Monday, October 27, 2008

269 & The Obama-Palin Ticket

So...a tie in the electoral college is of course unlikely...but there are a few scenarios that would mean that there could be a 269-269 electoral tie.

The "overtime" rules for this situation is so unique, that in our current situation, it could result in a Barack Obama - Sarah Palin Ticket.Here's how it works.

If there's a tie, the house gets to vote on who get's to be the president. Each state gets one vote, so the three Wyoming delegates vote and the 54 California delegates vote, and Wyoming gets one vote, and California gets one vote.

With the current situation in the house the president would be Obama, assuming everyone votes along party lines.

But, the vice president is decided by the Senate who will also vote, each vote counting as 1. With a 51-49 democratic majority you'd expect a democratic win, but Joseph Lieberman has clearly lauded the McCain-Palin ticket, and if he were to vote for Sarah there'd be another tie. 50-50.

In this case, the current vice president is given the opportunity to make the deciding vote...which we can only assume Dick Cheney would chose Sarah Palin.

Giving us an mix matched ticket of Obama and Palin that only fiction (and the photoshop expertise above) could write.

(An example of a scenario with a 269-269 tie would be Obama wins Kerry's 2004 states plus Iowa, Colorado, and New Mexico, but loses New Hampshire. Another scenario is Obama wins Kerry states plus Iowa, Nevada and New Mexico, and McCain gains to ground.)


Unknown said...

There is one caveat to your scenario. The voting in the House and Senate would be conducted by the newly elected representatives and senators, and since the Democrats stand to pick up 20-30 or more house seats and between 5-9 senate seats, it is unlikely that Palin would receive the votes necessary to win the vice presidency.

Darrell said...

Dude, do you REMEMBER November and December of 2000? Your scenario would make that look like a bucket of rainbows. Man, I hope this doesn't happen!! ;)

Loren Eaton said...

Love the photo ...

Aimee said...

That photo is hilarious.

Unknown said...

There are at least two reasonable ways the election could end in a college tie, both seem more likely in such close climate to me than yours. Take the 2004 result, (, then flip Iowa, New Mexico, and Colorado from R to D and New Hampshire from D to R. Or for a closely related but less likely scenario don’t flip NH or Colorado but do flip Nevada. Note in both outcomes Ohio, Florida, and Virginia stay red while Michigan and Wisconsin stay blue. There is a lot of buzz about Ohio being more likely to vote Obama then Michigan and Wisconsin but history would say that is a profound change, of course so is Colorado going blue. But surely in an election close enough to result in a tie, the Republicans would have no trouble with Florida again. I question if a tie scenario that has Florida in the D column is reasonable.
On to the House vote. In this congress there are 27 D delegation, 21 R, and 2 ties, Arizona and Kansas. I believe you actually have to get a majority of the house delegations not just a plurality so the Democrats could only hope to count on 27 in this scenario and they would have to hold all but one of them. The vote, if it were to happen would be by the new Congress so the Democrats might hope for 28 or 29 delegations but if a tie election were to happen the house races would be closer than they look now and so maybe no changes in state majorities. Then it gets to be a really scary nightmare. There would be 8 states with a Democrat majority delegations where the voters chose McCain, Mississippi, Tennessee, North Dakota, South Dakota, West Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina, and Indiana. I ordered them in my best guess from heavy Republican majorities to narrower. There are only 3 states in the opposite situation. Republican delegations would be explaining there vote to Obama majorities in Delaware, New Mexico, and Michigan. On the theory that the Republican Party and the Fox pundits to yammer day and night for the “high principal” that each delegation vote the way of their people, never mind that Obama would have probably won the popular vote. Lets hope so, that argument, it a lot better than “we got screwed in 2000, so there”, (see 2000 Florida and New Hampshire). McCain would have won 29 states. The democratic delegation of Mississippi would have to be especially brave and probably politically suicidal, (those people have back roads and guns), to vote for Obama. It would be touchy for the rest, perhaps especially for the one man delegations of North Dakota and South Dakota. The Democrats let themselves be bullied by the Republicans into war, they are being bullied now into throwing out the bill of rights, and these delegations might very well be bullied into voting for McCain. The Democratic Senate would then have to elect Obama as Vice President and we would then have to hope for the best.

Ed Walters said...

I've actually written a short article about what happens under the Constitution and election law here: Fastcase Electoral Tie article. Enjoy!