It happened in 2000 when Al Gore lost to George W. Bush, and it’s happening again now that Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump. Liberals across the country are calling for the abolition of the Electoral College and Clinton to be named President-elect.
But while that sounds like an impossibility, there’s a plot brewing among two electors themselves to undermine Trump’s stunning win:
Bret Chiafolo, a Washington State elector who has already declared his opposition to Hillary Clinton, and Micheal Baca of Colorado have launched what they’ve dubbed “Moral Electors,” an attempt to persuade 37 of their Republican colleagues to bail on Trump — just enough to block Trump’s election and leave the final decision to the House of Representatives. They have the support of a third elector, Washington State’s Robert Satiacum.
“This is a longshot. It’s a hail Mary,” Chiafolo said in a phone interview. “However, I do see situations where — when we’ve already had two or three [Republican] electors state publicly they didn’t want to vote for Trump. How many of them have real issues with Donald Trump in private?”
Chiafalo and Baca insist their intention isn’t to get Clinton or even a Democrat elected. Rather, their plan is to encourage Republican electors to write in Mitt Romney or John Kasich. If they can get 37 electors to agree to cast a faithless vote, the House of Representatives would choose between the top five vote-getters.
Faithless electors, however, are a rarity — and they’ve never swung the outcome of an election. Will 2016 be the first year? Not likely:
Several Republican electors have expressed reservations about Trump, though most committed to voting for him. Arizona elector Jane Lynch, for example, told POLITICO in August she would only reluctantly cast her electoral vote for Trump. Reached after the election, Lynch said she still intended to honor that commitment. And Chris Suprun, who told POLITICO in August he was considering rejecting Trump has since reversed course and committed to supporting him.
It looks like Chiafalo and Baca’s pipe dream will remain just that — a pipe dream. Furthermore, it proves why we need the Electoral College now more than ever.