The new ABC News/Washington Post poll found that if Donald Trump follows through on his threats to run as an Independent, he will be handing the White House to the Democratic nominee.
According to ABC News:
In a general election trial heat, Clinton leads Bush, the GOP fundraising leader, by a slight 50-44 percent among registered voters. But with Trump as an independent candidate that goes to 46-30-20 percent, Clinton-Bush-Trump – with Trump drawing support disproportionately from Bush, turning a 6-point Clinton advantage into 16 points.
Trump’s support in this three-way matchup was 21 percent from Thursday to Saturday, vs. 13 percent in Sunday interviews.
Donald Trump support did drop in the national poll after he attacked John McCain, but a Trump third-party candidacy could set up a reply of the 1992 presidential election. 2016 could feature a Clinton, a Bush, and a crazy rich guy running as an Independent.
The Republican Party will already begin 2016 in a big Electoral College hole. Statistically speaking, the GOP will already require a dramatic shift in the electorate to win the White House. A Trump third-party candidacy of modest popularity would make the election unwinnable for the Republican nominee.
Donald Trump is not a serious threat to win the Republican nomination, but if he stays in the upper tier of candidates through the early primaries, Trump and his ego could launch an independent bid for the White House.
Some Republicans already believe that Trump is a Democratic plant that has been sent to destroy their party, but Republicans created Trump as a political entity, and it would only be right if he ended up costing them any chance of taking back the White House.