By now you’ve surely heard of the Hamilton Electors, a group of Electoral College members who have convinced us that they have a plan for stopping Donald Trump from becoming President. And it sounds good in theory. In fact the media can’t stop singing their praises. But if you look at their plan, it turns out they would need impossible math to deliver a meaningful result. Worse, their quixotic plan will end up sabotaging any legitimate Electoral College effort to stop Trump.
On the front of their official website, the Hamilton Electors declare that their goal is to elect a “qualified Republican alternative” instead of Donald Trump. Whom might they have in mind? They haven’t said. But their plan would require convincing 270 out of the 538 electors to all switch their votes to the same protest candidate. That’s simply not going to happen, for reasons that are obvious. They’re not going to get half the Electoral College to go against the direct orders of their respective states, nor would they be able to herd all 270 of those votes for the same protest candidate.
The most the Hamilton Electors could realistically hope to accomplish is to ensure that Donald Trump drops below 270 votes, meaning no one gets elected President. In such case the House of Representatives would pick the next President. But the House has a heavy Republican majority. And led by Speaker Paul Ryan, they’ve already largely fallen in line behind Trump because they’ve determined that they can get much of their own agenda passed into law – and they presumably don’t care how much damage an erratic Trump might do in other areas.
So in other words, the Hamilton Electors would simply be forcing the House to rubber stamp Donald Trump’s victory before he goes on his merry way of doing whatever he wants while in office. It’s the kind of nonsensical feel-good plan that allows liberals to feel good about pretending they’re doing something to stop Trump, and it’s emblematic of why liberals so often lose the battles they should win.
There is, however, a path for actually stopping Donald Trump. All that would be required is for 38 of his 306 Electors to flip their votes to Hillary Clinton. But they’re all Republicans, so why would they do this? One need look no further than the general election, where notable Republicans ranging from Meg Whitman to Paul Wolfowitz all publicly got behind Clinton simply because they wanted to prevent Trump from winning. It’s not impossible to envision that thirteen percent of the Republican Electors could be convinced to vote for the Democrat to stop Trump.
And for all we know, such an effort may already be underway. Any Electors serious about changing the result aren’t going to be talking publicly about their plans in advance, because that would just give Trump and the states an opportunity to shut them down in advance. So let’s say 38 of Trump’s Electors are in fact planning to vote for Hillary. That would make her President. Except, oops, the Hamilton Electors have managed to convince some Clinton and Trump Electors to vote for some protest candidate instead.
So even if Clinton does get 38 of Trump’s Electors, it won’t be enough, because of the Clinton votes that the Hamilton Electors siphoned off in order to go tilt at windmills. In such case it would end up being decided by the House, who will rubber stamp Trump. We’re looking at the possibility that Republican Electors will try to hand the presidency to Hillary Clinton, and that it’ll only fail because the Democrats got sucked in by the Hamilton silliness.
Is it likely that 38 of Trump’s Electors will vote for Clinton? No. Is it possible? Yes. But we haven’t even asked them to consider it. It’s certainly more likely that 13% of Trump’s Electors will flip to Hillary, than 50% of the entire Electoral College flipping to the same protest candidate. The only way the Electoral College can stop Donald Trump from becoming President is if it reluctantly gets behind Hillary Clinton. It’s time for the Hamilton Electors to look at the math, look at reality, and either publicly throw their weight behind Clinton or shut up and get out of the way. If you enjoy Daily News Bin, consider making a contribution: