Friday, September 26, 2008

Electoral College Adventures - what if 269 to 269?

If you've played around with the RealClearPolitics Electoral map you'll know there are several scenarios where Obama and McCain might split the electoral vote right down the middle with 269 votes each. What you might NOT know is how this tie is broken. Yes, it's a congressional vote but not simply one vote per congressman which would almost certainly give an Electoral tie to Obama since the Democrats are unlikely to lose control of Congress. But wait... in this electoral tie scenario my understanding is that each *state* gets ONE vote per state congressional delegation and each Senator gets one vote. Making this even more unpredictable is the fact that it's not entirely clear if the old or incoming congress would vote though I think I read it would be the new congress as it's first act in office.

I haven't found a source yet that looks at all the current state congressional delegations to see if how they'd likely split in an electoral tie. Let's hope that piece of trivia remains ... largely irrelevant.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

Every vote would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections.

The bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes-that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). When the bill comes into effect, all the electoral votes from those states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

So there would never be a tie in the electoral vote, because the compact always represents a bloc consisting of a majority of the electoral votes. Thus, an election for President would never be thrown into the House of Representatives (with each state casting one vote) and an election for Vice President would never be thrown into the Senate (with each Senator casting one vote).

The National Popular Vote bill has passed 21 state legislative chambers, including one house in Arkansas, Colorado, Maine, North Carolina, and Washington, and both houses in California, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The bill has been enacted by Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, and Maryland. These four states possess 50 electoral votes - 19% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.