Donald Trump, if he creates a new political party, will take votes away from Republicans and make it easier for Democrats to win elections, according to University of Illinois political science professor Edward Fagan.
The Wall Street Journal earlier reported, citing informed sources, that Trump has been discussing in recent days the creation of a new political party he would like to call the Patriot Party.
“If Donald Trump creates a credible “Patriot Party” to compete with Republicans, he will likely damage the Republican Party if they nominate candidates in a parallel race. Trump will split the Republican Party’s vote, and the Democrats will be able to win with a slim majority,” he told RIA Novosti.
According to him, a similar situation already happened in 1968, when the Democratic Party split because of controversy over the issue of civil rights. Alabama Governor George Wallace then founded the “Dixiecratic Party” and entered the race for the presidency based on a platform that supported segregation. He then split the Democratic Party electorate and even won in several states, but Republican Richard Nixon ultimately won with only 43 percent of the vote. The current two-party system in the United States, Fagan says, leaves little chance for smaller parties.
“There are single-member districts in the United States where you need a simple majority to win…We describe a pervasive trend of such systems tending to turn into two-party systems like Duverger’s Law…In such systems, it is difficult to support small parties because voters see a vote for a small party as wasted. Moreover, the electoral college makes it even more difficult for a candidate from a small party to win the presidential election,” explained the interlocutor.
In his opinion, representatives of various factions within political parties in the U.S. understand the principles of this law and try to resolve contradictions in the primaries.
“If Donald Trump and his supporters are serious about creating a long-term legacy within the Republican Party, they are likely to use these mechanisms. A third party, on the other hand, would have to replace the Republican Party entirely to succeed, or use pronounced geographic divisions to displace local parties at the state level,” Fagan said.