Friday, October 29, 2004

Election Headed to a Tie?

DANA MILBANK, WASHINGTON POST - A computer analysis found 33 potential scenarios leading to a tie electoral vote for Sen. John F. Kerry and President Bush. If neither collects the 270 votes needed, the House will decide-with each state getting one vote. . . None of these scenarios is likely to occur next week, but neither is any of them far-fetched. Tuesday's election will probably be decided in 11 states where polls currently show the race too tight to predict a winner. . . Normally, such outcomes are strictly theoretical. But not this time, with the election seemingly so close and unpredictable. "Fluky things probably happen in every election, but because most are not close nobody pays any attention," said Charles E. Cook Jr., an elections handicapper. "But when it's virtually a tied race, hell, what isn't important?" Cook says this election is on course to match 2000's distinction of having five states decided by less than half a percentage point.

A 269-269 tie is VERY possible. But there are a ton of wildcards in the mix right now, too, that could theoretically upset the pot even more. My top 3:

1. Black Box Voting (favors Republicans/likelihood: 100%)
2. Colorado's Split Electorate (favors Democrats/likelihood: 35%)
3. West Virginia's Rogue Elector (favors Democrats/likelihood: 15%)

Want to see how close it's really going to be? I suggest checking out these two sites:

Current Polling Data
|| Interactive Electoral Map

Pretty crazy stuff..... but wait, it gets better/worse:

President Edwards?

STEPHEN MARMON, NY TIMES - It's Jan. 20, 2005, and a stunned America watches as John Edwards is sworn in as both vice president and acting president of the United States. Impossible? No, nor is a Bush-Edwards administration.

There are just a few upsets needed in states where the presidential race is very close. Even if President Bush wins Wisconsin and Minnesota - two states he lost in 2000 - Senator John Kerry would force a 269-269 Electoral College tie if he carries Colorado, Missouri, Nevada and New Hampshire, and Al Gore's states.....

In the Senate, at least 51 votes would be required to elect a vice president. Given current polls, the Democrats can gain control of the Senate by picking up seats in Alaska, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky and Oklahoma, while losing seats in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. Senator Edwards would be elected as vice president.

The House, however, votes for president by state, with 26 delegations required for election. If members of the House then voted as their states did, President Bush, in this scenario, would carry 28 states, thus leading to a Bush-Edwards administration.

Both Minnesota and Wisconsin, however, have House delegations that are evenly divided and are expected to remain that way. Members in those two states could decide to vote in line with the results of their districts, not the statewide result, thus their states would not be able to cast a vote because they deadlocked. If the Congressional delegation in one other state that also voted for Mr. Bush happened to deadlock, or defied the state result and voted for Senator Kerry, President Bush would get only 25 states.

The Constitution provides that the vice president becomes president if the president dies, resigns or is removed from office. But the 20th Amendment states that: "If a president shall not have been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his term, or if the president-elect shall have failed to qualify, then the vice president-elect shall act as president until a president shall have qualified."

The House could remain deadlocked for two years, and perhaps even four, depending on the results of the 2006 Congressional elections. And until the House reaches a decision, Acting President John Edwards would occupy the Oval Office.

I'm gonna put the likelihood of the above scenario at 0.01%, but it's still pretty crazy stuff to think about.

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