July 17, 2008

Presidental race could end in tie

Posted in Politics tagged , , , , at 8:52 pm by Katharine Lackey

With voting day “just” under five months away, political thinkers are already crunching numbers to predict how the race could end up. One such political junkie at the American Enterprise Institute came up with a “doomsday” vote that would tie McCain and Obama for the presidency, ABC News reports.

“Given how close it’s been in the last couple years, there are some reasonable scenarios that you could get to a tie,” said John Fortier, a political scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and author of “After the People Vote: A Guide to the Electoral College.” “It’s not the most likely scenario, but the states can add up that way where you have nobody getting to 270.”

In order to win the election, a candidate needs 270 of the 538 electoral votes available. Under the 12th amendment, if no candidate wins 270 votes, the House of Representatives has to decide, with each state getting a vote — another complication we won’t get into.

The possible doomsday scenario goes like this:

If, for example, Obama wins all the states Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., won in 2004, and picks up Iowa, Nevada and New Mexico, McCain and Obama would each win 269 electoral college votes — locking the presidential election in a tie.

The story goes on to list other “what-if” scenarios and really details past decisions Congress has had to make in regards to the presidency.

The end of the story states that there is a one-in-200 chance of the doomsday scenario occurring — better chances than winning the lottery.

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