Donald Trump needed 270 electoral votes to win. He won 36 more than needed.
Texas has 38 electoral votes.
So, what happens if between now and the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December (December 19, 2016), Donald Trump does or says something to offend a bunch of Texas Republicans. The electors walk into the state capitol, filled with rage and indignation, and cast their votes for Ted Cruz.
Let’s take a quick look at the Twelfth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America.
The person having the greatest Number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice.
Assuming the two Washington State electors fulfill their promise to vote for Bernie, you could have the following result:
Now the House needs to choose between the top three finishers, one state per vote. Trump, Clinton, Cruz. Could be a fun time in the old house. Even more fun if something really goes awry, and the Ohio electors vote for John Kasich. Ohio only has 18 electoral votes, and they can’t pass Ted Cruz into third place unless he can find another 21 electors to go along with the Ohio electors and Kasich.
If the House can’t elect a president from among the top three finishers in the Electoral College, the Vice President moves up to the presidency. I would suspect there are many House Republicans who would be very happy with that outcome. Who knows? Even if Trump takes office, impeach Trump and hello President Pence.
It’s been a nutty year. Don’t discount some additional nuttiness between now and January 20.