A couple weeks ago, I wrote about the Electoral College and how Donald Trump could stop Hillary Clinton from winning 270 electoral votes.
The implied assumption from my piece was that Trump would automatically win by stopping Clinton. Of course, that’s not necessarily true — I left out an obvious outcome. What if nobody wins? What if neither candidate reaches 270 electoral votes?
There are two main ways this could happen:
1.) Libertarian Gary Johnson wins a state (or two) and throws off the electoral map.
This seemed like a more likely outcome in July and August. It’s little more than a pipe dream now. Johnson will almost assuredly be excluded from the presidential debates. His poll numbers continue to slowly decline, now hovering in the high single digits. Johnson supporters often tout Utah and New Mexico as states he could potentially win, but he is still losing badly in both places. A recent poll out of Utah gave Trump a 39-24-13 lead over Clinton and Johnson, respectively, and a New Mexico poll from late August gave Clinton a 40-31-16 lead, with Johnson trailing Clinton by 24.
Gary Johnson is not going to win a state. No way. But what if he did?Map via 270towin.com
If Johnson manages to win Utah (six electoral votes assumed for Trump) and New Mexico (five electoral votes assumed for Clinton), in a neck and neck race where the battleground states fall in a certain fashion, a “nobody wins” scenario is possible.