While campaigning last week, Donald Trump wouldn’t rule out the possibility of running as a third party candidate. Let’s correct that and say that he hasn’t ruled it out while speaking in public. From a business perspective, that would be foolish. Trump’s greatest business assets are his casinos and golf courses. If he hands Hillary the election by running as a third party candidate, he can write off Republicans visiting his properties.
Conventions wouldn’t get booked at his casinos. He’d become persona non grata in terms of contributing to GOP candidates. Any campaign contributions from Trump would either be rejected by the candidate or the candidate would be rejected by the GOP.
A recent CNN video said that most of Trump’s net worth is tied up in his properties. It didn’t say that he had lots of liquidity, meaning his alleged net worth of $10,000,000,000, which is difficult to verify, isn’t the daunting figure it seems to be. In that CNN video, Trump states that he’s running on his own money. Let’s look at the ramification of doing that.
Just for this discussion, let’s stipulate that Trump is worth $10,000,000,000 and that 60% of that is tied up in his properties. That means that he’d have to spend most of his liquid assets just to make a ripple as a third party candidate. Hillary and her super PACs are planning on spending $2,500,000,000 this election. The GOP candidate will likely have a similar amount.
Trump would have to get on the ballot in all 50 states, which isn’t easy. Trump would have to spend a ton of money just to get on the ballot in each state, leaving less money for Trump to campaign with. That raises new questions.
Would Trump be able to compete in expensive media markets like Pennsylvania, Florida and Ohio? For instance, statewide ad buys in Florida are north of $1,000,000/week. It’s pretty much the same in Philadelphia.
Notice this house of cards. If Trump can’t get on the ballot in all 50 states, it sends the signal that he can’t be competitive, meaning that a vote for Trump is essentially a vote for Hillary.
The likelihood of a Trump third party run is slim, according to RNC Chairman Reince Priebus:
Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, says he doesn’t fear a potential third-party run from current GOP front-runner Donald Trump.
“Our candidates should pledge not to run as a third-party candidate. I don’t see that happening,” RNC chair Reince Priebus said in a live exclusive interview with TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie.
Trump is famous for making brash statements, then backing away from them when he’s gotten called out. Trump’s statements about running a third party campaign is just talk. It’s that simple.