The House Always Wins, Even in Presidential Elections
The emergence of independent and libertarian options in the race to the White House has led to confusion and skepticism. However, these options may be the solution that many voters are looking for. In order to gain the Presidency of the United States, you must have 50.01% of the Electoral vote or 270 total electoral votes. Simply put if these third party candidates could pull off a few key states from both parties. The next President will be chosen by the House.
Neither of the two top candidates will make it through the House to become President. If no candidate receives a majority of Electoral votes, the House of Representatives elects the President from the 3 Presidential candidates who received the most Electoral votes. Each state delegation has one vote. The Senate would elect the Vice President from the 2 Vice Presidential candidates with the most Electoral votes. Each Senator would cast one vote for Vice President. If the House of Representatives fails to elect a President by Inauguration Day, the Vice-President Elect serves as acting President until the deadlock is resolved in the House.
Since most State Delegations lean towards the Republicans that effectively eliminates Hillary Clinton. With the current discord between the down ticket and Donald Trump, it is highly unlikely that he would emerge as the victor. Thus whichever the Third party has the most Electoral votes will be the next president. I would expect that Pence to emerge as the choice for Vice President.
So if those who do not like the choice of the two major candidates your collective voice can impact the race. One of the many arguments against voting for the third party is that they cannot win the need 270 electoral votes needed. However, if you look at the current math and political leanings of the House, everyone is screaming for another choice. Many of Donald Trumps supporters scream he was nominated by a majority of the party. However, he only gained 34% of the total vote a far cry from a majority.
Here are a few States to look at that can fall into the hands of third party candidates.
New Mexico: 5 Electoral Votes
Johnson is down 10 points. A victory by Johnson would pull 5 Electoral votes from the Democrats.
Utah: 6 Electoral Votes:
McMullin is down 6 points. A victory by McMullin would pull 6 Electoral votes from the GOP.
Ohio: 18 Electoral Votes:
Johnson is down by 9 points.
If a third party wins these three States neither party will have the needed 270 votes to win. There is a score of other swing states that this scenario can happen with. Thus, voting third party is a clear none of the above vote. If you are not happy vote the third party. This is why I am breaking from my own tradition and voting for Eric McMullin in Utah. There is no need to settle for two lousy candidates.