The coming Republican schism
A third party candidate like Jim Webb or Michael Bloomberg would only split the Democratic vote. In the unlikely event of a Trump or Cruz nomination, I would like to see somebody like Lindsey Graham or Christie run a Center Right campaign. But neither Webb nor Bloomberg would be an option for most traditional Republicans.
One thing, I think, is certain. Despite Sen. McCain's assertion that he would support Trump or Cruz if nominated, and despite Sen. Graham's statement that he'd be willing to reassess what it meant to be a Republican in the even more unlikely event that Trump or Cruz is elected, I suspect that this election will see the end of the Republican party as we know it.
If a sane and qualified candidate is nominated, either a third-party run by Trump or- more likely, since I have a difficult time imagining Trump wasting his money that way- a stay-at-home strike by the crazies on Election Day will probably elect Hillary.
If Trump or Cruz is nominated, the traditionally Republican wing of the party will rebel. As much as I hope the rebellion takes the form of a third (or fourth, or fifth) ticket in the race running from the Center Right, it's more likely that sane Republicans will split in their response, most staying home and the rest voting for either Hillary or Jim Webb.
Either way, I don't expect the Republican party to survive the 2016 election in its present form. Neither wing sees enough in common with the other to stay in the same party with it. The timing is still up in the air- it may not happen until after the election, or even after the next one- but where we have one major right-of-center party in the United States right now, in the post-2016 world I am very much afraid that there are going to be two.
And that can only benefit the Democrats.
This should be a Republican year. If it's not- and at the moment, the prospects aren't good- it will be because the Republicans have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. And arithmetic being what it is, unless something similar happens to the Democrats- which I see as unlikely, the crazies being in such firm control- it will mean an era of Democratic rule in Washington and the nation.
And the Republicans will have nobody to blame but themselves.