Donald Trump won last month's presidential election. But many liberals and progressives are still clinging to one faint, almost-certainly-doomed hope that he can be blocked from the presidency — through the Electoral College.
That's because the November 8 vote was technically not to make Trump president, but only to determine who 538 electors in various states across the country will be. It is those electors who will cast the votes that legally elect the president on Monday, December 19.
In modern times, the casting of electoral votes has been a purely ceremonial occasion in which the state results from Election Day have been rubber-stamped.
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This year, there's more drama — because there's been a highly unusual effort to convince Trump-supporting electors to simply not vote for Trump.
To be clear: Considering who the electors pledged to Trump are, how many are pledged to him, what they've said publicly, and the existence of American norms that have been built up over hundreds of years, it is incredibly unlikely that there will be any Electoral College surprise.
Thirty-seven electors would need to defect from Trump's camp to deprive him of the Electoral College majority he needs to become president. But only one of those 306 electors pledged to him has publicly said he's revolting. A survey of electors by the Associated Press and a whip count by the RNC both failed to turn up any others who said they'd do so. If those counts are anywhere close to accurate, this effort won't even come close to succeeding.
But weirdly enough, this scheme arguably seems to be technically possible, because the US Constitution does appear to give the electors the final say in picking the president. The problem is that, if they ever actually did so, they'd create an immense constitutional crisis.