If the 2016 presidential election was the most surreal on record, then it’s perhaps fitting that – even now that Election Day has come and gone – it may still have some twists and turns up its sleeve. Traditionally, the Electoral College vote is little more than a formality, as a group of five hundred and thirty-eight Electors cast their vote as instructed by their state. But what appeared to start as a mere protest movement has now grown, and one major newspaper is claiming that six members of the Electoral College will vote against Donald Trump even though they’ve been assigned to vote for him, even though another major political site is contradicting that story.
At the heart of the Electoral College movement is the fact that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote nationwide by at least 1.5 million votes, a margin that could end up climbing much higher as the absentee ballots are still being counted in some blue states. Never in U.S. history has anyone won the presidency by a million-plus blowout, only to have it taken away by a fluke of Electoral College math. And that’s part of why some of the Electors themselves have begun working on a plan to hand the presidency to Clinton next month. It now appears to be a matter of math.
Hillary Clinton would need a total of thirty-eight Trump-assigned Electors to flip to her in order to become president. That’s still a tall task, as the New York Daily News says that she has just six thus far. Further complicating things, the NYDN lists Politico as a source in its story, but Politico appears to be reporting that the six Electors in question are not assigned to Trump, and are simply petitioning their fellow Electors to flip. But considering that Electors traditionally never change their vote and are never pressured to, what’s currently underway is without precedent. Even if the six Electors in question can’t find enough support to elect Clinton, they’ll try to prevent Trump from getting to the 270 mark, which would send the election to the House of Representatives. But their goal for now appears to be getting Hillary into the White House.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report