Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Trump, Carson have months to decide on third-party runs

WASHINGTON — Donald Trump and Ben Carson could dangle the possibility of independent runs for president well into the primary season next year, but they can't wait forever.

State filing deadlines would give the two Republicans until about March to launch independent or third-party campaigns, experts said. That would give a well-financed campaign enough time to gather sufficient signatures on petitions so the candidate could appear on the ballot in every state.

Starting next summer would be too late.

"Ross Perot in 1992 didn't start petitioning until March," said Richard Winger, editor of Ballot Access News. "He was on the ballot in every state."

Perot, a Texas businessman, got 19 percent of the vote in 1992 and Bill Clinton was elected president with 43 percent.

An independent or third-party run by either Trump or Carson would be a nightmare for Republican leaders.

If either or both take that step, the chances of winning the presidency would be a long shot. But one or both could siphon enough votes to hand the election to the Democrats.

"If you think about a Trump-Carson exit, then you're talking about 51 percent of the current Republican electorate, based on the polling," said Walter Stone, a political scientist at the University of California Davis.

Both Trump and Carson have pledged to support the Republican nominee for president, though Trump, the billionaire real estate mogul, has reserved the right to launch an independent bid if he feels he has been treated unfairly.

Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, raised the prospect of leaving the Republican Party on Friday after a report that GOP leaders had discussed the possibility of a contested convention if Trump fared well in party primaries.

Trump, Carson have months to decide on third-party runs 12/12/15 [Last modified: Saturday, December 12, 2015 9:35pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Forecast: Warm, humid weekend ahead of big cool-down for Tampa Bay

    Weather

    The weekend kicks off warm and dry on Friday across Tampa Bay with mostly sunny skies and temperatures in the upper 80s.

  2. U.S.-backed Syrian force declares victory over Islamic State in Raqqa

    World

    BEIRUT — A U.S.-backed Syrian force declared victory over the Islamic State group in its former "capital" of Raqqa on Friday, declaring the northern Syrian city free of any extremist presence.

    This Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017 frame grab made from drone video shows damaged buildings in Raqqa, Syria two days after Syrian Democratic Forces said that military operations to oust the Islamic State group have ended and that their fighters have taken full control of the city. [Associated Press]
  3. Florida education news: Lawsuits, lawyers, school board pay and more

    Blogs

    IN COURT: A former Hillsborough County school district top administrator sues the School Board and its chief of staff, alleging board member corruption and …

    Hillsborough School Board member Susan Valdes is the subject of several allegations in a former employee's scathing lawsuit.
  4. Clearwater eyes hiring new downtown director within two months

    CLEARWATER — Now that the city director tasked with revitalizing downtown has resigned after his arrest on a battery charge during Oktoberfest, City Manager Bill Horne said the goal is to not leave the position vacant long.

    Clearwater Assistant City Manager  Micah Maxwell will oversee downtown until the city hires a replacement for Seth Taylor.
  5. Tampa Bay's Top 100 Workplaces deadline extended to Nov. 17

    Business

    Think you work at one of the best places in Tampa Bay? You've got a little more time to make a pitch.

    Penny Hoarder and Gregory, Sharer & Stuart were among those at an event in Tampa last May honoring winners of the Tampa Bay Times Top Workplaces awards. Nominations are now open for this year.  
[OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]