George W. Bush famously won the 2000 Presidential election by a mere 534 votes in Florida. But did you know that it is possible to have a tie in the U.S. Presidential Election? With the election a day away and polls showing the candidates in a virtual tie, an interesting question arises — what would happen if President Obama and Governor Romney each received 269 of the 538 available electoral votes?
What is the Electoral College?
The Electoral College is the body of electors chosen by the voters to officially elect the President and Vice-President. There are 538 electors, which includes 435 representatives, 100 senators and 3 electors from Washington D.C.
Is it even possible to have a Tie in the U.S. Presidential Election?
Yes, it is very possible. In fact there are several scenarios that could play out in this election to cause a tie.
What Happens if a Tie Occurs in the Presidential Election?
In the event of an Electoral College tie, our next President would be elected by the incoming House of Representatives with, according to the 12th Amendment to the Constitution, each state able to cast just one vote. In other words, North Dakota would have as much of a say as the Lone Star State. As the GOP holds a majority in 33 state delegations, it is most likely that an electoral tie would mean that Romney wins the presidency. Good news for the Republican Party, right?
Not so fast. If no vice-presidential candidate receives a majority of electoral votes, then the Senate would decide the winner between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan, with each senator getting one vote. Should the Democrats retain control of the Senate (which they are expected to do), Biden would remain our Vice-President, and our Country would have a President and Vice President from different political parties!