Please vote in the ‘last person standing’ race for the Republican nomination

I love America.

On April 19, 1775, four of my relatives mustered to Lexington Green with other men from their town and faced off against the troops of a leader who did not respect the authority of their elected representatives, their courts, or themselves. One of my relatives, a man with my name, later gave a deposition on the events of that day.

…at about five o’clock of said morning, intelligence was received that the British were within a short distance; and, on the beat to arms, I immediately repaired to where our company were fast assembling; that when about sixty or seventy of them had taken post, the British had arrived within sight, and were advancing on a quick march towards us, when I distinctly heard one of their officers say, “Lay down your arms and disperse, ye rebels!” They then fired upon us. I then retreated up the north road, and was pursued about thirty rods by an officer on horseback (supposed to be Maj. Pitcairn.) calling out to me, “Damn you, stop, or you are a dead man!” – I found I could not escape him, unless I left the road. Therefore I sprang over a pair of bars, made a stand and discharged my gun at him; upon which he immediately turned to the main body, which shortly after took up their march for Concord. William Tidd.

This battle, while a rout for the colonists, set in motion the events that led to the Declaration of Independence and the formation of our government, a government with checks and balances that are designed to prevent any one person from imposing his or her will on the entire nation.

Sadly, neither our current president nor our former president has respected these checks and balances. Both have abused the powers of the presidency to impose their will on Americans and enact policies that many Americans oppose. In so doing, they have fomented divisions among us. Neither of these men should be elected president again. Polls indicate that most Americans want another choice, but despite this, Biden and Trump are the heavy favorites to win the nominations of their respective parties. Unless something changes, one of them will likely be our next president.

Something needs to change. Today, small factions within our two political parties exert an outsized influence on our political process and often force unwanted outcomes on a majority of Americans. One of the main things they use to achieve this disproportionate influence is primary elections. In primary elections, candidates who appeal to small, motivated factions have a greater chance of success because they are only competing for the votes of one political party. They leverage the division of Americans into political parties to defeat candidates who would better represent a majority of Americans.

Some believe that significant changes are needed to our electoral system to restore political balance. While changes could be helpful, individual voters could restore balance within the current system if they voted more strategically in primary elections. Specifically, individual voters could fix the problem by temporarily changing their political affiliation and crossover voting in the other party’s primary elections.

Consider, for example, the current presidential election. Earlier this year, Donald Trump was polling nationally at about 42%. Over the course of the year, however, his support has grown to approximately 55% as Republicans’ confidence in Ron DeSantis has waned. 55%, however, is only slightly above 50%, and Trump needs to win 50% of the delegates to secure the nomination. If he fails to win 50% of the delegates, the Republican nominee will be decided at the Republican convention. Here, two other Republicans could potentially combine their delegates and become the party’s ticket.

In short, Trump has a formidable lead in the Republican race, but his nomination is not guaranteed. At the end of August, for example, estimated that “Trump’s ‘true’ win probability could be as low as 54%.”

President Biden, on the other hand, has a secure lock on the Democratic nomination. Barring a change in his decision to run or a significant change to his health, President Biden is almost certain to become the Democratic nominee.

Herein lies an opportunity for Democrats. While individual Democratic votes are unlikely to have an impact on the result of Democratic primaries, they could have a significant impact on the result of Republican primaries. For example, if Republicans voted in line with how things are polling today but approximately 10% of Democrats temporarily changed their party affiliation and voted in their states’ Republican primaries and caucuses, Donald Trump would fail to win the majority of delegates he needs to secure the Republican nomination. But it would likely take far fewer Democrats to achieve this result. If the gap narrows between Trump and his challengers, Republicans will begin to lose confidence in Trump’s ability to beat President Biden, and his support among Republicans could fall to numbers like what they were earlier this year.

In other words, in this election, Democrats have an opportunity to choose not only who leads the Democratic ticket, but also influence who becomes the nominee or running mate on the Republican ticket.

The same is not true for Republicans. Republicans who wish for another choice, however, can vote for someone besides Donald Trump in their state’s Republican primary. By doing so, they might be able to improve the chances that a Republican will win the general election.

This past weekend, I ran the Race for DFL, a “last person standing” backyard ultra race, with hopes of encouraging crossover voting in the coming Republican presidential primary elections. In this race, as in the primaries, “last is first and first is last.”

In backyard ultras, racers run laps on a 4.1667 mile course. They have one hour to complete each lap, and they must start a new lap at the beginning of every hour. Racers who fail to complete a lap within an hour or who refuse to continue to the next lap receive a Did Not Finish (DNF) status for the race. To win the race, a runner must complete one more lap than the last runner(s) to DNF. If all the remaining runners DNF on the same lap, the race has no winner.

My goal for the race was to run 50 laps, one lap for each state. I wasn’t able to reach that goal, but my brother, John, and I were the last two runners standing after 26 laps/hours. We were not going to try to beat each other, so we ran one more lap and dropped out together after completing 27 laps and about 112 miles. Since we dropped out together, there was no winner for the race.

I posted a few details and pictures from the race on X @BillTidd. There were a couple takeaways that could apply to the race for the Republican nomination.

First, it didn’t matter who led in the early laps. At the beginning of the race, my brother and I finished our laps near the back of the pack. As the race progressed, however, we finished closer and closer to the front. Toward the end of the race, we finished most laps first. We were not running faster. Others were running slower. Consistency “won” the race.

Second, in this race, as in any race, people were trying to figure out who is going to win from the start. They scoured the field for signs of weakness and strength. Perceptions played a big role in determining the winner. An accidental innovation turned out to be a huge advantage in this area.

While there can only be one winner in a race, my brother, John, and I ran this race as a team. John was not a party to my political goals for the race, but he was game to shoot for 50 laps. As a team, we were much more formidable than either of us would have been individually. As the race went on, people learned that we were brothers and that they would have to beat both of us to win. Then, someone did some research on Strava. At around lap 22, another racer who had (very wisely) been running well behind us for the whole race caught up to us and asked (paraphrasing) did one of you set the record for the NH-48, and did the other finish a 300-kilometer race recently?  The race ended a few laps later.

My experience in this race made me wonder if the right two Republican candidates could increase their chances of winning by agreeing to select each other as their running mate if they win the nomination. There would be many advantages. The candidates could support each other in debates instead of trying to win votes from each other. Voters and the media would start to treat the two candidates as a unit and would combine their poll numbers and vote percentages when they compared the results to Trump’s. It would make it easier to prevent Trump from winning the delegates he needs to secure the nomination, and it would place the two candidates in a much stronger position if the race ended up being decided in a contested convention.

I am way out of my lane on all of this, but like many Americans, I wish for another choice in this election. I also feel an obligation to my relatives who fought in the American Revolution to do what I can to preserve the freedoms they helped win. These ideas may be a bit “out there,” but out-of-the-box thinking and actions are needed in times like this.

If you share my concerns, please vote in your state’s Republican primary. If you are a Republican, please vote for one of the candidates who is running against Donald Trump. Alternatively, if you are a Democrat or an independent, please go to and learn what you need to do to vote in your state’s Republican primary. If your current party affiliation would prevent you from voting in your state’s Republican primary or caucus, please consider temporarily changing your party affiliation. In addition, please consider donating to a Republican candidate or to

In short, please help make Donald Trump a DNF in the race for the Republican nomination.

Thank you,

Bill Tidd