The Virginia and North Carolina parties are in discussions about implementing a new requirement for candidates to qualify for their primary ballots: that they pledge to support the Republican presidential nominee -- and not run as a third-party candidate -- in the general election.Why would this work? There are too many ways Trump can get around it.
Obviously, he could bolt the party right now and announce a third-party run, which would leach votes from the GOP and all but guarantee a Democratic victory. But short of that, he could just sign the damn pledge and say, "Sure, I'm happy to sign it, because I'm going to be the nominee." If he signs it, fails to secure the nomination, and then runs third-party, what can the party do to him? Can he be arrested? I don't see how. Can he be sued? I know he's not as rich as he says he is, but he's still a fairly wealthy guy. Why would that scare him? Are there even grounds for a suit? And how long would a case like that drag on?
And if Trump doesn't want to lie, what prevents him from just running a write-in campaign? If you have high name recognition, that can work -- remember, we have a U.S. senator, Alaska's Lisa Murkowski, who won her last race as a write-in, after she lost her primary to a Tea Party lunatic. Trump has the name recognition and, for now at least, the popularity to mount a serious write-in campaign -- and wouldn't it be humiliating for a state party (and for the national party) if he won this way, or even came close?
Or he could bankroll and endorse some schlub who'd sign the pledge and then run in his stead. If Trump demonstrated that he could get his followers to vote for a complete nonentity as his placeholder, that, too, would be humiliating to the GOP Establishment.
So, no, I don't think this will slow Trump down. By the way, if Trump is the nominee, are all the other canidates willing to pledge their support for him? I hope someone asks that at the next debate.