We interrupt your Labor Day Weekend to bring you some news that will make the lemonade tarter, cooler, and sweeter than me. So, sit right up here and let me throw some southern comfort on ya’.
One guy is tossing around an idea that could make it near impossible for Trump to win the general election.
Trump’s chances at reelection look bleaker by the day. In recent polling, Trump had double digit deficits to every major Democratic candidate. Additionally, these damning polls do not even factor the damage about to be done through the fall, as more and more evidence comes forth about Trump’s taxes, financial entanglements, and (please, god) possible explanations for Trump’s obvious subordination to Vladimir Putin. Yes, things do indeed look grim for Trump.
What could possibly make it worse?
A challenge from the Right, one not susceptible to being snuffed out in a Republican primary. This challenge would come in the general election, a viable Libertarian candidate, a mainstream one, one with the ability to bleed Trump of 5-10% (or more) percentage points. The man could take Trump’s chances from slim down to none, especially in contested states, think Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, or … Michigan.
Meet Justin Amash, the Republican-Libertarian Congressman from Michigan. Per the Daily Beast:
Rep. Justin Amash’s political future has been the subject of intense fascination and interest in Republican circles these days. After his call to impeach Trump and his subsequent exit from the GOP, the libertarian congressman from Michigan has attracted tons of buzz over a possible run for president as a third-party candidate.
See that? Third party candidate, he will be face to face with Trump, vying for that Republican/Libertarian/overall conservative vote. Amash will not get a single vote that might otherwise go to an Elizabeth Warren. But he could drain considerable votes from Trump, enough to hand the White House to the Democratic nominee, in a wipe out.
Unlike other Trump challengers, Amash would not be competing against him in a primary. The damage he could inflict, instead, would come in a general election contest, where a conservative alternative to the sitting president could, potentially, pull away some Republican votes in key states. But there is a sense that he will need to announce soon in order to make a bid count—most likely by the end of the year.
Amash has some credibility with the “Trump-weary” crowd on the Right. He is the one Republican elected official, a Congressman, who has come out in favor of an impeachment inquiry. Republicans rewarded Amash’s bravery by showing him the door, or Amash left the party, whichever story you believe. But, being a current elected member of Congress, Amash has legitimacy that the average Libertarian candidate lacks.
Traditionally, there has been suspicion of Republicans who cross over to run as Libertarians, but the party’s last two presidential standard-bearers—former Gov. Gary Johnson and former congressman Bob Barr—were once formal Republican Party officials themselves. And thanks to Amash’s high profile and ideological pedigree, some in the Libertarian Party anticipate that the congressman could pick up significant support among the party’s rank-and-file shortly after launching a campaign.
Most importantly, it would be a voice from the Right arguing that Trump is not competent to hold the job, a voice that has READ the Mueller report, leaving such a bad taste in Amash’s mouth the he gave up the Republican party over it. That voice, could be powerful, should Amash garner sufficient support to make his way onto the debate stage, or even just into mainstream polls. Amash is likely one of the few people who could credibly deliver sufficient polling and money.
I have no tolerance for libertarians, who seem self-interested to a massive fault. But, anyone who wants to help me bring Trump down is a friend of mine. Hell, if he decides to run, I might donate money to his campaign. My first, biggest, and only priority is to get Trump out of office. Every vote for Justin Amash is one Trump needed, but didn’t get.
So important are those votes from the Right, Cong. Amash might be the person with the most individual power over Trump’s reelection chances. Or, to put it more accurately, no single American has more power to bring Trump down.
Comforted? A little?
Run, Justin, run hard, for our lives.