America has never had to decide between two worse candidates than Trump and Clinton. Their unfavorable metrics are historic lows for presidential candidates. Two thirds of Americans don’t want to vote for either one of them. The problem is they aren’t so sure about the remaining field and can’t unify around any other candidate, so most Americans are going to the polls this November to cast a vote against Trump or Clinton.
But does it have to be this way? No, voters could always turn to Gary Johnson, Jill Stein or one of any number of other candidates and vote for them. But that is unlikely as 40% of the electorate will always vote for the Democrat and 40% will always vote for the Republican.
What if I told you the other 20% could stop both Trump and Clinton from getting the White House?
This might sound crazy, because it is. But not as crazy as other theories out there. This scenario can actually happen. Likely? No, not at all. But this is 2016. Anything can happen. And the beauty of this plan is that it doesn’t take very many people in very many states to make it a reality.
Here is what you need to know. In order for a candidate to win the election, they must secure a majority of the electoral votes, which would be 270. If no candidate has 270 electoral votes, then the House of Representatives will select the next President from the three candidates with the most electoral votes. In that selection process, each state delegation gets one vote. The candidate who gets 26 votes wins.
Now…how do we stop Clinton and Trump from getting to 270? That’s where things get a little more complicated. And it all depends on where you live.
If you live in the following states, Clinton is 99% certain to win, so just vote for her to ensure she does:
If you live in the following states, Trump is 99% certain to win, so just vote for him to ensure he does:
Assuming these outcomes, Clinton will have 264 electoral votes and Trump will have 170. And it leaves us with a few vitally important states: Arizona, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio and Utah.
If you live in Arizona, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, North Carolina or Ohio, you absolutely MUST vote for Trump. He has to win these states. They are all listed as toss ups right now but are projected to go for Clinton. Not one of them can. They must go for Trump. This will push his electoral vote total to 254. Both candidates are still below the 270 mark.
Now, we have Nebraska and Maine to deal with. They split their electoral votes. Clinton will easily win 3 votes from Maine and Trump will easily win 3 votes from Nebraska. Maine’s second district is competitive and Nebraska’s second district is competitive. But ultimately it wouldn’t matter who ends up winning them. If Clinton wins them she still ends up at 269, one vote shy. Let’s assume she does. Trump will now be at 258. Both candidates are still below the 270 mark.
The final piece of the puzzle is to ensure neither of them wins Utah or New Mexico. Why those two states? First, they have smaller populations, so elections are easier to influence. Second, they both have very competitive third party candidates on the ballot. That would be Evan McMullin in Utah, who currently is in a statistical tie with Trump and Clinton, and Gary Johnson in New Mexico, who was a popular Governor there and isn’t far behind.
So, if you live in Utah, vote for Evan McMullin. If you live in New Mexico, vote for Gary Johnson. Utah carries 6 electoral votes while New Mexico carries 5 electoral votes. These 11 electoral votes can prevent either Trump or Clinton from getting the 270 needed to win the election.
At this point the House of Representatives would choose between Trump, Clinton and McMullin, the top three winners of electoral votes. The House is controlled by the Republicans, which means Clinton is now guaranteed not to win the White House. House Democrats will know this. They won’t waste their state delegation’s vote on Clinton. They want to stop Trump at all possible costs. The only way to do it at that point would be to throw their weight behind McMullin.
There’s another way this gets done. The House selects the President, but the Senate would select the Vice President. They only choose between the top two however. Would some Senate Democrats and Republicans make a deal to select Tim Kaine as VP if the House Democrats throw their weight behind McMullin to stop Trump?
If they did this, McMullin would win the states controlled by Democrats, which would amount to probably 16 votes. Now 27 states will likely see Republican majorities, but some will also see an exact balance. Could the 8 balanced states decide on McMullin along with two Republican states? I can tell you one Republican state wouldn’t have a hard time, and that’s Utah, the state that will have put McMullin there in the first place. So they just need one more state to switch away from Trump. Idaho? Wyoming? Both have heavy Mormon populations. You never know.
Then again, the push back against Trump could be so entrenched that the House could just as easily elect McMullin unanimously. But again, part of that deal would be for the Senate to put Tim Kaine in as Vice President.
To sum it all up, the following needs to happen:
1. Clinton and Trump must win the states where they are heavy favorites
2. The swing states Arizona, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, North Carolina and Ohio must all vote for Trump
3. Evan McMullin must win Utah
4. Gary Johnson must stop Clinton from winning New Mexico
5. The House of Representatives would have to select McMullin over Trump or Clinton
Are any of these outside the realm of possibility? Absolutely not. Number 1 is very likely to happen. Number 2 is certainly plausible. Numbers 3 and 4 are definitely not all that likely, but could be if the media and GOP got behind this plan. And number 5 is probably the most likely outcome if 1-4 actually happen. Remember, many Republican members of Congress did not endorse Trump and would be happy not picking him. And Democrat members of Congress would recognize the inevitability of the GOP selecting the President and do all in their power to ensure it isn’t Trump.
Again, everything has to fall in place for this to happen. But it is not far fetched. It is not a Hail Mary. If you want to stop both Trump and Clinton, this is the most viable way of doing it. If this plan spreads to the GOP leadership currently distancing itself from Trump, and if they all get behind it, then something crazy just might happen.