Politics

Republican Electors Say They're Sticking With Trump

| by Nik Bonopartis

People hoping that a last-minute revolt among electors will derail Donald Trump's victory in the presidential election are likely to be as disappointed as the "Never Trumpers" who failed an 11th-hour attempt to deny the businessman the GOP nomination in the summer.

Owing to the controversial nature of his campaign and the division among Americans, there's been much more talk about electors "voting with their conscience" and ignoring the will of the people when the Electoral College meets to certify the results of the 2016 election on Dec. 19.

A group of Democrats has been pushing Republican electors to defect, and a Harvard professor who himself ran a failed bid for president has been making noise about courting defectors.

But The Hill says its own research into the Electoral College found "virtually every GOP elector" will vote "enthusiastically" for the businessman-turned-president, while a Politico report, citing a GOP internal review, said it found only one elector who claims he'll defy voters.

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That elector is Chris Suprun of Texas, who already announced his intention not to vote for Trump in a Dec. 5 editorial for the New York Times.

Suprun says he won't cast his vote for Trump because the president-elect "is not qualified for office."

In the editorial, Suprun praises former President George W. Bush, attacks Trump for using Twitter, and casts the new Star Wars installment, "Rogue One," as an allegory for the presidential election, with Trump as a Darth Vaderesque figure.

"I am not taking my children to see it to celebrate evil, but to show them that light can overcome it," Suprun wrote.

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Lessig has been telling the media he's helped tally enough "faithless electors" to stall Trump from entering the White House as president.

"Obviously, whether an elector ultimately votes his or her conscience will depend in part upon whether there are enough doing the same," Lessig told Politico. "We now believe there are more than half the number needed to change the result seriously considering making that vote."

The last time a group of electors banded together in the same year in an attempt to block a vote was in 1912, when Vice President James Schoolcraft Sherman died in office and electors moved to block his replacement.

An electoral college revolt in 2016 would likely do serious damage to the country's financial markets and further divide people along ideological lines, political scientists told The Hill.

“It would give a lot of people serious confusion and create a sense of panic, even though it would be a perfectly legal, logical progression,” said Brandon Rottinghaus, a political science professor at the University of Houston.

One GOP elector, Bob Muller of North Carolina, told the news site he's received messages “everywhere from Maine to California” pleading with him to go against voters in his county and refuse to cast a ballot for Trump.

Muller said he has a simple way of dealing with them: “I just ignore them."

Sources: The Hill (2), Politico, New York Times / Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

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