Follow me if you will into a realm of low probability events, but with Jeb Bush marrying a munchkin from Mexico, low probability events have dominated his life. The presidency is still within reach. Pshaw, you say! No, it is you who are wrong. One has to take into account the words of the neocon mandarins as well as America's quirky system. They can rig it however they want. Start thinking like a spiteful GOPe operative or donor.
1. Run 3rd party in only one state to win out West: Wyoming, Utah, Idaho. Preferably Utah. Strategically place Jeb as a 3rd party candidate on ballots in swingish states that the Dems have won for years where Donald polls well like MI, PA, MN, etc. That is maybe 6 states total.
2. Only run hard in the one western state. Win that state's electoral votes. Utah is great because the Dems rarely crack 30%, and Trump's support is weaker out west. The Huntsman-Romney crowd could work the machinery to give Jeb a shot. It could be as quirky as Jeb 38%, Donald 35%, Clinton 27%. Just be a 2-3% vote getter in those swing-ish states to secure them for Clinton.
3. Hope neither Trump nor the Democrat wins 270 electoral votes. By pulling Utah and it's 6 electoral votes, you're already crushing the Donald if he just repeats the 2000 W results, and blocking Clinton from 270 as well.
3a. GOPe forces Trump to select a GOPe approved VP like the Establishment did to Reagan with GHWB in '80.
>CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS is what the media would blare, but they would be WRONG! The founders set up contingencies, and then made tweaks to account for odd outcomes.<
4. With no electoral majority won, Congress selects the President and the Senate selects the VP. It is not a roll call vote for President. It is a vote by state delegation.
5. It is the outgoing Congress that elects the President from the top 3 electoral college vote recipients. GOP controls 33 state house delegations. VP is selected by the Senate from the top 2 electoral collectors.
6. GOPe in Congress selects Jeb. Senate selects the GOPe approved VP that ran with Trump.
This is threading the needle. I know it is. If the GOPe cannot get their pool boy Marco Rubio into the nomination, then they will resort tosomething weird. There is no way the GOPe is going down without some form of a fight. Not a fight against the Left. They would never fight the Left but fighting Trump and change within the party is different. A 3rd party run is a loser, and a definite loser for any who try it with someone who lost their own party's nomination.
Is this the end of the most successful political dynasty in America? No. Jeb is just a loser who ran into an opponent that would pull zero punches and in an election where there is a younger substitute. Fear not Republicans, there will be another Bush running in a decade. That big, cross eyed enchilada will be there. Staring at both of you.