Individual races in the House of Representatives may matter more than usual this year

Individual races in the House of Representatives may matter more than usual this year.

After all, there’s a reason why House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and even President Trump have alluded to why individual House contests could have exponential impact, depending on who wins and loses in which state.

PELOSI ANNOUNCES BILL ON 25TH AMENDMENT AFTER QUESTIONING TRUMP’S HEALTH 

To be clear, there are few scenarios where Democrats could lose control of the House this fall. The current breakdown is 232 Democrats to 197 Republicans and one Libertarian, Rep. Justin Amash, L-Mich. There are five vacancies. Democrats are likely to add to that majority this fall.

However, here’s the problem: potential election chaos.

As we reported in this space last month, the House and Senate are the ultimate arbiters of determining how many electoral votes go to each presidential candidate. This is usually a fait accompli, established during a rather sleepy Joint Session of Congress every fourth January.

But…

If the House and Senate can’t sort out the electoral college, the 12th Amendment to the Constitution pitches the presidential election into the House. The House of Representatives then votes to elect the new President. This is called a “contingent election.”

Believe it or not, this has happened twice. The House elected Thomas Jefferson in 1801 and John Quincy Adams in 1825.

Easy, right? If the Democrats control the House and there is electoral bedlam, they’ll just elect Democratic nominee Joe Biden as President, right?

Not at all.

The 12th Amendment to the Constitution says that “But in choosing the President, the votes shall by taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote.”

In other words, each state gets one vote. This is why individual House delegations – and whether they favor Democrats are Republicans – is paramount in a contingent election. The House chooses among the top three electoral college vote-getters: Mr. Trump, Biden and, maybe, anyone else who scores an electoral vote.

Remember, Faith Spotted Eagle marshaled one electoral vote in 2016.

And you thought 2020 was weird.

Right now, Republicans control the House delegations from 26 states. Democrats control 22. The battleground state of Pennsylvania is tied at nine Republicans and nine Democrats. The swing state of Michigan favors Democrats over Republicans seven seats to six. But there’s Amash, the Libertarian. And Amash is retiring. So, it’s kinda-sorta split right now, technically seven to seven. And Amash’s district leans Republican. So, there could be a tie in Michigan as well.

But…

Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich is retiring in Michigan, too. The seat tilts slightly in favor of Republicans. What if Democrats flip it? And, Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., won what had been a GOP district in 2018. Slotkin’s district slightly favors Democrats now. But what if Republicans win that? And Democrats win Upton’s seat? Or vice versa? Or Republicans win all of them?

The Michigan delegation could slope toward the Democrats. If….if….Republicans hold the 26 state delegations they currently control, Democrats just need to capture

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Trump’s south lawn rally fails to evoke usual adulation from stony-faced reporters



Donald Trump standing in front of a flag: Photograph: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty

After turning the south lawn into a convention stage last month, Donald Trump held a surprise press conference-cum-campaign event on Monday at the White House’s front door – where Jackie Kennedy wore black on the day of JFK’s funeral, and where the Obamas greeted their successors on inauguration day.

On a glorious late summer’s day, Trump’s vantage point behind a presidential lectern at the north portico afforded him a view of former president Andrew Jackson’s statue in Lafayette Square and, beyond that, the newly minted Black Lives Matter Plaza. Give him a second term in November, and perhaps he’ll install a golden escalator like the one he descended in at Trump Tower to launch his first campaign.

Despite the lofty surroundings, the president dropped all pretense of rising above the political hurly-burly. Over 46 minutes, he branded his Democratic presidential election rival, Joe Biden, “stupid”, falsely accused Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris of peddling anti-vaccination conspiracy theories, and unleashed a torrent of half-truths and non-truths.

But unlike the loyalists on the south lawn for the convention speech, or the devotees who gather at Trump’s increasingly frequent airport-hangar rallies, there was a stony silence from mask-wearing reporters sitting under columns, ornate carvings and a giant lamp on the White House driveway.

The perennial salesman, Trump wanted to use Labor Day to boast about economic recovery. The numbers are “terrific”, he said. “We are in the midst of the fastest economic recovery in US history,” he claimed. Some 10.6m jobs had been added since May, he said, though he did not acknowledge nearly half the jobs lost in the pandemic had still not returned.

Of the recovery, he said: “We have V-shape. It’s probably a super-V.” No mention of the more than 100,000 small businesses that shut down or the unemployment benefits that had expired for millions of Americans. As for his claim about the pandemic – “We are an absolute leader, in every way” – well, no one can dispute that America has the highest caseload (more than 6.2m) or the highest death toll (more than 189,000) in the world.



Donald Trump standing in front of a flag: Donald Trump: ‘The numbers are looking unbelievably strong, unbelievably good.’


© Photograph: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty
Donald Trump: ‘The numbers are looking unbelievably strong, unbelievably good.’

Biden and Harris “should immediately apologise for the reckless anti-vaccine rhetoric that they are talking right now, talking about ‘endangering lives’”, Trump charged, after Harris said she would rely on the decisions of public health officials and medical experts for news on a Covid-19 vaccine rather than the president.

“It undermines science, and what happens is all of a sudden you’ll have this incredible vaccine and because of that fake rhetoric, it’s a political rhetoric, that’s all that is, just for politics,” Trump said.

He added later: “The numbers are looking unbelievably strong, unbelievably good. So now they’re saying, ‘Wow, Trump’s pulled this off, OK, let’s disparage the vaccine.’ That’s so bad for this country. That’s so bad for the world to even say that, and that’s

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