What to do if Trump or Clinton aren’t the candidates on election day?
Paddy Power have markets up on whether Trump or Clinton won’t be their party’s Presidential candidate on election day. After all there has been speculation about Trump quitting the race (or the GOP trying to replace him.)
But if for whatever reason Trump isn’t the candidate on 8/11/2016 if you wanted to bet on this market, the better strategy might be to back the likely replacements for Trump. Say Paul Ryan, John Kasich, Mike Pence, and Ted Cruz, whose odds range from 160s to 970s on Betfair to be next President.
A similar strategy can be employed on the Democratic Party nominee, where you can back Bernie Sanders and Tim Kaine to be the next President at 80s and 1000s respectively on Betfair were something to happen to Hillary Clinton to stop her being the nominee on election day.
For the record I don’t expect either of the candidates to stand down, if they aren’t the candidates on election day it’ll be either for actuarial reasons or well if we have a modern day John Wilkes Booth, so again this is another market where I wish the bookie would offer the other side of the bet. Plus the actual mechanics of a candidate withdrawing at this late stage is very problematic, this article from a few days ago says
This formal re-selection process would take at least a couple weeks, though, and time is ticking down to Election Day.
Most states have their own ballot deadlines for presidential elections so people casting absentee ballots can vote for the correct candidates.
That means that if the RNC replaces Trump, his name could still appear on the ballot in some states — and not the new nominee selected by the party. This could be incredibly confusing for voters who would want to vote for Pence, but would have to select Trump on the ballot, political scientist Josh Putnam told The Washington Post.
Several ballot deadlines have already passed, and more are coming up this week.
“The deadline for things not being messy is like now,” Aull said. “By the end of the month at the latest, that’s the non-messy deadline, whereas post-August or end of September is when things start to get really, really complicated. They don’t want that.”
Another state-specific hurdle would come up after the election.
When voters select a candidate, they are really telling members of the electoral college in their state to vote for that candidate. In some states, the electors can choose whomever they want for president. Others require they vote for a party based on popular vote. And in a third set, electors are legally bound to vote for the name on the ballot.
It’s this third category where the Republican Party would have to go to court to transfer the votes for Trump to the replacement. That would be even more time consuming and “messy.”