Next Monday, the Electoral College finally meets to cast votes for President. If all goes according to plan, Donald Trump will emerge victorious, with 74 more Electoral College votes than his opponent, Hillary Clinton.
But while the the win seems solid — Trump has 36 more electors than the 270 he actually needs — both Democrats and Republicans are keeping a close eye on the 538 votes that really determine the country’s next President.
Tuesday morning, Harvard professor Larry Lessig announced that he believed there were 20 Donald Trump-bound electors who might change their vote, 19 more than have admitted they will turn “faithless” on December 19th. Lessig claims that electors are turning to him for legal assistance, and insists that despite state laws binding Electors to that state’s victor, electors are ultimately free to vote their consciences.
But if Lessig somehow knows of 19 other faithless electors, he’s the only one; the only publicly declared faithless elector is Texas’s Chris Suprun. If electors are switching their votes en masse, they’re being very quiet about it, if not openly lying to national media.
And while Suprun joined 9 other electors to demand an intelligence briefing on Russian involvement in the November election, giving Democrats hope of a dozen or so defectors, none of the listed electors are Trump voters — and one, Christine Pelosi, is the daughter of Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. The “mutiny” is being carefully orchestrated by Megaphone — a PR firm run by Clinton allies.
POLITICO notes that while Democrat electors have also been publicly critical of their Republican counterparts, at least a few would have to line up behind a Republican alternative to Trump — and that hasn’t happened, even with the promise of John Kasich.
That doesn’t mean that Republicans are letting their Electoral College operation slide. Since most of the GOP’s electors are also party officials, the RNC has been quietly taking head counts, reassuring electors that they have solid support, and warning those who stray that there will be long-term career (and, in some states, legal) consequences.
“It’s good strategic cooperation,” the Arizona GOP chairman told POLITICO. “I think right now, they’re getting a pretty consistent message back from the states that everything’s good.”
Democrats aren’t letting up, though, either. Organizations are planning protests in all 50 state capitals for Monday, and a group of so-called “Hamilton Electors,” named after the Founding Father and star of the stage (who noted that the EC could be used as a “failsafe” mechanism to “save the country”), are urging Americans to hold candlelight vigils.
It’s not immediately clear how they plan to use that to translate that into an Electoral uprising, however.