Does It Mean Anything That Donald Trump Signed the Republican Pledge?

Elephant statue painted red, white and blue
Elephant statue painted red, white and blue

Answer by Marc Bodnick, Political junkie closely following the 2016 election, on Quora:

I don't think so.
  • Deal people like Trump generally don't treat commitments as meaningful unless they are binding legal contracts.
  • He will see how the primaries go and make a decision at the end. If he doesn't get the nomination, he'll weigh his options and certainly will relish using the threat of a third-party run to gain some kind of advantage.
  • And if he does run as third-party candidate, what does it cost him to break the pledge he previously made? At that point, loyal Republicans will already be angry with him.
  • He will definitely run as a third party candidate if he thinks he has a shot. He will make up some reason for why his pledge shouldn't be binding (e.g., that the Republican Party or its candidates treated him unfairly during the primaries). And most of Trump's supporters won't care that he broke his pledge.
To be clear, he has to make the pledge now to get on the ballot in some primaries.
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