While the Free The Delegates’ flame is now extinguished, another quixotic #NeverTrump movement has taken root right here in Colorado. One of our own presidential electors, Michael Baca, wants his peers in the electoral college to vote their conscience.
The fact that Colorado went blue doesn’t seen to faze Baca, who has teamed with a Washington State elector to form the group “Moral Electors.” Their goal: persuade 37 electors to defect in a last ditch effort to deny Donald Trump the White House. They want Republican electors to “write in Mitt Romney or John Kasich.”
Their plan doesn’t seem very well thought out. If no candidate breaks 50% in the electoral college, the vote goes to the House of Representatives, where each state delegation gets one vote. Not sure if they looked at the numbers here, but Trump wins again.
“Faithless electors,” as they’re are called, are very rare in modern politics. In fact, no presidential election has ever been decided by electoral college defectors. The only time when there was a noticeable group of electors voting against their states’ results was in the 1872 election where Ulysses S. Grant crushed New York newspaperman Horace Greeley (yes, Greeley, CO is named after the guy). Greeley died between the general election and the meeting of the electoral college.
One final piece to this puzzle is just who is this Baca guy and what motivates him? Baca is a Democrat activist from Denver, and news reports list him as a veteran of the Marine Corps and a graduate student. Baca’s posts to Facebook over the past year paint a picture of a faithful Bernie Sanders supporter. He traveled to California to campaign for Sanders, and published numerous articles that showed Sanders in a positive light as a humanitarian and a political outsider. Many of Baca’s narratives on Facebook express frustration about media coverage of Hillary Clinton, which he perceived as being biased against Sanders
Baca also predicted very early that Donald Trump could beat Hillary Clinton in a direct general election match up – pointing this out well before the summer political conventions. His theory was that Bernie Sanders would be a stronger candidate to put up against Trump.
Maybe he was right? We’ll never know. But we can say for certain that his Moral Electors experiment likely will meet the same fate as Sanders’ campaign.