By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

It may not be over until the Republican House votes

Mitt Romney in 2012. Photo (cc) by Mark Taylor.

Mitt Romney in 2012. Photo (cc) by Mark Taylor.

Instant update: Well, no. As several friends have pointed out to me, the Twelfth Amendment specifies that the House would have to choose among the top three finishers. Someone who didn’t run would not be eligible.

Now that we know Bill Kristol’s efforts to draft a serious independent candidate come down to some guy named David French, who may not even say yes, it strikes me that the Libertarian ticket of Gary Johnson and Bill Weld is in a position to do very well indeed.

How well? Ross Perot got 19 percent in 1992. I think he could have gotten at least 25 percent if he hadn’t wigged out, quit and then returned to the race. And Johnson is running against major-party candidates who are far less appealing than George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. This isn’t really fair to Hillary Clinton, whose main problem is that she’s been viciously attacked for 25 years, but there you go.

The real issue, of course, isn’t Clinton; it’s that there are plenty of principled conservatives and Republicans (like Tom Nichols) who are never going to vote for a racist demagogue like Donald Trump. How many? We’ll find out. But possibly enough to throw the election into the Republican-controlled House.

Which means that the Romney 2016 campaign isn’t quite dead yet.

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1 Comment

  1. The Johnson/Weld ticket gives me an opportunity to think about how I choose whom to vote for — I suspect that on some important issues, I agree with Clinton and disagree with Johnson/Weld, but in terms of who to put in charge of the country, I just can’t see myself voting for Clinton. It feels kind of like trying to talk myself into liking a dish of food because I like many of the ingredients separately, even though I really don’t like the dish at all.

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