For those who had been hoping the recount effort would uncover enough problems with the original vote totals to flip those states from Donald Trump to Hillary Clinton, what had been a string of promising news has suddenly dissolved into a puddle of dead ends. But even as hope seemingly fades for the recount effort, the Electoral College is finally making the kinds of steps which offer legitimate hope that it may decide to take matters into its own hands.
First, the bad news for recount proponents: today a federal judge turned down Jill Stein’s request for a statewide Pennsylvania recount. She can still work with various counties in the state in the hope of revising the vote totals such that Trump’s lead drops below 0.5%, which would trigger a recount without needing a judge’s order. But the odds in PA have now clearly dropped. This comes on the heels of a Michigan Supreme Court ruling against the recount in that state as well. Stein can appeal these matters to the U.S. Supreme Court, but she hasn’t given any indication that she will.
Meanwhile in Wisconsin, Palmer Report has been reporting on the increasingly suspicious things coming out of Waukesha County. But unless Stein can convince a federal judge to force the county to go back and recount the votes by hand, there doesn’t appear to be enough math anywhere else to flip the state. And the Florida recount lawsuit that we’ve been reporting on for the past two weeks is still in judicial limbo.
If Florida and Wisconsin were both flipped from Trump to Hillary Clinton, she would become president instead of him, without needing Michigan or Pennsylvania to flip. But the recounts have always been a longshot mathematically, and those odds now appear to be shrinking. However, this all comes even as members of the Electoral College are now making public demands of Donald Trump with regard to his involvement with Russian hacking in his favor.
After it was revealed that the CIA had concluded Russia had tried to rig the election in Donald Trump’s favor, everyone from President Obama to a bipartisan group of Senators have publicly demanded further answers. And now ten members of the Electoral College are demanding answers as well. They’re asking the feds to brief them on all of the available evidence, and they’re demanding that Trump himself provide proof that he’s not a Russian mole.
Nine of the ten Electors are already assigned to Hillary Clinton, with just one of them assigned to Donald Trump. But this is a rather clear attempt at convincing their fellow Electors to turn against Trump. His most likely response to their demands will be to either ignore them or throw a Twitter tantrum and make threats against them. And that kind of response could motivate more of Trump’s designated electors to conclude that they must flip their vote to Hillary Clinton, in order to keep the erratic and compromised Trump from seeing the inside of the White House.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report