The Electoral College on Monday voted for Donald J. Trump to win the presidency. Seven electors, the most ever, voted for someone other than their party’s nominee.
In Washington, a state where Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont had strong support in the Democratic primary against Hillary Clinton, three of the state’s 12 electoral votes went to Colin L. Powell, the Republican former secretary of state. One more elector voted for Faith Spotted Eagle, a Native American leader. Another Democratic elector in Hawaii voted for Mr. Sanders.
Two Texas electors voted for different Republican politicians: Gov. John Kasich of Ohio and former Texas congressman Ron Paul.
In addition, three Democratic electors, in Colorado, Maine and Minnesota, initially declined to vote for Mrs. Clinton. Two were replaced by an alternate, and one ended up changing his vote.
Protest Votes in the Electoral College
Electors are not required by the Constitution to vote for a particular candidate. Some states and parties require their electors to pledge to vote for a candidate and may fine or replace electors who break their pledge.
It is rare for more than one elector to vote against the party’s pledged candidate, but it has happened on a few occasions.
In 1808, six New York electors from the Democratic-Republican Party refused to vote for James Madison and instead voted for the party’s vice-presidential candidate, George Clinton.
The last time an elector voted for a candidate from another party was in 1972, when a Republican from Virginia voted for the Libertarian candidate, John Hospers, instead of the eventual winner, Richard M. Nixon. A single elector has refused to vote for the party’s presidential candidate in 11 elections.
Operation Desert Storm in 1991, a logistics error forced them to turn to a surprising source for a ride home: Donald J. Trump.
Today, Ryan Stickney would like to say “thank you.”
Stickney was a squad leader in a TOW company of a Marine reserve unit based in Miami, FL and spent approximately six months in Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War between 1990 and 1991.
Upon his unit’s return to the United States, the former Marine says the group spent several weeks decompressing at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina before heading back to Miami.
Ryan Stickney recalls being told that a mistake had been made within the logistics unit and that an aircraft wasn’t available to take the Marines home on their scheduled departure date.
This—according to Stickney—is where Donald Trump comes in.
“The way the story was told to us was that Mr. Trump found out about it and sent the airline down to take care of us. And that’s all we knew….I remember asking ‘Who is Donald Trump?’ I truly didn’t know anything about him,” the former Marine said.
Corporal Stickney snapped a photo to remember the day by:
U.S. Marines prepare to board Donald Trump’s jet.
The Trump campaign has confirmed to Hannity.com that Mr. Trump did indeed send his plane to make two trips from North Carolina to Miami, Florida to transport over 200 Gulf War Marines back home. No further details were provided.
The Marine says he and his family are—to this day—grateful for Trump’s kind gesture. “It may not seem like much to most people, but it was very important to a bunch of jar heads and more importantly their families waiting for them on the hot tarmac.”
Stickney says that his father—a Korean War veteran and former Eastern Airlines captain—claimed to have never seen a 727 turn around and refuel so quickly. His father was so appreciative of Mr. Trump’s help; he said he would fly for Trump for free to thank him for what he did.
Ryan Stickney says that in his 28 years of public service, he has yet to see this kind of support for the troops from any of the other candidates running for president: “I have not seen a Clinton or Sanders plane, or anything else for that matter, sent to support the troops.”
The lecturer-in-chief can’t help but disparage Americans unhappy with his failed tenure
It’s couched in fancy language, and he doesn’t mention Donald Trump by name, but President Obama’s message in a new piece written in The Economist is clear: Trump supporters are a bunch of racists descended from intolerant movements of the past.
In a column titled, arrogantly enough, “The Way Ahead,” Obama asserts the current moment “reflects any number of eras in which Americans were told they could restore past glory if they just got some group or idea that was threatening America under control.” He adds, “We overcame those fears and we will again.”
The president wants to see himself as the Lincolnesque warrior making a stand against neo-racists who would secretly like nothing better than to reinstall Jim Crow.
What a stunning remark, dripping with contempt for the Americans whom he supposedly represents and who, in many cases, are suffering because of his policies.
Let’s start with the beginning of his phrase, in which he says, “Americans were told.” It’s the paternalism of a liberal speaking, and a particularly condescending one. Poor, stupid, gun and Bible-clinging Americans, who believe what they are told to think.
And look what they are receptive to, a message that they’d achieve “glory” if they could enact their racist fantasies by getting “some group or idea that was threatening America under control.”
Obama’s implication is obvious. Trump supporters are responding to the same call once issued by the leaders of the lynch mob, which got people “under control.”
Obama says that everywhere he goes, people — no intellectually advanced souls such as himself in America and overseas — constantly ask him why America “has suddenly developed a strain of anti-immigrant, anti-innovation protectionism.” Why, they want to know, “have some on the far left and even more on the far right embraced a crude populism that promises a return to a past that is not possible to restore — and that, for most Americans, never existed at all?”
That is, Trump’s legions dream of the good old days, when swarthy immigrants and African-Americans stayed in their places and white working folk clocked out of the factory and returned home to wives named Betty who served them and their 2.1 children roast chicken and potatoes before everyone gathered around the TV to watch Milton Berle.
Actually, what Americans are hoping for is an economy that grows by more than Obama’s 1.5 percent and some decent-paying jobs, instead of the globalization and welfare state expansion that is driving people out of the workforce, stunting wage growth, creating hopelessness, and helping feed an epidemic of heroin use.
But for Obama, the Trump movement is not about the pocketbook or concerns that, with unlimited immigration, a great culture may be changing too rapidly. For him, it’s about hatred of the unfamiliar.
“Much of this discontent is driven by fears that are not fundamentally economic,” Obama pontificates, proceeding to delineate specific racist movements of which Trump supporters are simply the latest incarnation.
“The anti-immigrant, anti-Mexican, anti-Muslim, and anti-refugee sentiment expressed by some Americans today echoes nativist lurches of the past — the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798, the Know-Nothings of the mid-1800s, the anti-Asian sentiment in the late 19th and early 20th centuries,” Obama writes.
Comparing Trump’s movement to the Know Nothing Party, a sometimes violently anti-Catholic and anti-immigrant movement that flourished briefly in the 1850s, is contemptible. Invoking late-19th century discrimination against the “yellow peril” of the immigrant Chinese is equally egregious. Obama is saying that Trump’s millions of backers are a bunch of rank bigots.
The president wants to see himself as the Lincolnesque warrior making a stand against neo-racists who would secretly like nothing better than to reinstall Jim Crow and boot everyone with a tanned or darker complexion out of the country.
But the movement behind Trump has legitimate, rational concerns that an immigration spigot that never closes introduces a foreign culture into America too quickly for assimilation to occur, threatening to adulterate — rather than slowly enhance — an American way of doing things that has succeeding brilliantly and made the entire world a better place.
Turning off the spigot is exactly what America did in the early 20th century, after millions immigrated from Central and Eastern Europe. For decades, immigration came to a halt as the country successfully absorbed alien cultures and fashioned them into a new, but not wholly changed, America.
The person who actually has a “crude” understanding of social forces is Obama. Blinded by his instinct to vilify his enemies and consumed by the egotistical self-absorption that makes him need to understand himself as a Great Man fighting the forces of evil, Obama misunderstands the sentiment that has arisen in rebellion against his policies.
Trump’s voters are not “anti-immigrant” or “anti-Mexican.” They are against unlimited immigration, a substantial amount of it illegal.
They are not anti-refugee or anti-Muslim, but are concerned that we are allowing into this country too many people whose world outlook is hostile toward the United States and who may bring terrorists with them.
Americans who support Trump are not driven by hate. They are driven by love, the love of a nation and a culture they see slipping away under a president who doesn’t understand the country’s history and, worse, holds large swaths of it in contempt.
Keith Koffler is the editor of the website White House Dossier and the newsletter Cut to the News.
For all those sipping a cocktail right now in a Manhattan skyscraper, toasting the swift demise of one Donald J. Trump, here’s a fly in your pretentious dirty martini: There are signs that the belligerent billionaire may be doing significantly better in the presidential race than many polls indicate.
New voter registration is surging in several swing states and appears to be lopsided in favor of the Republican Party. Moreover, a recent analysis of absentee ballots in Florida reveals an unprecedented number of low-propensity voters registered this year — presumably to support the outsider candidate (hint: It’s not Hillary Clinton).
“Nobody’s been polling these people, nobody’s been marketing to these people.”
“Republicans have continued gaining ground in recent months in voter registration in Florida, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Iowa,” Politico reported last week. In Pennsylvania, more than 85,000 former Democrats have switched to the Republican Party this year. This is nearly three times the number of those who made the opposite switch.
In North Carolina, Politico reported, “Democrats’ voter registration advantage shrunk by 44,000 between June 2015 and May 2016” and their “advantage had dwindled to 641,000” as of Aug. 13. In Florida, Republicans have added nearly 70,000 voters and the Democrats’ registration advantage has more than halved since 2012.
- 855,000 ballots cast by mail by Aug. 25
- Over 25% from voters who didn’t vote in the last 4 elections
- 20% from voters who voted in 1 of the last 4 elections
- New primary voters include 90,000 Republicans
Data from Florida also suggests this election could see an unprecedented turnout of first-time or second-time voters. In examining absentee ballots for the upcoming Florida Senate primary election, the Florida Chamber of Commerce discovered “a huge spike in mail voting by people who rarely vote in primary elections,” the Tampa Bay Times reported.
According to the report, nearly half of the mail ballots returned for the primary election are from those who voted in one or fewer of the last four primary elections. “We’re in unprecedented, uncharted territory,” said Florida Chamber President and CEO Mark Wilson. “Nobody’s been polling these people, nobody’s been marketing to these people.”
No one has been polling these people — and these people may very well decide the election. This is one of the reasons why most of the polls which have shown Trump losing in a landslide are not to be trusted — most polling companies reach out to those who are historically politically active, not those who are historically apathetic.
Furthermore, many of the polls which paint the most depressing picture for the Trump campaign are heavily weighted toward registered Republicans and Democrats, when in reality most registered American voters are independent — and independent voters appear to lean Trump. A recent Emerson poll for example found that Trump leads independents in Ohio by 47 percent to 30 percent, 39 percent to 38 percent in Michigan, and 43 percent to 37 percent in Pennsylvania. Some studies have also indicated that Trump consistently performs better in anonymous, online polls, suggesting that he has stronger support than many traditional polls seem to indicate.
“We saw the commentariat and we saw the polling industry doing everything they could to demoralize our campaign,” Brexit proponent Nigel Farage told a crowd of jubilant Trump supporters last week. They may very well be doing the same thing in the U.S. But even within polling industry weighted in Clinton’s favor, there are signs she’s slipping. A new Monmouth poll released Monday showed Clinton’s lead sinking to only 7 points over Trump.
“This is huge,” said Marian Johnson, an expert on Florida politics and the senior vice president of political strategy for the Florida Chamber of Commerce, of the Florida absentee ballot revelations.
“I can envision election night when the votes are counted that certain people win that nobody thought had a chance, and that being attributed to this trend.” Right now nobody — well, nobody in the commentariat, anyway — thinks Trump has a chance. They could be wrong.