The former CEO of Starbucks is considering a Presidential run as an independent. Both major parties are paranoid about losing critical electoral college votes to an independent. First, let’s understand why he doesn’t think either party suits him. He hates Donald Trump so the Republican party is not an option. But what about running as a Democrat? He says:
“When I hear people espousing free government-paid college, free government-paid health care and a free government job for everyone — on top of a $21 trillion debt — the question is, how are we paying for all this and not bankrupting the country?”
These are straw men chosen to suit his preference, which is to be free of multi-candidate primaries. Apparently, all his views on social issues fit into the Democrat category so if he takes votes from anyone, they will be Democratic. The Dems are angry.
If he runs and wins a healthy 15% of the vote he will likely swing the election to a candidate that earns far less than a plurality. How could he contribute favorably to the outcome? On the day of each convention when they count the delegates it’s too late. What if on the week before the chosen party’s convention Schulz could make an appearance and bring with him his own delegates (proxies). He would then provide a huge boost to “his” candidate of choice for that party. He would step back into the darkness having influenced the election by virtue of pulling candidates toward his stated views. During the debates and the barnstorming, candidates will be aware that skewing their positions towards Shultz could yield a great big fat bonus at the end. At that time he would officially drop out of the race.
No one could accuse him of being a spoiler and he would make an imprint on a party which has representation in Congress. If he has received a huge chunk of the vote then he could also simply join that party right near the end and work to get the additional needed votes/delegates during the convention.
Either way, if he chooses one of the two major parties so they get the best candidate (in his opinion),then he won’t be a spoiler in the national election. This will take a dose of realism on his part. He must see that 25% or less of the electoral vote won’t become 40% in a three-way race just because the parties’ conventions are over. If Trump holds onto his 35% core and Bernie holds his 35% then Shultz will need to steal and grab some of both to get him across the line.
Ross Perot grabbed 19% of the vote in 1996, a great result for an independent with a squeaky voice, nowhere near enough to be a threat to Clinton but enough to hurt Dole (and Bush in 1992). So what did Perot achieve?