How Ron Paul Could Still Win The PresidencySubmitted by Lana Lee on Fri, 08/31/2012 - 00:58
While it's a huge disappointment that we were unable to stop the nomination of Mitt Romney at the Tampa RNC, there's still hope for Ron Paul (even if it's a really long shot). The Constitution says so!
According to the constitution, in order to win the presidency in the Electoral College a candidate must have a majority of the electoral votes (270). If no candidate gets 270 electoral votes, the election is thrown to the House of Representatives.
One way this could happen is with a 269-269 electoral vote tie. However, this is extremely unlikely to occur (and has never occurred before).
Another, much more likely way is because of faithless electors. Many states (including TX) have no laws punishing faithless electors, nor do they have the authority to throw out their votes. A good 20 or so (from what I've heard) candidates for electors are Ron Paul supporters. If the electoral vote margin is less than that, these electors could vote for Paul and in so doing deny either candidate from having 270 electoral votes. The presidential election would then be thrown to the House of Representatives. The House would vote from among the top three electoral vote getters (so Paul would be on the ballot!) and whoever won the most House delegations (all delegations count equally) would become President.
Admittedly, this is a very long shot since there currently aren't too many Paul supporters in Congress right now. Most likely Romney would win in such a scenario since the GOP controls the most House delegations. However, if Romney's popularity takes a nosedive or if he suffers a major scandal shortly after Election Day but before the House convenes, this could change. We could also call our representatives too; if their phones were ringing off the hook they might consider turning away from Romney. If enough of them did so, no candidate would get a majority of the House delegations, in which case the House would vote again and again until someone did.
Meanwhile the Senate would select the vice president, who would probably turn out to be Biden. Paul/Biden would admittedly be weird, but since the Vice President has so little power it wouldn't be too bad, and it'd be better than having Romney as president.
Come to think of it, I think Romney/Biden would actually be preferable to Romney/Ryan since history shows us that divided governments spend less and accumulate less debt since they're too busy squabbling with each other to waste money. When the GOP had a solid lock during the first part of the 2000s, they borrowed and spent with impunity just like the Dems would have done. Usually, contrary to what many people would think, divided government = weak/small government = good. Which is why the Founding Fathers added the system of checks and balances in the first place!
So, even if we can't persuade the House to switch to Paul, it probably would still be a good idea for Paul's electors to throw the election to the House if they can; we'd still get Romney but it'd be a weakened, defanged version of Romney since he wouldn't have a "mandate from the people" and he'd be paired with a VP that he couldn't stand.