The Supreme Court will be hearing a case that will determine if state legislatures can determine who their electoral college delegates vote for in the Presidential election, even if it’s against the popular vote. 4 justices have already signaled they support the states doing this and the 2 undecided justices are Roberts and Amy Comey Barrett. Let’s assume the supreme court rules that state legislatures can do this.
Imagine this scenario: In 2024, the democrat’s candidate wins by a slim margin. However, 1 state which turned blue but has a red legislature claims “voter fraud” without any evidence and declares their delegates to vote for the republican candidate. This changes the result of the entire election and elects a president who lost the popular vote and electoral college vote (technically).
Is this an actual scenario in which electors can be rejected on January 6?
Yes, this could actually happen. The question would then be: would the citizens of the state permit it?
Consider Wisconsin. The popular vote in the state is almost always for the Democrats. More votes are cast for Democrats than for Republicans, statewide, in almost every election. However, thanks to gerrymandering, about 2/3 of the state legislators are Republican. There are Republican “committees” still trying to prove election fraud and still insisting that Trump somehow won Wisconsin, and the GOP in Wisconsin has vowed not to let the state go for a Democrat again. So it is entirely possible that the state legislature would demand that Wisconsin’s electoral votes go to a Republican no matter how the state voted. And those who subverted the will of the people who have almost no chance of negative consequences thanks to gerrymandering.
If the election were held and shenanigans like this were done in enough states to install the losing candidate as “President”, it is likely that there would not be a peaceful transition of power. There would probably be at the least riots on a national basis and some considerable loss of life. There would be an appreciable chance of a second civil war.
It would be probably the most significant event so far of the 21st Century, and would play out in one of three ways:
1. U.S. dissolves/breaks into smaller countries
2. GOP consolidates power into a one party state
3. GOP burns itself out, the U.S. mostly stays together and has a great reset.
Examining each in a bit more detail:
The obvious answer because so much of the country despises the GOP and their platform on a visceral level, and the GOP’s agenda threatens the wellbeing and livelihood of a significant portion of the population. Blue states could start breaking away simply by refusing to follow EOs/laws passed by an illegitimate GOP government and taking measures to prevent money flowing into poorer red states. A lot of this happening depends on how willing the GOP is to fight for the preservation of the Union, or if they’re willing to cut-and-run.
What makes this scenario likely? It’s probably the path of least resistance that involves the least bloodshed.
What makes this scenario unlikely? This essentially destroys one of the world’s biggest markets, and it’s in a lot of people’s interest to keep the US whole and intact.
GOP Power Consolidation.
The nightmare scenario. GOP manages to weather the mass protests, outright riots, violent targeting of GOP officials, economic sanctions (both domestic and international), mass resignations and/or sabotage from government officials who fight against a coup internally, etc. GOP actively stamps out any resistance and manages to dismantle the Democratic Party and any other political parties that form.
What makes this scenario likely? If people don’t get pissed off enough, they won’t do anything. The success of this scenario depends entirely on the opposition remaining pliant and/or divided.
What makes this scenario unlikely? It’s easy to forget, but during the last administration there was a huge groundswell of activism, anger, and movement from people who hated Trump and his message. The GOP has only become more radicalized since then and attempting to govern a hostile population has historically not been a winning endeavor.
GOP’s Burnout/Gollum Moment.
Tentatively what I consider the most likely – the GOP seizes power and begins instituting every shitty law they can think of, only to be surprised that their policies are really unpopular. Nation-wide abortion ban, ban/limitation on same-sex marriage, lack of willingness to fund any kind of infrastructure/social program. Every single one of these things represents the GOP continually kicking a different hornets nest. They last a few years until they fall and fall hard, with a population that carries a deep hatred for anyone and anything associated with the Final GOP Administration.
What makes this scenario likely? The GOP is unwilling to moderate itself and continually tacks farther and farther right to appease its most radical members, shooting themselves in the foot when compromise would help them build a more stable power base. Most Americans do want to be Americans, and this path provides a way to kill the cancer that is killing the country.
What makes this scenario unlikely? There is a large portion of the population which has been radicalized by the GOP and GOP media apparatus, and it’s difficult to envision a future where they have no say in government whatsoever.
In all cases, GOP officials (esp state officials who aren’t any wealthier than your average Joe) will face a very real threat of death every time they’re in a blue area, and pretty much all capitols are in blue areas