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Full Version: Could the Republican Party Just Bypass Trump This Year?
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We talked about how the Democratic Party could pick a candidate other than Joe Biden. I think they should, honestly.

But why couldn't the Republican Party do the same?

I realize they are not likely to do that but the Republicans should replace Trump as soon as possible. They had the opportunity to remove him from office earlier this year and they passed on that. Millions of voters who are angry about Trump's bungling of the Covid-19 crisis may take Republican support for him into consideration and vote against them at all levels this Fall.

So what would it take for the GOP to say, "We screwed up but let's fix that before the election"?
The quick answer - they would have to be sure that the replacement could beat Biden, while Trump pitches a fit. And nothing is sure. Sad
At this point I think almost any moderate Republican could beat Biden. I haven't seen so many lackluster and lukewarm endorsements for a politician in my lifetime.
His cult following is still too strong, unfortunately.
Here is an interesting analysis of the history of incumbents facing serious primary challenges.

In the modern primary era post-1968, no incumbent President from either party has been successfully primaried. However, Ford, Carter, and Bush all faced serious primary challenges and failed to win the general despite securing the nomination.

In the current election year, given how late in the process we are, I don’t know that there is a viable mechanism to select another nominee, unless Trump just flat out pulled out of the election (that’s not going to happen).
Well, things have changed a lot in the past couple of weeks.

Trump's asking doctors if people can ingest disinfectants to fight the Covid-19 virus seems to have underscored for everyone just how stupid this man is. Today's headlines are more about how Republicans are trying to survive Trump than support him.

All that can change again.

Biden, meanwhile, appears to have weathered the Tara Reade storm - and some serious challenges to her story have begun appearing even outside the Dump Trump campaign strategy.

So I think we're in a period of political reset. Both men need to avoid making mistakes. Biden appears to have a sleight advantage. But, again, it looks like whoever says the next stupid thing (and both seem equally capable to me) will slide further in the polls.

Both parties have a real opportunity to avoid all the grand-standing convention nonsense and just turn politics around by choosing different nominees. That would be what's best for the country and might even be what both parties need.

But they're playing a classic Prisoner's Dilemma: if only one party makes a bold move the other is likely to win the election. They both need to dump their candidates or else they both need to stay the course and hope they survive the voter fury.

This year marks the second presidential election in a row in which the major party candidates are disliked or despised by millions of people in their own ideological camps.
But, under exactly what mechanism would either party switch horses at this late date?

First, the Democrats. Their party elders have successfully fended off the Sanders insurrection twice. It is abundantly clear that the Party does not want to run Sanders, now, or ever. But if Biden is shoved aside somehow, how do you nominate anyone else besides Sanders? The Party fears that Sanders is poison in the general (and might be correct in that assessment), but snubbing him yet again after hypothetically booting Biden they risk so angering their own left wing that they couldn’t get enough turnout to elect a dog catcher. Conversely, African-American voters don’t seem to like Sanders very much. Would enough of that critical demographic turn out for him?

On the Republican side, the party elders lost their struggle against an insurgent candidate in 2016. Trump has a hard core of antiestablishment types who probably won’t turn out if he is shoved aside, viewing that event as more Deep Stateism. Trump might win in November. I don’t think a backroom replacement candidate can, unless Trump himself steps down and endorses the replacement (not gonna happen).

We basically have two poker players who are all in on weak hands. It’s too late to fold. We’ll just have to see the cards play out.
Yep, I think the above is absolutely correct. The mechanism is simple - nominate someone else. But they won't do it. People who respond to polls are lukewarm about Biden - most worrisome is that potential swing voters whom he is supposed to appeal to (farmers and workers in factory towns and rural areas who supported Carter, Clinton and Obama - but also Reagan, Bush and Trump) just don't care. But they are even less likely to support someone perceived as more liberal, such as Bernie or Warren. Or Hillary. She was in a lose-lose position, where swing voters thought she was ultra liberal, while Bernie supporters thought she was a Wall Street-backed neo-Con. Anything she actually believed was irrelevant.

The GOP has a different issue. Few of the actual party care for Trump personally, and see him as a Democrat who switched parties to get elected. But they like him better than any Democrat anywhere with any platform or belief or agenda. And they realize he has a big base of Wallace Democrats, Enquirer-readers, Fox-watchers, infrequent voters, and reality tv fans that starched-and-pressed Republican candidates (Bush jr and sr, Romney jr and sr, Mr. and Mrs. Dole, Howard Baker, Jack Kemp, McCain, Ford, Lamar Alexander, Lindsey Graham, etc. ) have never been able to attract and/ or retain.

So they will stick with him.
August, I don’t think the mechanism is all that simple. Each party sets forth its nominating rules at its convention. The primaries are really about who gets to name delegates to the convention, and political realities aside (will delegates named by the Biden campaign actually vote for someone else on the first ballot?) are constrained by the rules to vote in a certain way for at least the first ballot.

The rules as currently constituted in both parties are designed to minimize the influence of party elders in “smoke filled rooms” in selecting the nominee. Procedurally, I don’t see a viable mechanism to “nominate someone else”. Such a mechanism could conceivably put into place for 2024, but it is not in place for 2020.
In that sense, yes you are absolutely right, as far as the states where their delegates are bound to vote a certain way. As you know, there will still be a few forced to cast one vote for Gabbard, one for Mayor Pete, etc. On the other hand, with Biden seen as the presumptive nominee, state conventions may not be as choosy when appointing delegates, who might be swayed to do something wild. I gather a lot of those super-delegates remain uncommitted too. But, as I recall, someone could always move that party rules be suspended, and delegates be released from their commitments. It would cause a big fuss, to be sure, but it's nothing but parliamentary rules, no more or less etched in stone that protocol for the local garden club. Wink
On the Dem side, the superdelegates are not pledged, but they are also not permitted to vote on the first ballot. The Reps don’t have superdelegates. All of their delegates are pledged. I read through the RNC rules, and you could theoretically toss the rules, but in practice it is almost impossible to do so.
Biden doesn't technically have enough votes to win the first ballot. I'm not sure if Trump does.

Now, on the Democratic side, if everyone has bowed out of the race does the DNC have to go with the last man standing?

As for Trump, I've read that Justin Amash entered the race. No idea of what he's trying to do. Maybe he siphon off some likely Trump voters who won't vote for Biden. I'm not sure that's going to work.

But if Trump doesn't have enough delegates to clench the Republican nomination because the primaries were disrupted, then would the RNC be able to dump him?

Neither scenario is likely. I am sure the parties will stick to these guys like rats on a sinking ship hoping to reach the only spot of dry land left before the rats on the other sinking ship does.

I still see either guy with a winning strategy. It's like we're waiting to see who loses rather than who wins.
Trump has over 1600 pledged delegates, with around 1400 needed to nominate. The RNC has the ability to name a different nominee if Trump chooses to step down or cannot run for some reason. Absent that, theoretically, the rules could be radically changed to replace him, but the parliamentary path to do so is so tortured as to be effectively impossible. It would be easier to enact a Constitutional Amendment in three months.

On the Democratic side, Biden leads, but does not have enough for a first ballot nomination to date. While I haven’t read the DNC rules, it seems unlikely that the mechanism to set aside the front runner is any less torturous than the Republican one.
Well, I guess we'll just have to continue watching this slow ballet of least desirable candidates gradually colliding into each other.
That probably would be a good idea.