In a crazy election campaign full of conspiracy theories and Hail Marys, some Democrats have still been pushing to take the presidency away from President-Elect Donald Trump. The last-ditch effort is today’s joint session of Congress, when the electoral votes are counted. There’s a rule that would allow Senators and House Representatives to jointly dispute states’ electoral votes. The hope among Democrats is that doing so would prevent a Trump presidency. But what’s often overlooked is the third Presidential candidate who could be chosen instead of Trump or Hillary Clinton in this very unlikely scenario: Colin Powell.
Here’s how Colin Powell could become President. Of course, it’s important to point out that this is just a look at how the rules could lead to this happening. The chance that this could be a reality is slim-to-none, but it’s interesting to entertain.
House Democrats have recently been stating that they believe 50 of Trump’s electors were not qualified to vote. While Congress is counting the electoral votes in each state, a Representative and a Senator can jointly dispute the results of a specific state. At this point, the House and Senate would convene separately for two hours, as Fox News reported, debate the disputes, and then come to a decision. Considering that Congress is Republican-controlled, it seems unlikely that a decision would be reached rejecting the electors.
However, if by a very slim chance, some states’ electors were ultimately rejected, Trump would stand a chance of dropping below his 270 electoral count. In this situation, the Republican-controlled House would decide who was President from among the three candidates who received the most electoral votes.
That’s where things get interesting. Trump received 304 electoral votes and Clinton received 227. The next-highest candidate was Colin Powell, who received three electoral votes.
At this point, a Republican-controlled House would be choosing among Trump, Clinton, and Powell. We can safely rule at Clinton, since it seems unlikely that Republicans would ever flip from Trump to a Democrat. So they’d be choosing between Trump and Powell.
There’s certainly a possibility — albeit an incredibly slight one — that in this very strange scenario, enough establishment Republicans would go against Trump and hand the win to Powell. However, these same politicians would also be drawing the anger of the millions of people who cast their vote for Trump. Yes, theoretically, they could vote for Powell, which would mean that the Democrats’ efforts only resulted in a different Republican becoming President.
But when looking at the reality of the situation, Trump would still more than likely walk away the winner. What do you think about the scenario? Could you see any situation where Powell would walk away the winner?
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