The Corner

Politics & Policy

Meet the 100 Republicans Threatening to Form a Third Party

Bill Weld speaks at a Johnson-Weld campaign rally in N.Y., 2016. (Mark Kauzlarich/Reuters)

On Tuesday, the New York Times reported, “over 100 Republicans, including former officials, threaten to split from the G.O.P.

We can now see the list of 100 Republicans who “believe in pushing for the Republican Party to rededicate itself to founding ideals—or else hasten the creation of an alternative.” The list includes some well-known names like Anthony Scaramucci, Mark Sanford, Joe Walsh and Evan McMullin, and quite a few names that will not ring bells to most of the public. Connie Morella last served in Congress in 2003, and served as an ambassador until 2007. Arne Carlson was governor of Minnesota back in the 1990s. Christopher Bayley was the King County, Washington prosecuting attorney from 1971 to 1979.

It is far from clear that a warning from, say, former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld that he’s thinking of leaving the GOP will sway the thinking of other Republicans; the man was the Libertarian Party nominee for vice president in 2016. In other words, the last time Weld left the GOP, the party thrived without him.

I asked Wednesday what form this group would take, as “successfully building a lasting and significant third party will require a gargantuan commitment of resources and a sustained Herculean effort.”

As of now, it appears this group is truly starting from scratch, with an open letter and a request for e-mail addresses, phone numbers, and zip codes.

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