The Republican establishment is terrified of Trump and his independence from special interests. They know that he can easily finance a third party campaign for the presidency. This is exactly why Trump is right to keep the third party option open as it maintains his “leverage.” It may also provide a needed option for the American people. If the presidential nominees are Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush, or another RINO, Trump should enter the race to give voters a real alternative. The last thing the country needs is another Bush or Clinton in the White House.
In fact, in a three way race between Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush and Donald Trump, there is at least a possibility that Trump may win. There is great dissatisfaction with political dynasties and millions of Americans would refuse to vote for either Clinton or Bush, giving a well funded third party candidate like Trump a chance.
There is certainly precedent for a strong third party candidacy. Back in 1992, businessman Ross Perot was leading the presidential race before he exited amid claims that he did not want to throw the race into the House of Representatives. He later said he was really concerned that Republicans were planning to disrupt his daughter’s wedding, so he had to get out of the race. When he returned to the campaign months later, his prospects were severely diminished. Nevertheless, he finished with approximately 19% of the vote, the highest third party total since Theodore Roosevelt in 1912.
Unlike Perot, who destroyed his chances when he left the race, Trump would be a more serious third party contender. He has universal name recognition, billions of dollars at his disposal and no need to placate special interests or big money donors. Clearly, the GOP establishment, and their supporters in the media, will try to destroy his chances. This is exactly what happened during the Fox News debate. After being confronted in the first question, Trump spent the debate fending off questions about his bankruptcies, his treatment of women, and his previous support of Democrat candidates. Throughout it all, Trump stayed on the offensive and refused to apologize. This stance obviously was popular with the vast conservative audience of the Drudge Report website. After 531,000 votes were tabulated, Trump was declared the winner by over 45% of the voters, way ahead of second place finisher Ted Cruz who received 14% of the vote. While the public loved Trump's performance, so-called experts such as analyst Charles Krauthammer and pollster Frank Luntz panned The Donald's showing. In true Trump fashion, he blasted Luntz as a “low class slob.”
Clearly, Trump's best chance for victory would be as the GOP nominee. Obviously, he would prefer to win the Republican nomination; however, he may be subjected to impossible hurdles as the race progresses. While a third party candidacy is not the ideal scenario for Trump, it is one he definitely needs to keep as an option as the race progresses. It is too early to determine what will happen, but we do know that since Donald Trump is involved, everyone will be watching.