Tuesday, September 27, 2016

What if......?

I am not broadcasting my radio show this Sunday, so I didn't watch Monday evening's presidential debate. Besides, there is absolutely nothing Hillary Clinton can say which would sway me to vote for her, though I'm still in "wait and see" mode on Donald Trump. Rarely does a debate dramatically change an election given that most viewers will make judgments based on their own political prism anyhow.

All that said, I didn't completely abstain from presidential politics Monday evening. What I spent time doing was looking over the electoral map (yes, my night was quite lively).

The election year that is 2016 would go down in history as one of the more bizarre and surreal campaign cycles even if it ended today. However, I got to thinking. What other crazy circumstance could occur that would clinch it as the craziest?

As I studied the electoral map, I decided to handicap the race. Suppose that Trump wins all 24 states where 2012 GOP candidate Mitt Romney prevailed. Definitely not an implausible scenario. That would give Trump a baseline of 206 electoral votes (one needs at least 270 to win). Add to that just four states where Trump is either leading or within the margin of error. Those states would be Iowa, Colorado, Ohio and Florida. In addition, Trump has a decent lead in one of Maine's congressional districts. Since that state awards EVs by congressional district, Trump would garner one of the state's four electoral votes (Mrs. Clinton would win the other district plus be awarded the other two EVs (for a total of three) by virtue of winning Maine's popular vote).

If all that happened, the map would look like this:

Click the map to create your own at 270toWin.com

If indeed a 269-269 tie occurs? Well, the 12th amendment to the U.S. Constitution addresses such a scenario.

....the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. [And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President. --]* The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President;....

Because Republicans have a larger number of majorities in state delegations in the U.S. House, that body would likely select Trump as President. And since the GOP has the majority in the U.S. Senate, Gov. Mike Pence would, in all likelihood, be chosen as Vice President.

While this is an outlandish and unlikely possibility, wouldn't it be a fitting way to wrap up the 2016 cycle?


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