By Shelby Ferguson
USA – Imagine this scenario for a moment: Election night, 2020. Donald Trump has declared victory and held steady with 306 electoral votes again. His opponent has ALSO declared victory through the National Popular Vote Bill, which has awarded them 274 electoral votes.
Impossible? We are a lot closer to this scenario than you may think. The National Popular Vote Bill (here) has somewhat quietly been passed into law in 16 jurisdictions now for a total of 196 electoral votes, with Oregon becoming the newest state to join. That is only 74 short of the 270 required to join before it becomes active law. Whether you think this is a legal way to do this or not, it is being attempted and has a lot of success so far. What would it take to get it past 270? In reality, not much.
As it stands the 16 states signed on all went blue in 2016. 4 more states that also went blue in 2016 could join this without too much trouble before the 2020 election: Nevada, Minnesota, Virginia, and New Hampshire. Those 4 would add 33 electoral votes and bring the total to 229. Only 41 away.
Remember Michigan? It went for Trump in 2016 after a long blue history. Michigan now has a new very blue Governor and AG, along with already passing a version of this in the House in 2008. It wouldn’t take much for Michigan to join this and bring the total to 245 electoral votes. Just 25 to go.
What could be the final straw? The same state that is always in the middle of controversy: Florida. Sure it has a nice red Governor now, but a lot can change between now and election day. It would definitely take some work, but it is not out of the realm of possibilities that Florida could join this bill before the 2020 election. Florida’s 29 electoral votes would bring the total to 274, activating the bill as law in those states.
Florida and Michigan is just the easiest path, a quick 1-2 punch. There are multiple roads to getting 270 electoral votes committed to this Bill, and it seems to be more likely than not at this point that one of those roads will happen.
What do you think this country looks like the days after both sides declare victory?
The following weeks? Months?
What would be the end result?
The answer scares me.