Okay, this isn’t going to happen, but bear with me.
A recent poll shows the following levels of support in the presidential elections:
- Clinton (Democrat) – 44%
- Trump (Republican) – 38%
- Johnson (Libertarian) – 10%
- Stein (Green Party) – 4%
This seems generous to Trump, but we’ll start with it.
Now Evan McMullin enters the race as an Independent. But he is, in fact, a conservative Republican. Johnson’s a former Republican, with a former Republican running mate. So we now have three varieties of Republican candidates.
Now assume that each of these splits the Republican vote. Johnson develops more support as a kinder, gentler Republican, at the expense of Trump. McMullin peels off still more support from Trump, from conservatives voting their conscience and the #NeverTrump resistance.
Support for Trump dips slowly at first. Rattled, it then plummets as he self-destructs, increasingly unhinged as his fear of being a Loser and being defeated bigly grows. Sad!
Meanwhile, support for Clinton rises with the recognition that none of these gentlemen will be elected. For the same reason, Stein also gets a little more support from those who think their votes are no longer needed to beat Trump.
Mathematically, we could have something like this:
- Clinton (Democrat) – 51%
- Trump (Republican) – 14%
- Johnson (Libertarian) – 14%
- McMullin (Independent) – 14%
- Stein (Green Party) – 7%
Such a scenario would obviously put Clinton in the White House.
But what happens if these results are accurate earlier, that is, when the debates are being organized? The Commission on Presidential Debates requires that candidates have support of 15% (over several national polls) to participate.
Is it possible that only Clinton will attend?
(I’ll let you make up your own jokes.)