Politico reported Tuesday that at least six mostly Bernie Sanders–supporting Electoral College electors are planning an effort aimed less at preventing Donald Trump from becoming president than at diminishing public faith in the Electoral College itself:
Even the most optimistic among the Democratic electors acknowledges they’re unlikely to convince the necessary 37 Republican electors to reject Trump—the number they’d likely need to deny him the presidency and send the final decision to the House of Representatives. And even if they do, the Republican-run House might simply elect Trump anyway.
But the Democratic electors are convinced that even in defeat, their efforts would erode confidence in the Electoral College and fuel efforts to eliminate it, ending the body’s 228-year run as the only official constitutional process for electing the president. With that goal in mind, the group is also contemplating encouraging Democratic electors to oppose Hillary Clinton and partner with Republicans in support of a consensus pick like Mitt Romney or John Kasich.
An anonymous elector told Politico that the House election that would result from a Trump Electoral College defeat “would immediately blow up into a political firestorm in the U.S.” and be a positive step toward galvanizing the public’s support for ditching the college. Another, former Democratic National Committee Vice Chairwoman Polly Baca, said she’d prefer that the Electoral College return to the model outlined by Alexander Hamilton in the Federalist Papers and become an independent body informed but not governed by actual vote tallies.
The Electoral College will convene in state capitols around the country on Dec. 19. The total number of faithless electors remains unknown. Hillary Clinton currently leads the popular vote by about 1.7 million votes.