The last Republican presidential nominee to drop out of the party's race could soon find support from a band of rogue electors.
Ohio Gov. John Kasichhas emerged the favored alternative to Donald Trump for a group calling itself the Hamilton Electors. They are members of the Electoral College from Colorado and Washington state who are trying to convince Republican electors to join their cause, Politico reported.
Micheal Baca, an elector from Colorado and leader of the Hamilton Electors, said in a statement to Politico that "a consensus is beginning to form that Gov. Kasichwould be best positioned to unite America."
These Hamilton Electors arenamed for Alexander Hamilton, from his essay explaining the necessity of the Electoral College. In Federalist No. 68, the statesman and later secretary of the treasury, wrote "The process of the Electoral College affords a moral certainty, that the office of the President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications."
The Hamilton Electors want to persuade 37 electors to change their vote from Trump or abstain from voting to block the president-elect from inauguration next month.
All 538 electors will meet in their state capitals onDec. 19 to cast their votes for president. Trump earned 306 in the Nov. 8 general election, 36 more than the required 270 to become president. So Hamilton Electors – who say theyhave the constitutional right to change their vote – are looking to overturn last month's results.
Presently, eight electors have indicated they will become "faithless" by choosing not to vote for Trump or his running mate, Mike Pence. On Monday, the first Republican joined their ranks. Writing in The New York Times, Christopher Suprun, from Texas, said, "I have poured countless hours into serving the party of Lincoln and electing its candidates. I will pour many more into being more faithful to my party than some in its leadership. But I owe no debt to a party. I owe a debt to my children to leave them a nation they can trust."
What's unclear is what punishment, if any, faithless electors face if they break with popular vote. Per Politico, rogue electors are preparing lawsuits challenging nearly 30 state laws compelling electors to vote in line with statewide popular vote. But these laws have never been enforced. In fact, even if they are unsuccessful at overturning Trump's victory, eight defectors would be the highest number in history.
Also unclear is whetherKasich, who was rumored to be Trump's vice presidential pick before selecting Mike Pence, would accept support, or even the nomination, from rogue electors.
"There’s no question Trump won enough votes in the states to receive over 270 votes when the members of the Electoral College meet,"Kasich’s top political adviser, John Weaver, told Politico. "I’m sure the [Electoral College] will affirm this when it gathers later this month.”
Kasichsuspended his primary campaign on May 4, leaving the GOP nomination to Trump after the real estate magnate won the Indiana primary. But the seasoned governor argued for several months thereafter that he was best positioned to defeat Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton.