An analysis has found that there is no way that Howard Schultz or any other Independent candidate can get the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency.
Charlie Cook of The Cook Political Report wrote, “If four to ten states plus DC, with between 82 and 149 Electoral votes are going to go Democratic no matter what, and if Republicans are going to win between five and ten states with somewhere between 23 and 59 Electoral votes, that means that between 105 and 208 out of a total of 538 Electoral votes are simply not available to any independent candidate. How does an independent get 270 Electoral votes under that scenario? They don’t. The independent may well not win any states, but even if they did, and kept each major party’s nominee from getting to the 270 Electoral votes needed for a majority in the Electoral College, the election would get thrown to the U.S. House of Representatives with each state, regardless of population, getting one vote (California one vote, North Dakota one vote).”
Howard Schultz can’t win, but he can get Trump reelected
Based on historical voting patterns, there is no way for Howard Schultz to win. The two-party system creates barriers to everything from ballot access to being invited to participate in the presidential debates. It takes a massive organizational effort and an immense amount of resources to pull off an Independent campaign that is serious about winning.
The danger that Democrats are all too familiar with from 2016 and 2000 is that the Independent candidate doesn’t have to be serious about winning. Schultz could hand Trump a second term by taking votes away from the Democratic nominee in Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
Democrats are right to be worried about Schultz running because with Trump’s base of support being about 33% of the electorate, the only way that Trump can win a second term is if the anti-Trump vote gets split.
The odds are that Schultz will see that he can’t win and by running, he will help Trump win a second term.
Howard Schultz will probably not run, but Democrats need to make sure that they have a nominee strong enough to overcome the appeal of any third party candidate.
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Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA.Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association