Saturday, November 3, 2012

Possible Election Outcomes and What Happens if there is a Tie??

Tuesday is coming! Tuesday is coming!
And finally all of the political ads and polling calls will end!! YEAH!!!

Real Clear Politics (and several other outlets) have some useful tools for creating your own electoral results map. My best guess for the electoral college is below.I scrolled my page so that I couldn't see the electoral count total at the top, so I wouldn't be tempted to swing a state one way or the other to make my candidate win.  I was very surprised by the total number in the end. I didn't realize a tie was a possibility in the electoral college!

(I created my own electoral map on Real Clear Politics.)
Any time there was a 2 or 3 point spread, I gave it to the higher party. If there was only a 0-2 point spread I gave it to the underdog, IF and only if the chart shows an upward trend in recent weeks for the underdog. The only 2 states I really don't think anyone can call are Virginia and Colorado. I gave both to Romney using my underdog trending upward theory. And because you don't see a lot of Obama supporters in my town. I also called Nevada for Romney based on the fact that in the past it has gone Republican, except in 2008.

So what happens if there is a tie at the electoral college? Some fascinating stuff I tell you. And a strong scenario for a Romney-Biden administration.
Say what?
Oh yes.
Time for a lesson on the Founding Fathers, the Constitution, the Electoral College, and the calendar that will blow your mind.
We vote on November 6.
Sometime between Nov 6 and Dec 11 the electoral representatives gather with their states to formally declare that their state will be voting a certain way.
(Ahem, people are already raising the Ron Paul disruption flag here. I have no desire to address that right now. Maybe I will if and when there really is a tie.)
The electoral college will be held on December 17th. The votes are cast, but not counted.
The votes are formally counted on January 6.
NOTE- The new 113th Congress will swear-in on January 3rd!
Therefore it is the NEW House of Representatives that counts the votes for president. The new Senate counts the votes for VP. If there is a tie, the 12th Amendment declares that the House then gets to vote and decide who will be the president. And the Senate will vote on who gets the VP seat.
SIGNIFICANT DETAIL- The new House is expected to go overwhelmingly GOP. But the Senate is still a toss up!
And because our Founding Fathers never really cared for a majority of the popular vote of anything, the winner must win with a 2/3rds majority! And the Senate will most likely be 50/50!
Who casts the deciding vote when the Senate is all tied up?
The vice president!
You know, VP Biden.
Yes, it is possible that he would then have to cast the deciding vote for the VP. Does he vote for himself or Paul Ryan in that scenario??
Another interesting conundrum- if you are the newly elected congressperson, and you are a Republican, but your district voted for Obama for president, who do you vote for in your first ever chance to vote in the House? Your party or your people???

(Source: An Electoral College Tie Would Be an Hilarious Disaster, Huffington Post)

Now, another suggestion from my polluted late-night mind-

Sadly, we all know that New York has been suffered a lot of devastation from Hurricane Sandy. Much of the 5 boroughs are still under water and without electricity. This is likely to effect voter turnout. They are already talking about consolidating precincts (and when people don't know where to go vote they don't turn out), and how many precincts have no power.
New York is firmly in the blue right now. Obama has a 26% lead over Romney.
BUT! If voter turnout is low in the boroughs, could the rest of the state sway the overall vote?
Take a look at these older maps-

The top map is Bush/Kerry, the bottom is Obama/McCain. Both times the state went for the Democrat. But look at how much of the state is actually red! Personally I feel that the Bush/Kerry models are more accurate than the Obama/McCain models because McCain never had the support that Romney does now.
In my humble opinion, without the boroughs New York is in play. The overall vote is more important than the county results. And if few people turn out to vote in the boroughs, that can really sway things.

FACT CHECK- I am fairly certain that I am right about overall vote versus county results. I have heard that this is not the case in all states. I can't find any information to indicate I am wrong about New York.

If you pull New York out of the "strong Obama" category and move it to "leaning Romney" you really have a toss up scenario.

One more detail to note- New York has a little known law that allows them to hold a second voting day in case of a natural disaster!

(In all fairness, I applied this same logic to New Jersey which was also hard hit by the storm. However, the state overall is fairly split blue and red, but no one side of the state is more red or blue.) 

Here are a few more maps and the way these major publications are calling it-

CNN electoral map with toss-ups Obama 237, Romney 206. 

NY Times with toss-ups., Obama 243, Romney 206. The major difference between NYT and CNN is NYT is calling Nevada for Obama. 

Real Clear Politics with no toss-ups. Obama 290, Romney 248. 

All 3 publications are calling Nevada for Obama. I personally think this is a mistake. Nevada is currently Obama 50, Romney 47.3. Romney has never had the lead in Nevada, but he is on an upward trend there. I think that is a good sign he could catch up and win. And I have a hard time believing that in the end the Mormons won't come out and really win it for him. That is the only state I truly disagree with the polls on. I really do thing the rest of the toss up states are unpredictable at this point.

And more than anything, I think there is little to no chance of this election actually getting settled and answered on Tuesday night.

1 comment:

  1. Although it's not the most likely outcome, the tie is certainly the most fun to consider! As you'll see over at my blog, my prediction is 281-257. I aim intrigued by your thoughts about new york, though! Will you be live-blogging election night? If so. I look forward to tuning in!


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