Before Donald Trump won the presidential election, he tweeted in 2012, "The electoral college is a disaster for democracy." After winning the election by way of the electoral college despite losing the popular vote to Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump now says the electoral college "is actually genius." As millions of Americans are petitioning the electoral college to keep Trump out of the White House, two electors are encouraging their colleagues to use the Electoral College to do just that.
According to Politico, two Democratic members of the Electoral College are working on a last-chance effort to stop Trump from winning the presidency. Washington state elector P. Bret Chiafalo and Colorado elector Michael Baca are hoping to rally at least 37 "Moral Electors" to give up on Trump, which would be enough to block Trump's election and force the House of Representatives to decide the election. They already have the support of Robert Satiacum of Washington state, who, like Chiafalo and Baca, previously considered rejecting Clinton if she had won the election.
Both Chiafalo and Baca claim their efforts aren't about election Hillary Clinton, or any other Democrat, for that matter. Instead, they hope to convince Republican electors to write in Mitt Romney or John Kasich, which would send the final decision to House of Representatives.
Both electors understand that their efforts will almost certainly fail. "This is a longshot. It’s a Hail Mary," Chiafalo told Politico. "However, I do see situations where—when we’ve already had two or three [Republican] electors state publicly they didn’t want to vote for Trump. How many of them have real issues with Donald Trump in private?"
The 538 members of the Electoral College will officially cast their votes on Dec. 19. Trump is currently set for 306 electoral votes, which surpasses the 270 votes requirement. If Chiafalo and Baca succeed in convincing 37 Republican electors to ditch Trump, that would put the president-elect below the number of electoral votes needed to win.
According to Politico, the last faithless elector came in 2004 when a Minnesota elector voted for John Edwards over John Kerry.
It'd be a huge surprise if this election had 37 "faithless electors," as there have only been 157 in American history. That's less than 1 percent, and 71 of those 157 faithless electors changed their vote because of the death of the candidate their state had voted for. There hasn't been more than one faithless elector voting for president in any election election since 1872, when Horace Greeley, the Democratic candidate, died after election day.
In fact, at least 29 states, along with the District of Columbia, legally require electors to vote for the candidate who won their state's vote.
Nonetheless, Baca, who also made his case on CNN, is still optimistic. "It was a pipe dream that the Cubs were going to win the World Series," he told Politico. "Pipe dreams come true."