tough guys, it’s sad that they surrendered faster than the French.