The Internet Is Giving Up on Faithless Electors

Appeals for them to change their votes away from Trump are dying down.

Getty Images / Mark Wilson

Earlier in the week, and over the past weekend, liberal activists across the internet have searched for strategies that could prevent, or at least mitigate, a Donald Trump presidency. One tactic that people seized on was using social media to lobby electors from states that voted for Trump to switch their votes to Hillary Clinton. There are 21 states that allow for electors to go rogue and vote for the candidate of their choosing. That would be more than enough electoral votes to dissolve Trump’s lead and put Clinton over the top, but it appears that people have given up on faithless electors.

Lately, though, there is evidence that people are abandoning this approach. Google Trends, for example, has shown a sharp and steady falloff in searches related to this issue. Twitter is also reflecting a similar change. Just a few days ago it seemed that the Twitter accounts of electors from these states were set to be inundated with requests to change their votes. But those requests never materialized.

Google Trends

It’s a rapid shift in public focus, but it’s not one that comes as much of a surprise. By now, people have had plenty of time to think. Initially, the responses from the left to Trump’s election could be described as desperate and sensational. Any option seemed like a good one, and the prospect of denying Trump the presidency entirely, by way of petitioning the Electoral College, probably looked pretty good.

But, in the harsh light of day, Democrats are beginning to separate the good ideas from the bad, the practical from the far-fetched. As these evaluations have taken place, people appear to have come to the conclusion that there are more productive ways to resist Trump than changing electoral votes. It’s not a bad conclusion either, because the Electoral College isn’t likely to change course, anyway.