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Why Voting For A Third-Party Candidate Could Mean Supporting A Trump Presidency

With the presidential primaries close to wrapping up, it's time to face facts: former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and amateur woman-cherisher Donald Trump will be likely be the presidential nominees. They're both less than 100 delegates away from officially securing the nominations, and I feel for supporters of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, but it's doesn't appear that this time is his time. Those who truly can't stomach voting Clinton do have another option: Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein, whose positions on the issues align almost perfectly with Sanders. But, unfortunately, anyone voting for a third-party candidate could hand Trump the presidency.

Take it from someone who was a young idealist just back in 2000. We'd survived the Y2K panic, almost everyone had a cell phone (although they didn't yet have color screens, cameras, or the Internet), and the future was looking bright. The son of former President George H.W. Bush was running against Vice President Al Gore, and Gore was fine and all, but duller than a box of used crayons. Enter the third-party candidate: Ralph Nader. He was no joke, like Ross Perot had been back in 1992. This guy could take it! And take it he did; he took the presidency from Gore and handed it right over to Bush.

I understand that it's hard to admit defeat. Nobody likes to throw in the towel. And as recently as May 11, people were still writing impassioned articles insisting that Bernie could still win because all of the superdelegates were bound to change their minds at the last moment... It's not happening, guys, I'm sorry. Now that Sanders supporters have turned their attention to Stein, I urge them not to waste any more time on a lost cause. Stein absolutely cannot win; casting a substantial amount of votes for her will go only one of two ways: Trump wins, or Trump wins.

In the first scenario (Trump Wins), Democratic votes that could have gone to Clinton end up going to Stein, but not enough to win. According to Real Clear Politics, current polling shows Clinton ahead of Trump by a margin of just 3.3 percent. Even the most optimistic Stein supporter in America can surely agree that Stein's not turning any Trump voters, so for the sake of argument, let's assign Stein all of the undecided voters (11.7 percent), and, to be ridiculously generous, half of Clinton's 45.8 percent. That brings Stein to 34.6 percent of the vote, to Trump's 42.5. Trump wins.

In the second scenario (Trump Wins), let's just throw all logic out the window and say that Stein steals some votes from Trump supporters. Maybe they had a near-death experience and decided to turn their lives around. No matter. Let's just say that for some reason, Trump, Clinton, and Stein all get a fair amount of votes, but nobody's able to secure the majority of 270 electoral votes. That means that the decision goes to the Republican-led House of Representatives, and honey, they're not choosing Stein. This actually happened in 1824, according to The Huffington Post, and the House chose second-place winner John Quincy Adams. If it happens this year, it's either going to Trump (Trump wins), or some other second-choice conservative who I can guarantee Bernie Bros will hate a lot more than Clinton.

Again, I'm really sorry. I know there are some people out there who, for one reason or another, think Hillary Clinton is evil. I'm not interested in changing anyone's mind; I don't work for her. But I urge those people to accept that, at the very least, she's the lesser of two evils, and the only viable presidential candidate who definitely won't start World War III over who has the hottest wife or the biggest hands. Those who could survive a Trump presidency (those who aren't under the threat of deportation) should think about those who can't. Just keep that in mind this November.