A lot was made in Thursday night’s debate of Donald Trump’s refusal to abjure running as a third-party candidate should he not get the Republican nomination.
It was, as the Bard says, much ado about nothing, because Trump is extremely unlikely to run third party for three reasons:
1. It will cost him a fortune and, although rich, as we have seen The Donald is not quite as rich as he says he is. Running as an independent would put a serious dent in his net worth.
2. It will put an equally serious dent in the Trump brand. Yes, it will keep him in the public eye, but many millions of Republicans will be very angry at him for throwing this important election to the Democrats, a significant portion of whom are such true believers they would vote for Hillary if she had to govern the country from behind bars. Think those millions of irate Repubs would be willing patrons of Trump’s hotels, casinos, golf courses, clothing lines or whatever? No way — and Trump certainly knows it. He’s a businessman.
3. Trump doesn’t like to lose — and he would.
So, in sum, Trump saying he would run third party is just a stunt. (Sound familiar?) He also adds the caveat that he would stay with the Republicans if they treat him nicely. They already are — except perhaps for Megyn Kelly. But Trump needs her as much as she needs him.