What If Hillary Clinton Gets An Absolute Majority? 270 Electoral Votes Will Not Be Easy To Come By
Talk of faithless electors is dominating the continuing post-election conversation ahead of the Dec. 19 Electoral College vote, which may be the last, best chance for contentious Republicans to prevent Donald Trump from assuming the presidency. For some, the goal is simply to avoid Trump in the White House, but others are still holding out for the hope of electing the first female president this term. The Electoral College could still theoretically hand the popular vote winner the presidency on Dec. 19. So what if Hillary Clinton gets an absolute majority? It's nearly impossible, but she would still more than likely step up to serve and be a great leader.
As of the current electoral standings (which have the ever so slight potential to change in light of Jill Stein's recount campaign), Clinton would need 38 electors to defect from Trump to her. That's 38, equivalent to the entire Electoral delegation of Texas — loyal and active Republicans who would need to change their vote to the most hated Democratic candidate ever. It would be incredible, miraculous, and a little Twilight Zone-ish, but it just doesn't seem like an option. Regardless, the 2016 Election was unlike anyone expected, so some are still holding out hope for a miracle.
The more likely (though still pretty unlikely) scenario is that neither Trump nor Clinton is able to secure the votes for an absolute majority, and the vote is decided in the House of Representatives. Though the House is currently controlled by Republicans, there were plenty of GOP representatives who opposed Trump through the end of his campaign. If they can quickly and effectively establish a coalition to block Trump from the presidency, the United States might still get a Republican president, just not Trump.
It would be near chaos for the party to come to a consensus around a different candidate, but there are some intriguing options. Paul Ryan, the current Speaker of the House, could be asked to step up in the case of the Texas elector Christopher Suprun, who published an op-ed in the New York Times this week declaring his intention to defect from his state's popular vote, has encouraged his fellow Republicans to support John Kasich instead. As a relative moderate, Kasich would appease both Democrats and Republicans and give each party a real opportunity to regroup and redefine before the 2020 election.
However, if Clinton were to win an absolute majority of the Electoral College vote, I don't doubt that she would assume the presidency with vigor and determination. Clinton was more prepared than any candidate in history to be president, and that hasn't changed in the last month. She's gone a little off the grid and inspired some killer memes, but Clinton has never turned down a call to public service and it seems very unlikely that she would at this critical moment in American history.