The editors of the Wall Street Journal think an independent conservative bid would be a bad idea, because it could endanger the GOP House majority.
A conservative independent bid faces almost no chance of success. The deadline to appear on the ballot in Texas is just days away, and right now, there’s no serious conservative figure coming forward and saying, “yes, I will run in 2016 as an independent.” At this point, a conservative might as well just run a write-in bid for Republicans serious about lodging a protest vote. But this would be symbolic, and unlikely to have much impact on the final results.
The Journal editors doubt that a conservative option will bring out anti-Trump conservative Republicans who will vote for GOP candidates in the House and Senate elections, and in fact think it will antagonize Trump voters, who will then refuse to support Republican congressional candidates down-ticket. (A “Republican” who votes for Donald Trump and Democratic House and Senate candidates isn’t really a Republican anymore.) A lot of conservatives, like Jay, are yearning for a chance to vote for a candidate they like, instead of against a Democrat they dislike.
But the biggest howler in the Journal’s editorial is this:
If Mr. Trump does lose, his voters need to understand that he was the architect of his own demise. Republican voters also need to see that alienating non-whites, women and young people was a losing strategy.
Do you see any scenario where the majority of Trump voters “understand he was the architect of his own demise”? John Nolte is already blaming #NeverTrump Republicans. The vast majority of Trump supporters believe that the most unpopular presidential candidate since David Duke is going to beat Hillary, and most think he will beat her in a landslide. If and when Hillary wins, most of Trump’s supporters will insist the election was rigged and that massive numbers of illegal immigrants voted. Like the man they hail, their modus operandi is blaming everyone but themselves.