Coup Or No Coup: What To Watch For As The Electoral College Votes Tomorrow
With even Harvard’s Larry Lessig admitting that his efforts to flip the Electoral College against Trump have failed miserably (see “Harvard Professor Admits His Efforts To Turn Electoral College Against Trump Have Failed Miserably“), it’s a near certainty that Trump will, in fact, be elected President when the Electoral College casts their votes tomorrow.
That said, there could always be surprises and, as such, The Hill has published a list of five things you should keep an eye on as electors get set to cast their ballots. First, here is how the 538 electors should cast their ballots if they all strictly follow the will of the voters in their respective states.
That said, we know that at least one Texas elector, Chris Suprun, has vowed to go rogue tomorrow and anxious eyes will be waiting to see if anyone decides to join him. As The Hill points out, there hasn’t been an election since 1836 in which more than 1 elector changed his vote, so even 2 defectors would make history.
There’s no evidence of a widespread number of Republican defections—just one Republican elector from Texas has gone public with plans to break from Trump.
But there hasn’t been an election in which more than one elector jumped ship for reasons other than the death of a candidate since 1836, according to the nonprofit FairVote. So a defection by even one more Republican elector would make history.
The next thing to watch is whether any Democrat electors will cast protest votes. A small group of Democratic electors had vowed to join Larry Lessig’s coup attempt by throwing their support behind an alternative Republican candidate. While this now seems like a remote possibility, it is something to watch for.
Democratic electors are the ones beating the drums for the revolt, yet they’re largely powerless to change the outcome.
A handful of electors are already planning on uniting around a Republican alternative as a protest, but it’s still unclear how many are willing to join the protest.
In theory, a unified front of the 232 Democrats could join with 38 Republicans to elect an alternative president. But in practice, the anti-Trump electors will be lucky if more than a dozen Democrats break.
With 29 states and the District of Columbia binding their electors by law, it will also be interesting to see if anyone in those states choose to defect, and if so, what penalties will be levied upon them.
The country’s presidential electors are chosen through different methods across the country—some are elected directly while others are picked by the candidates themselves or by the state party.
Bucking their jurisdiction’s votes could also have consequences for faithless electors. 29 states and the District of Columbia bind their electors by law, mostly with small fines as retribution for going rogue. No faithless electors have ever been punished, so political junkies will be watching to see if that changes.
Finally, when all the voting is said and done, all eyes will be watching how the candidates and their respective parties react. Will Trump launch a massive tweet storm blasting “faithless electors” and/or will Democrats finally tone down the “Russian hacking” rhetoric and calls to scrap the Electoral College system? Somehow we suspect that finally admitting they ran a failed candidate that was doomed to lose from the start is not a viable alternative for the talking heads of the leftist media…so we’re somewhat less than hopeful.