Donald Trump is busy building his Cabinet and planning his agenda, but he isn’t really, officially going to be President quite yet.
One of the peculiarities of American democracy is that it’s a group of 538 “electors”, members of the Electoral College, in this nation of 318 million who actually pick the president.
They’ll do it, meeting in their respective states, on December 19 . The outcome is a foregone conclusion, but there is room, however small, for a surprise: an uprising, as called for by some Democrats and even some Republicans, of “faithless electors.”
None of the electors are constitutionally bound to follow the will of the people they represent, and so in this bizarre election (and post-election) season, an arcane system that was established at the Constitutional Convention of 1787 could and this is very unlikely, but could legally — go rogue and potentially deny Trump the presidency.
But Can the Faithless Electors’ go rogue and swing the election to Hilary Clinton?
If everyone votes as intended, then Clinton will receive 232 electoral votes – 38 shy of the 270 majority she needed to be elected President. So her fate is all but sealed. The scenario that could reverse it would require an extraordinary revolt by dozens of electors, with at least those 38 from states Trump won leaving him to back Clinton and bring her to 270.
Why is this so unlikely? First, consider the makeup of the Electoral College.
The two most common ways electors are chosen — a state-level process — is at a state party convention or by a state party committee. That means electors are often party loyalists and activists — and so would not be leaving just Trump, but defying their GOP friends and colleagues