Friday, October 21, 2016

Jon Schwarz — It Isn’t Just Donald Trump. The Bush Campaign Plotted to Reject Election Results in 2000

While it’s almost forgotten now, the George W. Bush campaign was planning to challenge the results of the 2000 vote if he lost the electoral vote, but won the popular vote. His campaign hoped to spark a national movement to pressure members of the Electoral College in states where the popular vote went for Al Gore to ignore that and instead vote in line with the national popular vote — thus making Bush president.
In the end, the reverse happened. Bush won the Electoral College vote while losing the popular vote.
But in the weeks before the November 7, 2000, election, it seemed more likely that Gore would get a majority of electoral votes, while Bush, buoyed by a wide margin in his home state of Texas, would have the most votes by actual people. This possibility was widely discussed, including in the Boston Globe and Christian Science Monitor and in an Associated Press polling analysis.
Gore was even preemptively criticized for winning under these circumstances. It “would be an outrage” said Rep. Ray LaHood, R.-Ill. NBC’s Chris Matthews said that “knowing him as we do, [Gore] may have no problem taking the presidential oath after losing the popular vote to George W. Bush.” (Matthews lost interest in this issue when the opposite occurred. He later said that he himself had voted for Bush in 2000.)
The US Constitution has built in a potential constitutional crisis.

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