The Electoral College is voting today, and some voters have been frantically writing the electors, seeking to get them to change their mind. Is their any chance that Hillary Clinton could win?
Here’s what you need to know.
It appears that there is only a very slim chance that Hillary Clinton would walk away with a win. She currently has 232 electoral votes to Donald Trump’s 306. She would need to gain 38 electoral votes in order to get the 270 she would need to win. Flipping that many votes is unprecedented in history. There was only one time in history that faithless electors altered the result of an electoral vote. In 1836, all 23 electors in Virginia opted to be faithless. They were pledged to vote for Martin Van Buren and his running mate, Richard Mentor Johnson. But instead, they all refused to vote for Johnson. The Senate decided the election and ended up choosing Johnson anyway.
Even in 2000, when Al Gore had earned 266 electoral votes to George W. Bush’s 271, and Bush only needed to lose two to tie the Electoral College in a hotly contested race, no one flipped away from Bush. Only one elector changed her vote, and she was a Democrat elector who abstained from voting at all.
Democrats and even some concerned Republicans have written letters and emails to Republican electors, trying to convince them to change their vote. But despite receiving thousands of letters, only one Republican elector has committed publicly to switching his vote: Chris Suprun in Texas. Some Democrats, meanwhile, pledged to vote for a compromise Republican candidate as part of a Hamilton Electors group, in hopes of convincing other Republicans to do the same. But even in that situation, 37 electors would need to flip from Trump before a vote could be forced in the House of Representatives.
So the stakes are stacked high against Hillary Clinton in the electoral college today. But as we’ve seen before, 2016 has been a difficult year to predict.