Will Justin Amash Spoil the 2020 Presidential Race?


Rep. Justin Amash (MI-03)

Once again, we have someone who is angling to be the 3rd party spoiler for this presidential election. Enter Justin Amash.

Amash is a 5-term Tea Party Republican who became well known last year when he changed his party affiliation to become an Independent and then voted to impeach Trump. He announced that he was exploring a run for the Libertarian nomination earlier this week. 

That said, in a year when getting rid of Trump is of primary importance, any 3rd party candidate can cause problems. The last 3 elections with a 3rd party spoiler pulled away enough votes from the parties to make a significant difference. My biggest concern is that the right-leaning voters who aren’t willing to vote for Trump but were begrudgingly thinking about voting for Biden, might now vote for Amash. Especially in Michigan, a critical swing state. In 2020, we need every vote we can muster to beat Trump.

So, I was curious to see what Republicans who are sour on Trump thought of Amash’s announcement. Here are three never-Trump Republicans on what they thought:

Rick Wilson, a Republican consultant and media strategist:

George Conway, an attorney and Kellyanne Conway’s husband:

Tom Watson, a professor at the U.S. Naval War College:

Granted, all three of them are never-Trumpers and want Trump to lose. Amash has zero path to become president and can only be a spoiler, so they are not inclined to vote for him. But there were plenty of other conservatives who are active on Twitter who were noticeably quiet about Amash’s entry into the race.

In the end, all we can control are our own actions. Amash’s candidacy is news to be aware of, sure, but we have work to do. We have 6 months to get as many left-leaning voters as enthusiastic as possibly about voting for Democrats up and down the ballot.

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14 replies

  1. Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
    Yesterday, when I read that Justin Amash is contemplating a third-party run for president in November, my heart dropped, for it is my belief that if he does so, Trump will be re-elected. I had planned, of course, to write a post on the topic. However, our friend TokyoSand has written almost exactly what I would have, so … why re-invent the wheel? Thank you, TS!

  2. I’m not worried. I suspect Trump will lose by a landslide, Amash or no Amash. Democrats are furious with Trump, and I think there will be a historic turnout this year, against him.

  3. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    My sentiments exactly when I fist noticed his ‘musings’ … I believe he went ahead and announced? … ‘When I read that Justin Amash is contemplating a third-party run for president in November, my heart dropped, for it is my belief that if he does so, Trump will be re-elected.’

  4. Once we get to the general election, voters can vote for whoever they want. The concern is that there may be voters who hate Trump, but don’t like Biden for some reason, vote for Amash. This is what happened in 2016 to Hillary Clinton. Had there not been a 3rd candidate, those voters would have been “forced” to choose one of the two candidates. Some call this a “protest vote.”

    • No one has to vote. Perhaps using the word “forced” in this context was an error. What I mean to say is that if you are voting, and there are only two choices.

  5. He’s not going to attract any of the faithful from the Unholy Church of Trump.
    You can only hope he will galvanise some who were not going to vote for either other candidate and no one else. Maybe be just a George Wallace in ’68.


  1. Justin Amash and the Crucial Pivot Counties

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