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Will an independent conservative candidate gain a significant number of votes in the 2016 US Presidential election?


The 2016 Republican presidential primary election, and in particular the (presumed) appointment of controversial candidate Donald Trump as the party nominee has led to signs of apparent division within the Republican party. For example, some leading party members, including former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, and former presidents George W and George H W Bush have refused to endorse Trump's candidacy.

Will significant fracturing/defections from the Republican party lead to large scale defection of voters from the party endorsed candidate, and the emergence of a conservative third candidate, not endorsed by either main party?

Will such a candidate gain significant following and votes?

Criterion for "Yes" if an independent or third party candidate self-identifying as conservative gains at least 15% of the national vote.

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