There has been a lot of unchallenged speculation of a Clinton win by faithless electors, court challenges, or some such. These claims are in no way true, but that doesn’t stop anti-trump hopefuls from believing them.
So what are these claims that Hillary Clinton is supposedly going to make a last-minute rush for the presidency? Let’s parse them one by one.
Of the proposed routes, this one is actually technically possible. Faithless electoral votes have been done before, though have never affected the results of an election. However, let’s analyze what would need to happen.
Donald Trump won 306 electoral votes compared to Clinton’s 232. Therefore for victory Clinton would need 38 electors to vote for her rather than trump for victory, and 37 to send it to the house, which the republicans currently control. To do this, clinton must get faithless votes from states that are projected red without laws against faithless electing. The states that match this criteria are:
- Idaho, 4 EVs
- Utah, 6 EVs
- Arizona, 11 EVs
- Texas, 38 EVs
- Louisiana, 8 EVs
- Arkansas, 6 EVs
- Kansas, 6 EVs
- Missouri, 10 EVs
- Iowa, 6 EVs
- North Dakota, 3 EVs
- South Dakota, 3 EVs
- Indiana, 11 EVs
- Pennsylvania, 20 EVs
- Kentucky, 8 EVs
- West Virginia, 6 EVs
- Tennessee, 11 EVs
- Georgia, 16 EVs
Now that seems like a hefty list. But there is something missing from said list. Swing states. The vast majority of said states are quite red. States that went 2.5%+ trump are marked red on the above list.
Why does this matter? Imagine you’re an elector. Presumably, you don’t want to get hated by half the nation for abandoning your duty to vote the way you are pledged in such a way that would actually change the results of the election. The firestorm that would result from a Clinton faithless election would be enormous. Anotherwards, the only way for this to happen is for electors to accidentally vote Clinton in by protest-voting.
Concentrated efforts to accomplish this would likely fail. Let’s presume all of Pennsylvania’s 20 electors voted Clinton. This still puts her 17 votes short of sending the election to the house.Where are those 17 + 1 votes going to come from? The next closest election is Arizona with 11 electors. Should we suppose all those go to Clinton too?
Now I suppose some may contest the assertion that the relative redness of a state is relevant to faithless electors. The only thing I have to say to that it is a ridiculous notion that republican-pledged electors will vote for Hillary goddamn Clinton instead of Donald Trump. I’d bet money that if there are many faithless electors, that some of them will be for Johnson or McMullin.
Furthermore, the idea that 37 + 1 faithless electors will materialize is silly. There haven’t been that many faithless electors in any election period, let alone for the president not just the vice-president.
Clinton Won the Popular Vote, She Can Just March in to SCOTUS!
I think that it should be obvious that even a very liberal reading of the Constitution could not result in the popular vote being used over the electoral vote totals. No way this would pass in the Supreme Court, or even get reviewed there in the first place. The entire notion is crazy and without basis.
The Election was Rigged!
Aside from inducing involuntary laughter in just about anyone who hears this, it should be apparent that no rigging took place. Trump is an outsider who was in no position to rig anything. If anything Clinton was the only one who could be speculated to have rigged it.
It was Hackers (I swear)!
I heard this claim somewhere. Anyways, if 100k+ trump votes came online I think we’d know about it. The closest state is Michigan with a margin of about 10k, but even if Trump were to lose Michigan he’d still win the election. Furthermore, in the contested states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin – you can’t even internet vote in the first place.
Anyways, whether you support Clinton, Trump, or Johnson – don’t believe the people who say that Clinton can still win. While being technically within the realm of possibility it is far outside the realm of even remote probability. Believing it will only serve to play with your emotions. Get some rest and take a break from the election. I think we all deserve it at this point.