“If You Ain’t First, You’re Last”: How State “Sore-Loser” Laws Make it Impossible for Trump to Run a Successful Third-Party Campaign if He Loses the Republican Primary

By: Jason Torchinsky, Steve Roberts, Dennis W. Polio, and Andrew Pardue

Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy

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Donald Trump and his allies have insisted that he can and should run as a third-party candidate in the general election if he fails to win the Republican nomination. The authors, practicing lawyers specializing in political law, conducted a deep-dive analysis into all 50 states' election laws to determine whether this would be possible. Contrary to the claims of Trump and his allies, state “sore-loser” laws will prevent him from running a meaningful third-party candidacy after the Republican Primaries, relegating Trump to the status of a spoiler-candidate.

Read analysis here.