Donald Trump discusses possibility of new political outfit, says report; third front may dent traditional GOP vote

Donald Trump discusses possibility of new political outfit, says report; third front may dent traditional GOP vote

Donald Trump discusses possibility of new political outfit, says report; third front may dent traditional GOP vote

As he boarded the Air Force One on the last day of his tenure as President, Donald Trump on Wednesday told a crowd “we will be back in some form”. Shortly after, Wall Street Journal reported that he had discussed the possibility of setting up a new political outfit ‘Patriot Party'.

The development came after several Republican leaders criticised Trump’s role in the 6 January US Capitol riots that resulted in five deaths.

In his strongest public rebuke of Trump yet, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday said rioters who attacked the Capitol were “fed lies” and “provoked by the president and other powerful people, and they tried to use fear and violence” in an attempt “to stop and overturn the certification by Congress of Democrat Joe Biden’s 3 November election victory.”

Search interest for terms like “Third Party,” “New Party,” or “Patriot Party” rose, with 1,31,000 mentions of the new outfit across social media, broadcast, traditional media and online sites between 19 and 20 January, according to a Forbes report.

Trump’s third front may dent the traditional GOP vote. Wall Street Journal’s Andrew Restuccia noted, "The president has a large base of supporters, some of whom were not deeply involved in Republican politics prior to Trump's 2016 campaign."

Despite his baseless claims about a fraudulent election outcome and a second impeachment process, several Republicans seemed to have remained loyal to Trump, making the threat for the Grand Old Party graver if the former president floats the Patriot Party. Apart from the support for him being evident in the significant number of votes in the 2020 polls, a Morning Consult-Politico survey published last week found 42 percent of Republicans say they would support Trump if he ran in 2024, a decrease of 13 percentage points from November but still significant.

In the history of US Presidential elections, third party runs have often run into failure. Through third party candidates played a role in posing some challenge to Trump and his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, former Republican president Teddy Roosevelt’s run as a member of the Bull Moose party in 1912 ended in failure. His presidential pursuit led to the splitting of votes with GOP candidate William Howard Taft, resulting in the victory of Democrat Woodrow Wilson.

The most recent third party candidate to win more than 5 percent of the vote in a presidential election was Ross Perot, a tech entrepreneur who ran as an independent and as standard-bearer of the Reform Party in 1992 and 1996, winning 18.9 percent and 8.4 percent of the vote respectively.