May 16 2016

The Electoral College Strategy

The two major political parties in the US are in turmoil. At times, both Trump and Sanders have seemed more likely to succeed as independents than as the nominee of the party they are associated with. Many groups and candidates have considered independent runs for President. The media likes to tell us this is not possible, but it is.

A candidate running outside the support of either major party can be elected President. Here is how it could work. The Constitution requires a candidate to get 270 votes in the electoral college to become President. If that does not happen, the House of Representatives will choose the next President from the candidates that are running, and the Senate chooses the VP.

Assuming that Trump and Clinton both win the nomination of their party and run for President, another candidate would have to win enough states to deny either of them the required 270 vote threshold. This candidate would also have to be more desirable to the Representatives in the House than either Trump or Clinton. Presumably, this person would need to be a moderate Republican acceptable to many in the middle. There are people who fit this description.

Deadlines for getting on state ballots are approaching, mostly in June. This candidate would need a lot of money and some form of network of operatives supporting them. They would probably need wide name recognition that already exists before they run. It would probably take assembling a coalition of supporters from the right who don’t like Trump, and a group from the left who either don’t like Clinton or are afraid she will lose to Trump. These factors all exist.