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How desperate is the Republican Party? This desperate: Political strategists are concocting schemes to preserve their congressional majorities that they know would concede the presidential contest to Hillary Clinton.

The idea is to give endangered Republican senators like Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania a way to avoid being associated with Donald Trump or being disloyal to the party. To do that, Republicans would recruit respected party elders to run as independent presidential candidates in competitive states. Think of former Govs. Tom Ridge in Pennsylvania and Tommy Thompson in Wisconsin, and former Sens. John Sununu and Judd Gregg in New Hampshire.

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