In a recent CNN Town Hall, Donald Trump told Anderson Cooper that he is backing away from his pledge to support the eventual Republican Nominee, whoever that might be. Which implies that Trump may be open to running for president as an Independent.
So Conservative Review wanted to find out if it was even plausible for Trump to not only run, but also win as an Independent. We contacted the elections officers of all fifty states to find out not only their filing deadlines, ballot access, but also if there were any “sore-loser laws” on the books.
“Sore-loser laws” basically bar a candidate who has run in a partisan primary from appearing on a general election ballot as an independent or non-partisan candidate.
Based on the responses so far, Trump can run in the majority of states as an independent. However, he is barred from running as a third-party candidate in some states; those states and their electoral votes add up to over 20 percent of all electoral votes.
Twelve states confirmed to Conservative Review that they have sore-loser laws which apply to presidential candidates: Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Montana, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia. Some of these states include Trump’s strongest area of support, like Alabama, West Virginia, Georgia, and Arizona.
Taking into account these thirteen states, Trump would be ineligible to compete for 182 electoral votes, over 25 percent, a significant burden for Trump to secure the presidency through an independent run. With 538 electoral votes up for grabs, Trump would have to hit the magic number of 270 from the smaller available pool of 356 electoral votes.
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