A group of prominent Republicans are reportedly examining the possibility of running a third-party candidate that could draw moderate Republicans away from the GOP’s presumptive nominee Donald Trump, denying him the White House.
The group is led by, among others, the party’s 2012 presidential candidate and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, The Washington Post reported Saturday.
The report cited “more than a dozen Republicans involved in the discussions,” and revealed that the group has commissioned polls, begun considering fundraising and is courting possible candidates for the independent slate.
Romney has turned to former Republican primary candidate John Kasich, who withdrew from the race in early May, and Nebraska senator Ben Sasse in an effort to convince them to challenge Trump.
The effort to prevent a Trump presidency has “intensified” in recent days, the report said, after Trump all but locked up the Republican nomination earlier this month.
Businessman Mark Cuban, whose television personality mirrors Trump’s own, said he was one of the people considered for the position, but added, “I don’t see it happening. There isn’t enough time.”
As the Post and others have noted, the late-in-the-game bid may be too late, as deadlines for submitting names to November ballots are either approaching or already past in many key states.
Many of those named by the Post as involved in the effort, such as Weekly Standard editor William Kristol, are active in the “Never Trump” movement that rejects the brash billionaire and former Democrat as their party’s “standard bearer,” despite his primary victory.