The first way is what I refer to as the “Greek Option.” This is a name given to the scenario that the Trump administration will lose the House. Greece has a presidential system of government, meaning that the president is an elected leader of the United States, but their responsibility is to the body directly below him in the executive branch (whether it’s the Senate or the House).
When a president is elected, some of the powers of his office are removed. If the president wins a majority of the House of Representatives and a Senate majority, the president is prohibited from dissolving Congress until the end of his first term.
This Greek option has three options. The first is if the president doesn’t win and the Republicans lose both houses of Congress. If that happens, the president would then be given a limited two-year term. This is the option that seems most plausible.
There is a second Greek option, in which the president loses the House (as predicted by the polls) and Republicans win the Senate. If they did that, a president could override a Congress-approved spending bill to reverse federal spending. This would likely be met with great resistance from Republican legislators, but Donald Trump probably wouldn’t give up that easily.
The third Greek option is a whole different animal. What I refer to as the “Thrifty Option” occurs when one house of Congress shifts control from the Democrats to the Republicans and then changes party leadership. It would essentially be like the past two cycles, when Democrats began losing seats after President Obama won a second term. Republicans then retook the House and expanded their majority.
For the Thrifty Option, the first requirement is that the president fails to win a majority of seats in Congress. They would then need to win a plurality of seats and still win enough states to avoid the Constitution requiring a two-thirds majority to pass spending bills.
You may be wondering what happens then? If the president won’t win a two-thirds majority, he would then immediately call for a super-majority, assuming the House is still controlled by the Democrats. Obviously, that outcome could be highly unlikely. A president could be impeached and removed from office. Some people would even consider that scenario a “conservative outcome” of sorts.