The 45th President?
Much has been written and discussed about the establishment republicans stealing the nomination from Trump at the Republican National Convention. The problem they face there is that Trump could easily have enough delegates to win in the first round. Don’t expect that to stop the establishment from stealing the presidency from Trump, even if he wins in the general election. Truth be told, that is probably easier than for them to do than to steal it at the convention. And safer, too. Best of all, it’s constitutional.
What do I mean when I say it’s safer? Well, if they steal the nomination, there could be a huge backlash at the polls. But in the second scenario, the election is already over and it’s two years before the voters could exact revenge at the polls. You may have wondered about the plan to run third party candidates to stop Trump and assumed that it would hand the election to Hillary. Not necessarily true. In fact, Hillary could win the election and an establishment republican could become president.
Here is how the establishment could steal the election. By running a third party campaign aimed at denying both Clinton and Trump one or two large states, such as Ohio and New Jersey. Two third party candidate are also possible. In doing this, they could assure that neither candidate would reach the 270 electoral votes needed to win the election outright. That sends the election to the House of Representatives.
Once the House has control of the election, they can do anything they want. The democrats will still be in the minority after the election, so Hillary would not become president. But the House is not bound to vote for the candidates who actually participated in the election. They can elect anyone who meets the criteria of eligibility.
This has actually hapened in the past, the first time Andrew Jackson ran for president. His opponent was John Quincy Adams. Adams won 84 electoral and 108,740 popular votes. Andrew Jackson bested him in both areas by 99 electoral and 153,544. But third and fourth party candidates won 78 total electoral votes, denying the top two enough electoral votes to win. As dictated by the Twelfth Amendment to the constitution, the House got to make the decision. They ended up installing Adams as president even though Jackson received more popular and electoral votes.
Jefferson’s first term was also decided by Congress but that was before the passage of the Twelfth Amendment.
And that could be the plan behind a third party run.