An enduring fantasy of the primary season is that someone, somewhere, will somehow defeat Donald Trump either in the GOP primary race (no longer possible), or as a third-party candidate that offers more than a conservative split that hands the White House to Hillary Clinton. The standard bearers of this doomed cause were the “Never Trump” gang, spearheaded by Mitt Romney and William Kristol. Romney, who has consistently failed in his own aspirations to become president, suddenly became the focal point of the misbegotten idea: Maybe he would be the white knight the Republicans had been waiting for!
Alas, no. Per CNN, sources close to Romney have confirmed not only that he won’t run, but that he’s stopped recruiting anyone else for the job. Nebraska Sen. Bob Sasse was one of his prime targets, but when he said no, the entire plot seemed to unravel quickly. Worse, Republicans in DC have started putting the kibosh on any nascent revolutions. They didn’t want Trump, but now that he’s theirs, they’re little inclined to burn the whole thing down, and even less inclined to let Hillary Clinton win. Reince Priebus himself has called the idea of a third-party run “a suicide mission.”
In the end, it comes down to two factors: They don’t want to concede to Hillary, and nobody has a real plan for turning an idea into actual political infrastructure. The U.S. has rarely been kind to third-party candidates, and though the ground looks more fertile this time around, it’s getting awfully late in the game to start from scratch.