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Easy to Make An Election Close (Again)

Post #44, Bob McKnight's Subscription Commentary

Why Wouldn't They Do It?

As avid readers of this Commentary know, almost one year ago exactly (January 12, 2018), I wrote about how election slates can be manipulated to help certain candidates. Actually, it is rather easy. Said another way, it is possible for one of two candidates to help their chances significantly by encouraging a "third" candidate to get into the race. Basically it is a mathematical exercise where a third candidate draws votes from one of the two main candidates, helping the remaining candidate win.. This exercise came to mind watching the CBS television program, 60 Minutes last night, featuring the announcement of a possible Independent Campaign by Starbucks business executive Howard Schultz. Cynics would say that pro Trump supporters are behind the Schultz campaign, since no Independent has ever come close to winning a Presidential Campaign. It would appear Schultz would draw votes from the Democrats, possibly helping Trump win a second term. Schultz sounded sincere about his intentions to not help either Political Party in his interview last night.

Other examples of Independents potentially deciding national elections, as pointed out in my year old Commentary:

1968: Nixon beat Humphrey perhaps because of George Wallace.

1992: Clinton beat Bush I perhaps because of Ross Perot.

2000 Bush II beat Gore perhaps because of Ralph Nader.

2016: Trump beat Clinton perhaps because of Gary Johnson and Jill Stein.

In most cases like these examples, the winner did not garner even a majority of 50+% of the votes. As in the last election, there could be more than one Independent recruited for the General Election, so stay tune.

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