Faithless Electors

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    The real presidential election happens on December 19th – that’s when the electors in the Electoral College cast their votes for president.

    I’m not so optimistic as to think that 35+ Trump electors will flip to Hillary…but they might. Trump has been doing and saying some very un-presidential stuff lately, and that might make some Trump electors re-consider their votes. Maybe there is some Brexit-style regret within the Trump voter camp, and they are having second thoughts about their choices.

    Or, might some Hillary electors flip to trump? :-/

    Anyway, what’s your prediction for the EC? Will there be any faithless electors, or not? If so, how many?

    EDIT ADD: I see that Andy started a similar thread – I encourage you to read it, along with the link he provided.


    My guess is there will not be any on either side. But note that even if there were the 37 faithless electors on the Trump side, they would not necessarily be voting for Clinton. They could vote for another candidate or abstain, sending the decision to state delegations.

    If there was ever an excuse for faithless electors and a real shot at flipping the election since it was so close, it was Bush vs Gore, but nothing happened.

    From VOX:

    In the past, I have warned of the risk that rogue electors could throw the outcome of a presidential election to a losing candidate. But there are many reasons why it’s not going to happen this year.

    1) The Trump state electors are Republican Party stalwarts or activists chosen during state party deliberations — check out this excellent Politico feature “The People Who Pick the President” to see who some of them are. Almost always, the parties do a good enough job of vetting their respective electoral slates to ensure that they will indeed loyally back their party’s presidential nominee.

    The Republican Party clearly ended up falling behind Trump, and any Republican elector who abandons him would be defying the will of not only their state’s voters but also the party generally. And while there actually are some Trump skeptics who are electors, they’ve pretty much all said they’d affirm the results in their states.

    2) Trump now looks likely to end up with 306 electors to Clinton’s 232. So it’s not as if one or two electors could make the difference. Thirty-seven electors would have to desert Trump to deprive him of his majority. That’s a lot.

    3) These electors wouldn’t just have to desert Trump. Simply depriving Trump of 270 votes without giving Clinton herself 270 would throw the election to the GOP-controlled House of Representatives, which is certain to award the presidency to Trump. To prevent Trump’s election, they’d all have to affirmatively back Clinton.

    Keep in mind that hardly any of even Trump’s strongest critics in the GOP went so far as to actually endorse Hillary Clinton over him. Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Lindsey Graham, John McCain, and George W. Bush all refused to go so far, saying instead they’d vote for no one or write in somebody else.

    4) Any large-scale defections from Trump would surely be disputed by his supporters in those states, who may well just send in a conflicting set of electoral votes. And an 1887 law holds that if states send in multiple conflicting sets of electoral college votes, Congress gets to vote on which ones to recognize. The Republican-controlled Congress would obviously not go along with an attempt by electors to steal the presidency for Hillary Clinton.

    5) Hillary Clinton has conceded the election and recognized Donald Trump as the winner. There is no sign that she would go along with or participate in this endeavor.

    6) Most importantly, there are democratic norms. The broader reason we’ve only had nine faithless electors in the past 80 years or so, despite the enormous power they seem to have, is that it’s widely believed that picking the president isn’t their job anymore. Their job is to affirm the results in their states.

    In summary, what people are talking about is getting 37 Republican Party activists expected to vote for Trump to essentially steal the election for Hillary Clinton in defiance of the will of the people in their states and the widely recognized rules of the presidential contest, even though Clinton herself doesn’t want them to. Not going to happen.

    Andy Brown

    You keep rubbing that thing and your gonna get a blister.


    I dunno…I’ll lay even even odds that at least one elector defects, and it’ll be a Trump elector somewhere, and that flip will be to choose Pence (rather than Hillary).

    Or, a Hillary elector flips in protest toward Bernie.


    The electors–particularly on the Republican side–must feel as if the weight of the world is riding on their shoulders. If they vote for Trump, they will be supporting somebody who will go down in history as an extremely unpopular President. On the other hand, if they were to vote for one of the other Republican candidates or a third party candidate, Clinton might go into office. Historically, the phenomenon of faithless electors has been quite rare:

    Realistically speaking, I think that one or a few Trump electors might flip but not enough to make a difference. I think that the probability of any Clinton electors flipping to either Sanders or Trump is even smaller.

    Looking at the big picture, I am quite worried about all of the chowderheads that have come out of the woodwork in the wake of the Presidential election. Just a few days ago, for instance, a woman was assaulted with a piece of a cinder block and subjected to racist taunting near the Tanasbourne Safeway in Hillsboro:

    I don’t see these racists and bigots going away soon. If the electoral college were to take away “their guy,” they might become even more angry and destructive.


    Called it; a Trump elector is going to cast vote for another Republican, probably Kasich.

    Start of a trend? I think there will be one or two more, though not enough to flip the election by a long shot. Still, undercuts Trumps “landslide” victory by a bit. Anything to deflate his pompous ego even a little is worthwhile.


    In 1972, a Republican elector switched his vote to the Libertarian candidate, Tonie Nathan. Now, I am so drunk that it very difficult for me to type that out without making spelling mistakes. Please love me.


    An elector in Texas took another option. He said voting for Trump violated his Christian principles. Therefore, he chose to resign as an elector.


    He’ll at least be able to sleep at night and someday look his children in the eye.


    Some day years from now he will be telling his children that one of his biggest regrets was thwarting the will of the people and voting against one of the greatest presidents of the modern era.


    You, of course, don’t actually believe that because you are a both a proven liar and gleefull troll.

    Andy Brown

    bacon doesn’t really believe anything he posts. It’s all designed to simply bait the other members on the board.


    “You, of course, don’t actually believe that because you are a both a proven liar and gleefull troll.”

    You probably would have said that when I said months ago that Trump would win.

    Yes, I DO believe he will be a great president.


    He will be a great president for millionaires and billionaires. As for those unskilled and lazy rust belt workers, not so much.

    And you believe he’ll be a good president just the same as you believe in heaven and hell.


    No, I state you’re a liar because you have proven to be one time and again. I sate that you’re a troll, because you routinely engage in the type of behavior that is the dictionary definition of trolling. You seemingly delight in causing discord, disdain critical discourse, and are mindlessly partisan.

    My reaction to your stating you believed Trump would win the Presidency was incredulity; as the data did not generally support that contention. Coupled, of course, with general disdain at your usual unwillingness to answer direct, critical inquires or offer fact based reasoning that supported any contention you might have made.

    That’s a disagreement of opinion. And a proffered example from you that has literally nothing to do with either claim I was asserting.

    In that instance, (the election) you were proven correct while I and others were wrong. Everyone readily admitted so the day after the election; at which point you behaved in a childish manner for days gloating and taunting others.

    It (your being correct in that instance) doesn’t change the dynamic that you have created by your own words.

    Opinion is not fact. Your belief is not reason.

    I reserve calling you a liar for when you state things that are provably untrue. Which you have any number of times and no doubt will do so again. Similarly, when you cease behaving exactly like an internet troll perhaps people will stop labeling you as such.

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