by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Even though both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are viewed negatively by six out of ten voters, many are resigning themselves to that choice. “It’s not like ‘none of the above’ is a potential option,” GOP Texas governor Greg Abbott said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe this week.
Nevada senator Dean Heller, also a Republican, disagrees. “I vehemently oppose our nominee and some of the comments and issues he brought up during the campaign,” he told reporters this month. “What I’m committing to is voting against Hillary Clinton.” He pointed out that voters in Nevada actually do have the option of voting for “none of the above.”
Indeed, the Silver State has had a non-binding None of the Above option on its ballot since 1976. In its first year, that entrant “won” a GOP congressional primary. Many Nevada voters would like NOTA expanded so that if it came in first, the election would be declared invalid and a new election would be quickly called in which none of the candidates who lost to NOTA would be eligible to run again.
Fox News reported on a NOTA national-level proposal Tuesday night:
A group of donors and political insiders is hatching a plan to stop Trump — not at the convention but in the general election. The idea is to launch a “none of the above” campaign in a handful of states where neither Trump nor Hillary did particularly well. . . . The strategy is to deny both Trump and Clinton the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency, which would mean the House of Representatives would choose the next president. The last time that happened was in 1825, when John Quincy Adams was elected president.
Randy Evans, the chairman of the Republican National Lawyers Association, is not part of any anti-Trump effort. But he told Fox: “When I looked at the deadlines for the states and then at the polling data in terms of the number of people who are not satisfied with either of the nominees, I realized this is not a cockamamie plan. It could actually work if it had the right amount of funding.”