How the House of Representatives Could Choose the President

It’s entirely possible in this election year for the House of Representatives to select our president this year.  What few realize is that a victor in the general election must reach an absolute majority – that is, at least 50% plus one int he electoral college.  There is no runoff election.  Why is this important?  The Democratic base needs to consider paths to prevent this from happening.  Given the House is controlled by Republican’s, we would expect them to choose a Republican, even one who may not have been vetted during the election process.

From our vantage point today, here are the possible lineups for the general election and how things could play out. The major consideration is under what circumstances would a 3rd party candidate jump into the election process and cause no candidate to reach the majority that is needed.

  1. Michael Bloomberg, has said he’s considering a 3rd party run if its a Sanders vs. Trump choice.  Bloomberg is a moderate that would appeal to many center-left and center-right voters.  Bloomberg was a Democrat, then a Republican, and is now a moderate independent.  While he might pull many voters away from a Trump or Cruz ticket, he could pull a enough independent voters  from a Sanders ticket to deny Sanders a majority.
  2. If Donald Trump loses the Republican nomination, he’ll likely run as a 3rd party candidate, regardless of what he is currently saying or has promised, which we know he’s willing to flip-flop on issues for his convenience. While Trump is a Republican (and was once a Democrat too), many of his current supporters are independents that don’t like Cruz or Rubio.  Trump’s biggest wins have been in states with open primaries, which allow independents and Democrats to cross over during the primary.  If Cruz wins the nomination, Trump would certainly dent Cruz’s campaign, even putting Cruz in third in a three-way race.  But Trump’s ability to pull just enough independents from a Democratic candidate so nobody has a majority would likely put the House in charge again.
  3. If Trump wins the Republican nomination, and Clinton heads the Democratic ticket, this is the least likely scenario for a 3rd party candidacy.  However, with the amount of money from billionaires floating around, its entirely possible for them to fund a 3rd party candidate because they don’t like Trump or Hillary.  The set of them could fund even more than one candidate, further slicing up the electorate and denying anyone a majority and turning this over to the House.

Given this election year has gone against all conventional wisdom, it’s entirely possible one of these situations might occur leaving the Republican controlled House of Representatives to make the choice, leaving us with the possibility of an unelected President.

The bottom-line to all this, Democrats need to go all out to do what ever it takes to get people to vote for the Democratic candidate!  Democrats must vote.

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