Hear us out.

While it now seems very likely that Obama wins the election going away, let’s just hypothesize that McCain makes a huge comeback. Stranger things have happened in this weird election. McCain somehow makes a crazy resurgence and wins almost all the battlegrounds.

In addition to the 185 electoral votes he’s still hanging onto (per, Johnny Mac, fueled by Romo supplements, takes wins in:


Somehow captures WISCONSIN (10) with a huge push from Sarah Palin…

scores the one stray electoral vote in one congressional district in Maine that the McCain campaign just announced its intention to go after…

269 – 269 tie.

OK, so then as everybody knows, the election goes to the House, where the Democrats will have a commanding majority and Obama wins. Right?

Twelfth Amendment sez:

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 as Charlie Cook wrote today, 26 state delegations is no cakewalk for Obama:

We obviously don’t know the makeup of the 111th Congress, but we do know that Democrats now control 27 delegations, Republicans have 21, and two are evenly divided. So I asked my colleague, David Wasserman, the House editor of The Cook Political Report, to game out what would happen if the election were thrown into the House. He concluded that it might not be easy to reach 26 votes, given that a lot of Democrats serve districts with a long history of supporting the Republican presidential nominee. Would North Dakota and South Dakota’s at-large Democratic representatives — Earl Pomeroy and Stephanie Herseth Sandlin — vote with their electorate or their party? Although Obama is competitive in North Dakota, he is still likely to come up a bit short and has virtually no chance of winning in South Dakota. In her 2004 campaign, Herseth Sandlin indicated that she would be open to voting for the Republican nominee — President Bush in that case — in the event of a tie in the Electoral College…

Wasserman argues that having to decide the presidential contest would put plenty of House delegations in uncomfortable positions. For example, if Democrat Ethan Berkowitz were to unseat longtime GOP Rep. Don Young in Alaska’s only House seat, Berkowitz would almost certainly seal his own defeat in 2010 if he stuck with his party and voted against a GOP ticket including the state’s popular governor. GOP Rep. Michael Castle, who represents Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden as Delaware’s only representative, would face the same choice.

And, if Democrats were to clinch a delegation majority in Arizona by protecting both of their vulnerable seats and picking off an open seat in the northern part of the state, five Democrats would have to choose between voting for Obama and voting for their state’s candidate and choice for president, John McCain.

There is no way to anticipate how members would weigh considerations such as the outcome of their state’s vote or the national popular vote. But for Obama, winning the support of 26 House delegations could be harder than it sounds. For one thing, four of the toss-up states in this scenario have even-numbered House delegations, meaning that intra-delegation deadlocks could reduce the number of states available to reach the magic number 26.

OK…so what happens if they are deadlocked at 25? The Twelfth Amendment continues:

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 the case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President.[1]

The Amendment then goes on to describe how the Vice-President is chosen, which could mean that this newly selected Vice-President would then serve as President. However, it does not prescribe for the selection of a new Vice-President in this instance, which seems curious. Could this mean that the current Vice-President would then serve a term as President?!?!?!

Given the stakes involved, the lack of precedent, and the series of bruising deadlocks that would lead to this scenario…is it such a stretch to see this going to the Supreme Court? And what will we find here – an even more conservative, Republican court than the one that came up with the very controversial Bush vs. Gore decision!

Ladies and Gentlemen, President Cheney. Dick Cheney.

And Palin wins one extra state delegation, becoming VP!

You’re so screwed Iran!!!

About Alpine McGregor
Just like you, man. I got the shotgun, you got the briefcase. All in the game, though, right?


  1. susan says:

    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.


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