In just a little over two short weeks, on Dec. 19, electors will meet in their respective states and cast their ballots for president and vice president. So far, there have already been the beginnings of recount efforts in three major states that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton lost. But it might not stop there. The last time this sort of controversy over the discrepancy between the popular vote and the Electoral College came up, Florida was the state that tipped the scales. So could there be a Florida recount for 2016?
At the moment, Florida is not one of the states being eyed for a recount — at least not in the campaign Green Party candidate Jill Stein is heading up. Stein is setting her focus on some Rust Belt states: Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Together, they amount to a total of 46 Electoral College votes. But not everybody's on board with the recount endeavors, and there's been pushback, citing how expensive it is and how unlikely it is that the move would tip the scales the opposite way.
But many aren't giving up the fight, so could Florida be next? It was a key battleground state during the 2016 campaign, and Trump only won by a slim margin (1.2 percentage points), adding a hefty 29 electoral votes to his docket.
However, as some are crossing their fingers for the recounts to expand beyond the three states currently being targeted, a recount in Florida might not be in the queue. For one, Florida is not in this first round effort. It's also worth keeping in mind that the last time a Florida recount was on the table (famously in 2000, with Al Gore versus George W. Bush), the numbers were way closer than they were in 2016, and the recount still didn't change the outcome. As Carl Bialak at FiveThirtyEight noted:
The biggest swing came in Florida’s 2000 presidential election recount, when Al Gore cut 1,247 votes off George W. Bush’s lead, ultimately not enough to flip the state. … In each state Trump won or leads in, his advantage is more than 10,000 votes.
If 2000 and 2016 don't both have Florida recounts, they have something else in common: a popular vote / Electoral College split. Although Hillary Clinton lost the Electoral College, the Cook Political Report has her with popular vote lead of more than two million votes at the time of writing.