Over at The Fix, Aaron Blake asks the Ron Paul campaign about the possibility of a third party campaign. Campaign manager Jesse Benton shoots down the idea.
Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul’s presidential campaign said Monday that he’s very unlikely to run for president as a third-party candidate.
“We don’t deal in absolutes, but there’s virtually zero chance,” said Paul campaign manager Jesse Benton. “He has no plans, no interest. It’s as close to zero as it can be without absolutely ruling it out.”
Paul’s showing at the Ames Straw Poll on Saturday — he came within 200 votes or so of winning – has forced people to take notice of his campaign.
Despite his strong showing at Ames, Paul is still given virtually no chance to win the Republican nomination as his libertarian-leaning brand of politics and distance from most Republicans on foreign policy matters make it difficult for him to win over mainstream GOPers.
But it’s become increasingly clear that Paul would cause severe problems for the GOP as a third-party candidate since he could likely win 5 or 10 percent of the vote in any given state with most of it coming at the expense of the eventual Republican nominee.
Benton also takes on sore loser laws in the article.
Benton noted, though, that the practicalities of running a third-party campaign make it very difficult to seek the GOP nomination first. Some states, for example, require that a candidate filing for a primary under one party’s banner sign a pledge promising to not run with another party in the general election.
“You have to make a decision pretty early on which way you’re going to go,” Benton said, “and he’s chosen to stay in the Republican Party.”
Ron Paul was the 1988 Libertarian presidential nominee. In 2008 he endorsed Constitution Party nominee Chuck Baldwin for President of the United States, and he is a lifetime member of the Libertarian Party.