It’s sounds crazy. It would be crazy. But it is possible that this election could result in a President Romney and a Vice President Biden.
Let me explain.
If there is a tie in the electoral college (and, as I explain below, there could be), it will be up to the newly elected House of Representatives to elect a President and the newly elected Senate to elect the Vice President.
The rules are all outlined in the 12th Amendment to Constitution. Here’s how it would work:
1) In the House vote for President, each state delegation gets a single vote. So California, with 53 Representatives (majority of them Democrats), would likely cast its single vote for Obama. South Dakota with just one Representative (Republican), would get equal weight and likely cast its vote for Romney, and so on.
All told, in the current House, Republicans have majority control of 33 state delegations; Democrats control 14 and 3 are evenly divided. Even if the Democrats win control of the House, the Republicans would almost certainly still control a majority of the state delegations. Bottom line: Romney wins.
2) In the Senate vote for Vice President, each Senator gets a single vote. If Democrats keep control of the Senate, Biden would likely win (unless somebody crosses party lines).
If the new Senate is divided 50-50 (a plausible outcome), the sitting Vice President would cast the tie-breaking vote. That sitting vice President: Joe Biden. Yes, Joe Biden would be the deciding vote in re-electing Vice President Joe Biden. Bottom line: If Democrats keep control of the Senate, Biden likely wins.
Voila! You have a Romney-Biden Administration, the greatest political odd couple since the Adams-Jefferson Administration (now those two had real political differences).
Is this all just crazy talk? No.
There are a number of plausible scenarios which could result in a 269-269 electoral tie.
Here’s just one: Obama wins OH, WI, NH. Romney wins FL, VA, NC, IA, CO, NV (and all other states go as expected).
Result: a 269-269 tie.
I am not saying this is likely to happen. But it is far from impossible.
Don’t believe me? Play the electoral game yourself at ABC’s Gamechanger’s electoral college map.