It's now a done deal as far as Donald J. Trump being the next president of the United States. That decision came earlier today as the Electoral College cast enough votes for him.
An effort by anti-Trump forces to persuade Republican electors to abandon the president-elect came to practically nothing and the process unfolded largely according to its traditions. Trump's polarizing victory Nov. 8 and the fact Democrat Hillary Clinton had won the national popular vote had stirred an intense lobbying effort, but to no avail.
Even though Trump's Nov. 8th victory was polarizing because Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by almost 3 million more than him, one of Trump's fiercest Republican rivals, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, said it was time to get behind the president-elect.
"We want unity, we want love," Kasich said as Ohio's electors voted to back Trump at a statehouse ceremony. Kasich refused to endorse or even vote for Trump in the election.
As of this posting, with several states still in the process of voting, Trump has 304 votes and Clinton had 169. It takes 270 Electoral College votes to win the presidency. Texas put Trump over the top, despite two Republican electors casting protest votes.
Thousands of protesters converged on state capitols across the country Monday, urging Republican electors to abandon their party's winning candidate.
News reports say that more than 200 demonstrators braved freezing temperatures at Pennsylvania's capitol, chanting, "No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA!" and "No treason, no Trump!"
In Madison, Wisconsin, protesters shouted, cried and sang "Silent Night." In Augusta, Maine, they banged on drums and held signs that said, "Don't let Putin Pick Our President," referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Despite the noise outside state Capitols, inside, the voting went pretty much as planned.
In Nashville, Tennessee, one audience member tried to read out some Scripture before the ballots were cast, but was told he could not speak.
"We certainly appreciate the Scripture," State Election Coordinator Mark Goins said from the podium. "The answer is no."