How to Win the Presidency by Losing

Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz’s announcement that he is considering running for president as an independent did not go well.  A CNN poll showed that only 13% of Americans have a favorable opinion of him. 

However, thanks to the intricacies of the Electoral College, Schultz could end up becoming the president even if only a small percentage of the people vote for him. As Hugh Hewitt explains in the Washington Post, the 12th Amendment states that the House of Representatives will choose the president if no candidate gets 270 or more electoral votes.  If Schultz wins even one state, he could end up as a compromise candidate despite getting the fewest actual votes.

This scenario may be unlikely, but it demonstrates the very real problem of third-party candidates acting as spoilers who can thwart the will of the majority in our presidential elections.