Wednesday, December 21, 2016


I generally avoid hypotheticals, especially after an election
when the media (and the losers) often indulge in “what ifs”
such as “what if only a few thousand more voters in Michigan
voted for Hillary Clinton,” etc., etc. After the 2016 election,
however, several folks who do not like Donald Trump tried to
do something both unprecedented and wrong-headed --- they
made a huge effort to intimidate Trump electors across the
nation to cast their ballot for someone else. To show the
pointlessness and inappropriateness of this recent and failed
attempt by some leftists to thwart the constitutional process,
indulge me, if you will, in a quite credible alternative ending
to the 2016 presidential election.

Hillary Clinton clearly won the national popular vote. As I have
previously pointed out, we do not have a popular vote for U.S.
president, but an electoral college vote in the individual states.
Let us say that along with her winning most (but not a
majority) of the popular votes, Mrs. Clinton had also won
Florida and Arizona (each of which she actually lost by small
margins) with their combined total of 40 electoral votes, thus
winning 272 electoral votes or two more than necessary to be
formally elected president.

Her supporters, of course, would not then have mounted a
campaign to have electors change their votes. On December 19,
however, five Clinton electors did vote for someone else. Then
with only 267 electoral votes, this would have put Mrs. Clinton
below the 270-vote threshold required by the U.S. constitution to
win the presidency. The election would then automatically go to
the U.S. house of representatives where Republicans have a large
lead among the 50 states. Donald Trump, having lost both the
popular vote and the electoral vote, then would almost surely
win the vote in the U.S. house and become president next
January 20, 2017.

This, of course, did not happen, but some Democrats, having
opened the political Pandora’s Box of trying to intimidate electors
to become “faithless” in 2016, could now face a backfire in 2020
or 2024, when the tactic might work against the Democrats in an
entirely possible close election.

If it does, they will only be able to blame themselves.

Copyright (c) 2016 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.

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