The 2016 Electoral College results are in. On a chaotic news day with terrorist attacks in Berlin and Turkey, Donald Trump was officially elected by the Electoral College to be the 45th President of the United States. There were reports of electors who were prepared to switch their vote away from Trump, but Hillary Clinton crossed the finish line with fewer votes than the final tally suggested on Election Day.
On Monday, 538 electors gathered at their respective state capital across the nation to cast their vote for president. Protests erupted in Wisconsin, and for the first time in 40 years, state electors broke from the popular vote. Clinton won the state of Washington — and its 12 Electoral College votes — by 15.7 points in November, but she only received eight of those votes.
Breaking 4 “faithless electors” break ranks in Washington state electoral college vote. 3 vote for Colin Powell, one for Faith Spotted Eagle
— Ed Pilkington (@Edpilkington) December 19, 2016
Despite the conclusive Electoral College result on Monday evening, Clinton’s lead in the popular vote currently sits at 2.86 million. Bernie Sanders tweeted from his Senate account that Electoral College reform is needed and that no one should lose the White House after winning the popular vote.
We need to change the electoral college.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) December 19, 2016
Republican operative R.J. Lyman was quoted in a Washington Post piece published on Saturday that he was using his connections to fight back against efforts to keep Trump from winning the Electoral College on Monday by contacting electors directly. Lyman’s goal was to urge participating members of the Electoral College process that the Founding Fathers did not intend on their votes being a rubber stamp.
“‘I’m reminding them of their duty to think about their choice in a way that’s consistent with their conscience and the Constitution,’ Lyman said.”
“So far, Lyman said, he has identified 20 electors who might be willing to vote ‘other than their party pledge.’ He couldn’t name more than one publicly but insisted that more were out there.”
The battle to stop Trump from being the next president started long before the Electoral College results were a fleeting thought. First, it was the efforts to manufacture a contested convention in the final months of the Republican primaries. John Kasich was one of the last candidates to drop out of the race because a contested convention was his only path to clinching the nomination. Kasich never endorsed Trump’s nomination and was one of the names anti-Trumpers were lobbying Electoral College voters to consider. There were reports of two electors attempting to switch their vote from Trump to Kasich.
BREAKING: Colorado elector dismissed under state law after attempting to vote for Kasich instead of Clinton; alternate will vote instead
— BNO News (@BNONews) December 19, 2016
Two Texas electors did not vote for Trump — one for Kasich, one for Ron Paul.
— David Lauter (@DavidLauter) December 19, 2016
After Trump clinched the presidency, The New York Times reported that multiple efforts to convince Electoral College voters across the nation to change their vote had failed.
“Leaders of groups that were lobbying the electors had privately believed they had a chance to persuade enough Republican electors to defect, denying him an Electoral College majority and throwing the election to the House of Representatives. But by late Monday, only a handful of electors had broken ranks.”
Electoral College voters in Texas pushed Trump over the 270 mark officially killing the last and final attempt to keep Trump out of the White House. Clinton now joins Al Gore as the two Democratic nominees in the last five elections to win the popular vote but lose the Electoral College. Trump’s inauguration will be on January 20.
We did it! Thank you to all of my great supporters, we just officially won the election (despite all of the distorted and inaccurate media).
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 19, 2016
Thirty-seven Republican electors needed to switch their votes to deny Trump from winning the Electoral College. Only two of Trump’s electors defected. Eight of Clinton’s electors attempted to cast their vote for a different candidate and five succeeded. The Electoral College results after Election Day were Trump’s 306 to Clinton’s 232. After the official votes were cast, the final Electoral College results are Trump’s 304 votes and Clinton’s 227.
[Featured Image by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images]