In the latest sign that the Electoral College may not simply rubber-stamp the controversial and contested “victory” by the erratic Donald Trump in the 2016 Presidential election, one Trump-designed Elector from Texas has announced that he will in fact be voting against Trump. This is far from the first rumbling out of the Electoral College over the past month, but it’s to the most notable – and for the first time paints a line from here to Trump not becoming President.
Christopher Suprun, a Republican, was selected as a 2016 Electoral College member by the state of Texas. He’s been assigned to vote for Donald Trump, because Trump won the state. But Suprun announced today in a lengthy New York Times op-ed that he’ll be voting for someone other than Donald Trump. This has the potential to send shockwaves across the landscape of the other five hundred and thirty-seven Electors around the nation.
Previous rumblings from other Electors have largely consisted of Hillary Clinton-designated Electors publicly attempting to convince the Donald Trump-designated Electors to join them. And there was one Trump-designated Elector who resigned because he couldn’t bring himself to vote for Trump; he’ll be replaced by someone will.
But today’s announcement from Suprun takes on a different flavor. Here’s a Trump-designated Elector who is flat out saying he’ll vote for someone else instead. Just 38 of Trump’s 306 Electors would need to switch to Hillary Clinton for her to become President. What’s complicating things here is that Suprun says he’s looking for an alternate Republican candidate to vote for, rather than simply flipping to Clinton.
Such a plan would require him to amass a total of 270 Electors who are all willing to settle on the same outside such as John Kasich or Mitt Romney. That’s simply not going to happen. So the two relevant questions become whether Mr. Suprun will eventually figure out he needs to vote for Hillary Clinton in order to keep Trump out, and – more importantly – how many Trump designated Electors are also silently considering voting against him. His op-ed today may prompt more of them to come forward.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report