Donald Trump will “probably” run as an independent candidate for U.S. President in 2012 if he does not receive the Republican party’s nomination, he told the Wall Street Journal in a video interview on Monday.
“I hate what’s happening to the country,” said Mr. Trump, a real estate tycoon and host of the NBC show “Celebrity Apprentice.” He will not formally make a decision until June, however, when this season of his television show is over. “I can’t run during the airing of that show,” Mr. Trump said, “I’m not allowed to.” But he said he would make an announcement “by June” and his candidacy looks increasingly likely.
Mr. Trump’s candidacy would complicate matters for the GOP as it looks to front someone who can unite the fractious party and mount a serious challenge to President Obama’s reelection bid. A recent Wall Street Journal/NBC poll recently found Mr. Trump tied for second place with former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee among likely voters in a GOP primary. Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who moved a step closer to formally declaring his own candidacy Monday, is still the frontrunner, though not by a wide margin.
Trust us, Donald Trump is not going to win the 2012 GOP presidential nomination. That said, if Trump throws “his hair into the ring” as an independent, it would be a nightmare for the eventual GOP presidential nominee. The reason: Obama is beatable, but the GOP has only a razor thin margin of error in several 2012 battleground states (Florida, Ohio, etc.). Thus, if Trump were to run as an independent and gain even one percent of the vote in certain battleground states, he would be giving Obama a relatively easy path to reelection.