Wouldn't this be exciting!

269 tie: An electoral college 'doomsday'?


On Nov. 5, the presidential election winds up in a electoral-college tie, 269-269, the Democrat-controlled House picks Sen. Barack Obama as president, but the Senate, with former Democrat Joe Lieberman voting with Republicans, deadlocks at 50-50, so Vice President Dick Cheney steps in to break the tie to make Republican Sarah Palin his successor.

"Wow," said longtime presidential historian Stephen Hess. "Wow, that would be amazing, wouldn't it?"

"If this scenario ever happened, it would be like a scene from the movie 'Scream' for Democrats," said Democratic strategist Mary Anne Marsh. "The only thing worse for the Democrats than losing the White House, again, when it had the best chance to win in a generation, but to do so at the hands of Cheney and Lieberman. That would be cruel."

Sound impossible? It's not. There are at least a half-dozen plausible ways the election can end in a tie, and at least one very plausible possibility - giving each candidate the states in which they now lead in the polls, only New Hampshire - which went Republican in 2000 and Democratic in 2004, each time by just 1.5 percent - needs to swap to the Republican column to wind up with a 269-269 tie.

There are currently 10 tossup states, according to RealClearPol-itics.com, which keeps a running average of all state polls. If Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain wins Ohio, Virginia, New Hampshire and Indiana - not at all far-fetched - and Mr. Obama takes reliably Democratic states Pennsylvania and Michigan, and flips Colorado (in which he holds a slight poll lead), with the two splitting New Mexico and Nevada, the electoral vote would be tied at 269.

Comment: Graphic from the Washington Times

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