As of this writing, Hillary Clinton is currently leading the popular vote over Donald Trump by 2.6 million votes. This has not changed the Electoral College numbers though, in which Trump beat Clinton 306-232.
If you’re not familiar with the Electoral College, well, click on the link. The Electoral College is who ultimately elects the President and Vice President. There are 538 electors, and the winner needs 270 votes from the EC to win.
We will talk about this more in-depth on the next episode of Soundtrack of the Week, which should be in your earbuds right before the EC votes on December 19th. For this point, I just want to focus on one aspect of this EC/popular vote incongruence: Is it possible that Hillary Clinton could become president on January 20, 2017?
Yes…unlikely, but yes.
There is no federal law nor any notation in the Constitution that requires an elector to vote for a specific candidate. 21 states do not require their electors to vote for the candidate that wins their state. However, no “faithless elector” has ever been prosecuted…and there is doubt on whether state laws that require electors to respect the state vote could withstand a legal challenge.
I don’t write this to trash the President-Elect and/or to give hope to those that support the Secretary. History tells us that the likelihood of Trump losing the Electoral College is low. But in an election cycle where up is down and left is right, you just never know…
Tune into SOTW next week, where I will wax on this and my 11 weeks on the campaign trail!