Many Republicans are hoping for a deadlocked convention in which no candidate gets the majority of votes. And if that doesn’t work, say some, maybe we could have a deadlocked electoral college.
If Donald Trump has the nomination “stolen” from him, to his mind, he may run as a third party candidate. Or if he gets the nomination, surely other third part candidates will emerge, whether Republicans (who would have a challenge to get on state ballots) or candidates from parties such as the Libertarians or the Constitution Party that are already on the ballot in many states.
A credible third party candidate could prevent either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump from winning a majority of electoral votes. Which means that the vote would then go to the House of Representatives. Which is controlled by Republicans, who could choose anyone they wanted.
Would that be a crisis for our democracy? Or would that simply be our Constitution in action?
UPDATE: Thanks to Todd for quoting to me the 12th Amendment, which requires the House of Representatives, in the event that no one wins an electoral majority, to choose from the top three candidates. So theoretically, a third party candidate could be chosen in the House. The Republican majority would have to go against its own party’s candidate, which could possibly happen. But there is not much hope for this option. [Read more…]