Republicans are launching a “desperate” Hail Mary effort to block the party’s front-runner so far, Donald Trump, according to a report by the New York Times.
If the effort fails, Republicans are willing to commit what sounds like short-term political suicide by fielding an independent candidate who maintains party values, according to the report.
The 100-day battle starts in Wisconsin with the state’s April 5 primary, with what the Times calls “a delegate-by-delegate lobbying effort that would cast Mr. Trump as a calamitous choice for the general election” employing “desperate measures.”
Trump, a real estate billionaire and reality television star-turned-politician, has a sizable lead of about 250 delegates over his closest rival, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. Many Republicans are so horrified by the prospect of Trump representing their party that they are backing Cruz, like him or not.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) will hold a fundraiser for Cruz on Monday even though Graham dislikes him so much he once joked about murdering him.
Among names being floated to flout Trump as a third-party candidate are former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Tom Coburn, a former Oklahoma senator — though Coburn didn’t seem enthusiastic about running.
“I’m going to support that person,” Coburn told the Times, “and I don’t expect that person to be me.”
Despite what seems to be an unstoppable juggernaut of Trump marching to the nomination, his opponents hold out hope.
“This is still a winnable race for a free-market conservative that’s not Donald Trump,” David McIntosh, president of the conservative Club for Growth, told the Times, “It’s not a layup, but there’s a clear path to victory.”