Despite talk Tuesday that Weekly Standard Editor Bill Kristol was urging National Review columnist David French to run as an independent in November, "I don't think there will be a serious third-party challenge," political strategist Dick Morris told Newsmax TV.
"At the end of the day, everybody is going to be so polarized for and against Hillary or for and against Trump," Morris told host J.D. Hayworth on "Newsmax Prime" in an interview. "I don't really think a third candidate will be effective and certainly somebody who nobody's ever heard of.
"It would be one thing if he had [former New York City Mayor Michael] Bloomberg, or if he had somebody less than Bloomberg, like a former senator or somebody like that. "But to go with an unknown person would not be effective."
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Still, presumptive nominee Donald Trump would have to take any such challenge seriously, Morris cautioned, citing the Ross Perot effect in the 1992 election.
"He's got a real need to discourage a third-party candidate — because, after all, any votes that a candidacy, particularly one that originates on the right from Kristol, would come directly off of Trump," he told Hayworth. "And don't forget, the last time a Clinton was elected president, it was because Perot took 19 percent of the vote away, half of it from [President George H.W.] Bush.
"Most people agree that Perot got half of his votes from people who wouldn't have voted, but about nine points were right off of Bush. That's why Clinton was able to win the White House then with only 42 percent of the vote, because Bush had only 36 percent because he lost nine points to the third-party candidate.
"People are worried that history will repeat itself here."
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