Donald Trump won the Electoral College vote on Monday and secured his election as the 45th president of the United States, as the latest – and perhaps last – stop-Trump movement failed to gain traction in state capitals.
A fervent push by anti-Trump forces to persuade electors to defect had turned the normally mundane civic procedure into high drama.
But Trump easily surpassed the 270 electoral votes needed to win, as representatives tabbed to cast ballots in accordance with their states’ Nov. 8 decision mostly adhered to the election results. After all the states had voted, Trump finished with 304 votes and Clinton had 227.
Texas put Trump over the top, despite two Republican electors casting protest votes.
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence afterward tweeted "congratulations" to his running mate while saying he was "honored & humbled" to be officially elected the next vice president.
Republican National Committee Co-Chair Sharon Day urged Trump’s detractors to stop fighting his election, now that his victory is affirmed.
“This historic election is now officially over and I look forward to President-elect Trump taking the oath of office in January,” she said in a statement. “For the good of the country, Democrats must stop their cynical attempts to undermine the legitimacy of this election, which Donald Trump won decisively in the Electoral College with more votes than any Republican since 1988.”
Elector antics were few and far between throughout the day, with most the disruptions occurring on the Democratic side. A Democratic elector in Maine tried to vote for Sen. Bernie Sanders, but switched to Clinton after it was ruled improper. Another who tried to vote for Sanders in Minnesota was replaced; a Colorado elector who tried to back Ohio Gov. John Kasich likewise was replaced. One of the biggest deviations was in Washington state, where three electors voted for Colin Powell and one voted for “Faith Spotted Eagle;” the remaining eight went to Clinton, the state’s winner.
It marked the first time in four decades the state's electors broke from the popular vote. Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman vowed to work with the state attorney general and charge the four unfaithful electors with a violation of Washington state civil law. Such violations carry a fine up to $1,000.
With Trump’s win now secured, a joint session of Congress is scheduled for Jan. 6 to certify the results.
Trump’s clear Electoral College victory could serve to deter any further last-ditch efforts to effectively nullify his November win and prevent his inauguration, though the battle may shift next to his Cabinet picks.
Few expected the “faithless elector” push to imperil Trump’s victory on Monday.
Only one Republican elector – Texas’ Chris Suprun – publicly stated he would vote for an alternative candidate. (He backed Kasich, while another Texas elector used his ballot to vote for former congressman Ron Paul.) More than three dozen Republicans would have had to abandon Trump to complicate his path to the presidency.
But GOP electors still faced immense pressure -- with some even receiving threats -- from Trump foes in the run-up to Monday’s Electoral College vote. Those urging disorder in state capitals often cited Clinton’s popular-vote win, by roughly 2.6 million votes (though how many of those voters are legal citizens, also currently alive is uncertain), over Trump in November.