Gary could become the third “President Johnson” in US history. It sounds incredible, but it’s quite possible, if he wins just one state. Most of us know that a candidate must get 270 votes in the Electoral College to win the presidency outright. Many of us know what happens if no one gets the 270: The choice is thrown into the House of Representatives.

The House is overwhelmingly Republican, and it would be the “lame duck” House that would make the decision, so even if there were a Democratic wave, giving Dems the House, it wouldn’t matter. On the other hand, Donald Trump seems to be alienating many Republicans, due to outrageous things he says—but also because he is not a loyal Republican—demonstrated by his current attempt to defeat Paul Ryan’s primary race.

If a large number of Republican lawmakers are turned off by November, they could shun Hillary Clinton, and still not make Trump president, according to a Pennsylvania newspaper.

All Johnson needs to do is win one state. I’ll repeat that, just ONE state. You may be thinking, “What is he talking about? Can’t this kid do math?” Well, fortunately, I can, and another fortunate thing is that if Johnson wins just one state, it will keep Clinton and Trump from the 270.

In an independent poll done in Utah, Johnson is at 26 percent compared to Clinton at 27 percent and Trump at 29 percent, and in a state that voted 69 percent for Ted Cruz in the Republican Primaries, Johnson has a good chance of winning the state. He has also seen a surge in his home state of New Mexico, and, with a little campaigning, outshining Trump and Clinton will be an easy feat.

Another thing to keep in mind is that if Johnson can achieve 15 percent in polls nationally, he can partake in the Presidential Debates against Clinton and Trump. In those debates, it’s anticipated that the first debate will have more viewers than the Super Bowl. That coverage will slingshot Johnson up in the polls.

“Wait a minute,” you ask, “what’s this about one state? It’s in the Twelfth Amendment.

In the twelfth amendment it states that “if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President.” In layman’s terms, each state, through its representatives in the House would cast one vote for the top three contenders for President.

The House of Representatives can decide, but they can only decide from those who actually won Electoral College votes. That’s why the writer mentioned Utah. That’s Mormon territory, and they didn’t take kindly to the way Trump spoke of their favorite son, Mitt Romney, and vice versa. That’s why Trump’s numbers are so low there. To repeat, Trump 29, Clinton 27, Johnson 26.

Of course that was before Johnson’s Mormon flap. He was arguing against the “politically correct” concept of hate crimes with the Washington Examiner.

I think this is analogous to hate crime. Convict me on the act of throwing a rock through somebody’s window. But if you’re going to convict me on my motivation for doing that, now you’re back to religious freedom. I mean under the guise of religious freedom, anybody can do anything. Back to Mormonism. . . Why shouldn’t somebody be able to shoot somebody else because their freedom of religion says that God has spoken to them and that they can shoot somebody dead.”

Johnson was referring to the early days of the Latter Day Saints, but it still didn’t go over well—and could cost him his only hope for the presidency.

However, Johnson may have a secret weapon: Mitt Romney. Rumors are flying that Romney will actually endorse Johnson, which would be the ultimate payback against Trump, who is counting on perennially Republican Utah to push him over the top.

Many voters feel that Gary Johnson is a better alternative to both Clinton and Trump and although he is running as a Libertarian, he may be getting some major backing in this race. It has been rumored that Mitt Romney, 2012 presidential candidate, is considering endorsing the Johnson/Weld ticket, and this could be huge. If Romney endorses Johnson, it’s possible that other politicians, such as Ted Cruz, will endorse them as well. According to the report, this would give more legitimacy to this third-party race and could really shake things up come November 8. . .

“In theory, if neither major party candidate wins 270 electoral votes, the election would be thrown to the House of Representatives for the first time since 1824. In a Republican controlled House, Gary Johnson, in theory, could be elected President with the lowest percentage of popular votes in American history, far less than John Quincy Adams’ 30.9 percent in 1824 or Abraham Lincoln’s 39.8 percent of the vote in 1860.”

17 COMMENTS

  1. A very interesting article. I suppose this could happen, but in my opinion getting the support of two failed candidates like Romney and Cruz wouldn’t necessarily help.

    Romney is expressing nothing but sour grapes. He should have beaten O’Bugger in 2012 but didn’t. This on-going clash with Trump is reminiscent of someone who doesn’t want to be out of the spotlight.

    As far as Cruz is concerned, Trump was right, he is nothing but a LIAR. He probably won’t even be elected as DOG CATCHER in the future.

    I can’t see the people of Utah or any state being convinced by FLIM FLAN man!!!

    • I dunno. I think the Mormons of Utah are just waiting for Brother Romney’s other shoe to drop. When it does, it’ll drop heavily on Trump’s head.

  2. Actually, Johnson doesn’t even have to win a state to possibly be up for selection by the House.

    Maine and Nebraska are not “winner take all” states in the electoral college. They parcel out their electors by who wins in each US House district (with the winner of the overall statewide popular vote getting the two “base” electors).

    So carrying one congressional district in one of those two states would be enough to make the top three and be one of the House-considered finalists in the event that Trump got 269 electoral votes and Clinton got 268 electoral votes (or vice versa), with that one lonely electoral vote going to Johnson.

        • Two problems with that.

          (1) The only poll I could find is not encouraging.

          http://digital.vpr.net/post/vpr-poll-issues-races-and-full-results

          If the Presidential election were held today, and the candidates were Clinton (D), Trump (R), or Johnson (L), who would you vote for?
          Hillary Clinton 39%
          Donald Trump 17%
          Gary Johnson 5%
          Jill Stein 0%
          Someone else 26%
          Not sure 8%
          Refused 5%
          Total Respondents 637

          Problem (2): We’re talking about the election being thrown into the current House. The chance that so many Republicans would pick Jill Stein is zero or less.

          • I wasn’t talking about Stein becoming president. I was talking about Stein versus Johnson’s chances of carrying a state.

            It’s unsurprising that Stein polled 0% in a poll that didn’t include her. In polls that do include her, she’s polling a little back from Johnson, but not a WHOLE lot back from Johnson — even though she has raised less than half as much money, hasn’t received nearly as much media attention (she does have her own CNN town hall coming up finally), and only got her party’s nomination yesterday.

            The most likely person to throw the election to the House, and to then win that election IN the House, is Paul Ryan. Of course he won’t carry any states because he’s not running in the election. But a few “faithless electors” could make him the third competitor in a three-way race that’s decided by the House.

            • Actually, they did give a choice of Stein, it was just oddly asked:

              If the presidential election were held today, and the candidates were Hillary Clinton, the Democrat, Donald Trump, the Republican, and Gary Johnson, the Libertarian, for whom would you vote, Clinton, Trump, Johnson, or for someone else?
              __ Hillary Clinton
              __ Donald Trump
              __ Gary Johnson
              __ Jill Stein
              __ Someone else

              The result was 1.1% of Democrats opted for Stein, but as part of the whole, she was 0.3%, so they rounded it down to 0%.

              You can download the full results here:

              http://digital.vpr.net/post/vpr-poll-issues-races-and-full-results#vpr-poll-jul2016-files-downloads

              Regarding Ryan, the Supreme Court hasn’t ruled on “faithless” electors, so you’re probably right. If someone voted for another person, that person could be among the “top three” from whom the House could choose to be president.

              http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/electors.html#restrictions

            • My expectation is that the issue of “faithless electors” will end up at SCOTUS the first time such an elector seems to cost a candidate an election, but not before. I don’t think the parties want to risk an adverse ruling (i.e. the electors can do what they damn well please) that might turn the Electoral College into an anything goes guessing game unless they have no choice.

            • This year has pointed out a lot of strange things about our system. However, nothing will be done about it, because the people in power will be the ones who win, and if they win, and they have no incentive to change anything. Look at Trump. For all his whining about the “unfair” system, he made zero-zilch-nada effort to change anything at all. Since Bernie lost, but Hillary still need him, so there were a few reforms on the Dem side.

              If “unfaithful” electors picked a third option, it would go to the Supreme Court, but they might deadlock 4-4.

  3. I think it would be a colossal mistake for the House to pick a president that got less than a third of the votes. Even though there’s a lot of talk about how unpopular the two major candidates this year are, I think there would be riots and possibly a coup if the congressmen that everyone hates decided to override the voice of the people by selecting a candidate that only won one or two states. Even though I would prefer Gary Johnson to Trump or Hillary, I think if he doesn’t get a reasonable percentage of the popular vote he shouldn’t be president.

    • There’s bound to be riots in a lot of scenarios. If Clinton wins the Electoral, but loses the Popular, that could set off a tidal wave of violence. If Trump wins, you can bet that all his properties will have a high security detail. At least if it’s a House vote, it goes through a level of negotiation and time, so that the conclusion won’t come in a “bang.”

      But a House vote would certainly mean that Hillary won’t be the choice, given the state delegate R-leaning vote. So a “compromise” scenario that balances out the best interests of the people could be healthy. And remember, since the Senate would pick the VP, it could be conducive to the process to find a Johnson-Pence (or maybe Kaine) White House. In that case, Weld could be SOS, and Trump would be happy building his media network, while taking the claim as the “true winner” of the election…

      I would not think any of this would be possible if Johnson & Weld were not former Republicans for most of their careers. Their message of a bi-partisan unity might be the best outcome from the most divisive election cycle any of us have seen in our lifetime.

      While it’s only happened twice, I was just reading an article of how close a House vote got to in so many elections. 30k votes made the difference in Kennedy-Nixon. And George Wallace ran with that entire intention. It all make the next 38 days something to pay close attention to…

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