Before Election Day, I was sent a link to something called The Count Guide, which laid out a scenario for winning the presidency without wining the popular vote…or the Electoral College vote.
Essentially, it says that the House of Representatives could decide on its own which electoral slates to recognize from each state. Although Democrats control the House, that wouldn't matter -- because when it comes to the Electoral College, members of the House don't get one vote each: Each state gets one vote in the House.
By that metric, Republicans have the majority, because more state delegations are majority-Republican than majority-Democratic. Think of it this way: California sends LOTS of Democrats to the House -- but California only gets one vote in the House's presidential vote; North and South Dakota get two.
But why would Democratic-run states like Wisconsin and Pennsylvania send Congress a Republican slate of electors? The governors wouldn't -- but there's nothing stopping the Republican-controlled state legislatures from sending their own slates. There's no law saying they can do that -- but there's also no law saying they can't.
Would they? The Count Guide warns that legal battles -- no matter how specious -- could actually be mounted not to pursue victory but to create the perception of chaos. The remedy to that alleged chaos would be state legislatures intervening. It doesn't matter whether it was planned this way beforehand; it can happen regardless.
On Wednesday, the anonymously-run, right-wing website Revolver, which has been endorsed by Pres. Trump, suggested that state legislatures do just that. They even cite Bush v. Gore, despite the Supreme Court famously saying that the ruling should not serve as a future precedent.
Later that day, the idea was picked up, amplified, and elevated by one level of respectability. The right-wing Claremont Institute's publication The American Mind posted an article by Michael Anton, a former Trump official and speechwriter for Rudy Giuliani and Rupert Murdoch. In it, Anton endorses both the conceit of a Deocratic coup and Revolver's suggested remedy of Republican state legislatures intervening.
The real value of the legal fights, in other words, might not be to win legal victories, but to sow public perception of a problem for which Republican intervention will be the remedy, and which will facilitate the unique House scneario in which Republicans will actually control a majority.
It may sound incredible, and it may be far-fetched, but everything that would need to happen for this to occur is happening now.