And just when YOU thought it was all over.
The Electoral College will do its duty and work to nominate the next President of the United States next Monday, December 19th, 2016. Who that’ll be is ANYBODY’S GUESS. My money (and there’s lots of it because ya know, #journalism) is on Hillary Clinton.
What’s all that noise, you say? In case you need a refresher:
The Electoral College is a group of people that elects the president and the vice president of the United States.
Great, now that we’ve got that out of the way, time for some quick math:
There are 538 total electoral college votes and you need 270 to win. Still with me?
Hillary Clinton won 232. Donald Trump won 306. Seems pretty straightforward, right?
Wrong. If you like musicals AND Alexander Hamilton as much as I do, continue reading...
In 1788, long before Lin-Manuel Miranda was born to write a hit musical about his life, Hamilton wrote:
“Nothing was more to be desired than that every practicable obstacle should be opposed to cabal, intrigue, and corruption. These most deadly adversaries of republican government might naturally have been expected to make their approaches from more than one quarter, but chiefly from the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils.”
See, what I bolded there? Hamilton didn’t want foreign powers playing in American government. What have we since learned? Well, that Russia (a foreign power) was playing in our government. Worse still, it appears Trump may have known Russia was behind the hacking ahead of the election after all—because people may have told him but also because Hillary Clinton mentioned it a few times, notably at the third and final debate.
But that’s only part of it. The founding fathers created the electoral college because they, “...were afraid of direct election to the Presidency. They feared a tyrant could manipulate public opinion and come to power.”
Back to the math. The good news for Clinton is that, according to Salon: an overwhelming number of electoral college members are breaking away from Trump. At least 20 according to the report.
306 - 20 is 286.
286-270 is 16. SIXTEEN. ONE-SIX.
That’s not a whole lot of people when you consider the margins, probabilities and other basic math stuff. Think of how wrong all the polls were. Just stop. I want you to physically stop whatever you are doing right this moment and actually think. Think about the number of times someone shared a Nate Silver poll which said Hillary Clinton would win the election. Remember that she didn’t win. Numbers are wrong. Well, they’re not wrong, but all the predictions were flawed.
And therein lies Clinton’s path to victory. From what i’ve gathered on Reddit, similar to a significant number of Trump voters who were polled before the general election, people are embarrassed to admit who they’re actually voting for. Apply this logic to the electoral college and well, it’s pretty easy to see that the electoral college members who haven’t yet published op-eds or told their neighbors who they’re voting for, are playing their cards pretty close to their vests.
And that’s a GOOD thing. Because if I were an electoral college member (which I assure you, I am not), I wouldn’t want my phone ringing off the hook because people thought I was going to do the job I was actually made to do—which as you’ve read above, is to protect the country from falling into the hands of pure evil. Put yourself in their shoes, would you want to vote for the candidate who’d lost the popular vote by a bigger margin than any other US president in history? Or, the one who won the popular vote by 2.8 million votes and counting? I don’t know. It’s all very hard when you lay it out in simple terms and recognize what’s on the line.
What happens in the event of an electoral college tie, you ask? I dunno. That’s what Google’s for, I suppose.
At the time of this writing, Trump’s press team could not be reached for comment because my cell phone had no service and also because it was dead.