This is the least likely, but most intriguing, election outcome: an electoral dead-heat, 269-269.
The New York Times ran 25,001 computer simulations on possible electoral outcomes in the presidential election, and a tie came up only 152 times – 0.6 percent of the time.
But after the era of the hanging chad, who knows?
One scenario put forth by the Times, in which Mr. Obama wins every state where he currently has an 85 percent chance of victory, has Mr. Romney winning the South and most of the Midwest, along with the Virginias – and with a tie in the Electoral College.
You’re more likely to win the lottery, but play along with us anyway. If nothing else, it’s a fun lesson in civics.
If there’s an Electoral College tie, then the
12th Amendment says that the states will decide who the president is – through the House of Representatives. Each state gets one vote through its House delegation.
In this case, it’s obvious Mr. Romney would win. Not only do Republicans control the House, but they control a greater number of states.
Now for the real fun part: Imagine the hue and cry! The exploding talking heads! They’d have to add time to the 24-hour day just to make room for an expanded news cycle!
It would be called a “constitutional crisis,” and the losing side would complain that the election had been stolen. But of course, neither would be true. The Constitution is ready when you are. And nothing would have been stolen.
We do agree with CNN that a tie, and a tie-breaking vote in the House, would set off “a wave of constitutional and political mayhem that would make the 2000 Florida recount seem like a tidy affair.” Especially if the eventual winner hadn’t win the popular vote.
That’s the electoral system, folks. Love it or hate it, but it makes for some great intrigue.