I was chatting with a friend this afternoon about the 2020 presidential election when a horrifying thought occurred to me.
It is that we well might see a repeat of the 2016 election in which the winner of the contest receives fewer votes than his foe but manages to win just enough Electoral College votes to be declared the winner.
Yep, I refer to Donald John Trump possibly being re-elected in that manner. Here’s what my friend and I didn’t discuss today: Trump and whoever he faces might have an even larger ballot differential than Trump had against Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Clinton garnered nearly 3 million more votes than Trump, but lost the election when the carnival barker corralled 304 electoral votes; he needed 270 to win.
Suppose for a minute that Trump is able to squeak out another Electoral College win in 2020. He could lose, say, Pennsylvania or Michigan or Wisconsin — maybe all three — and still eke out just enough electoral votes to win another four years in the White House. Trump won those Rust Belt states against Clinton, which was critical to his winning the presidency.
Such a result — the second consecutive such result and the third outcome in the past six presidential elections — could doom the Electoral College. That would produce the other poor consequence of an election result that might occur in November 2020.
However, a rising tide against the Electoral College would be a distant second to the notion of Donald Trump being re-elected.
I shudder at the thought.