But right now, Jill Stein is the last candidate standing between Donald Trump and the White House.
As of Wednesday night, Stein has filed for recounts in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan. On Monday, Stein filed a lawsuit trying to force a statewide recount in Pennsylvania, while her supporters pushed for recounts within individual precincts. On Tuesday, a Wisconsin judge rejected Stein’s plea for the state’s recount to be by hand, permitting each county to choose to do so by machine, according to USA Today. And on Wednesday, Stein filed for a recount by hand in Michigan, according to the Detroit Free-Press.
Stein’s recount efforts have been joined by the campaign of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, who won the nationwide popular vote but lost all three states by narrow margins, costing her the electoral college. And while Clinton’s campaign has stressed that it had not uncovered any evidence of major voter fraud, according to The Washington Post, it seems likely that some of her supporters have swarmed to Stein’s efforts as a last-ditch effort to prevent Republican Donald Trump from becoming president, Amy Siskind of The New Agenda wrote on The Huffington Post.
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Trump leads Clinton in Michigan by slightly more than 10,000 votes (out of more than 4.7 million cast), while Stein received more than 51,000 votes in the state. In Wisconsin Trump triumphed over Clinton by a little more than 27,000 votes (out of nearly 3 million cast), according to WisconsinVote.org. Stein received 30,980 votes. In Pennsylvania, Trump’s margin of victory was fewer than 60,000 votes (out of nearly 6 million cast), according to Pennsylvania, while Stein received 49,150 votes.
Throughout her presidential campaign, which began in December 2015, Stein raised $3.5 million for her Green Party bid, according to OpenSecrets.org. But since announcing her intent to file for a recount on Nov. 22, Stein has received $6.7 million in donations. Her website is pushing to reach $9.5 million, which, the site states, will go to attorneys’ fees and other recount costs. If she does reach that fundraising goal, her total haul from the 2016 election would match that of fellow third-party candidate and Libertarian Gary Johnson, who raised roughly $12.7 million.
Polling experts such as Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight and Nate Cohn of the New York Times have said there is little evidence of voter fraud and that a recount is unlikely to change the election’s results, but both have expressed support for an election audit. Even Clinton’s campaign, while agreeing to participate in the recount, has expressed frustration with Stein’s efforts, per Politico.
The Associated Press has also reported that Stein’s fundraising efforts could be a way for her to broaden her list of potential donors. Her campaign told the AP that more 137,000 people have contributed to the recount effort. Those people, and their emails, are especially valuable for a small political party. In 2014, the Green Party did not even have 250,000 registered members.
Wisconsin’s recount is scheduled to being Thursday, according to Reuters, while Michigan’s is set to begin Friday, per CBS News. All election recounts must be completed by Dec. 13, according to federal law, while the electoral college will meet Dec. 19 to formally elect the next president.