(WASHINGTON) — It’s sounds crazy, but it is possible that this election could result in a President Mitt Romney and a Vice President Joe Biden.
If there is a tie in the electoral college, 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 the 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. Yes, Biden would be the deciding vote in re-electing himself.
Bottom line: If Democrats keep control of the Senate, Biden likely wins.
And there you have it: a Romney-Biden Administration. But is this all just crazy talk?
There are a number of plausible scenarios which could result in a 269-269 electoral tie. Here’s just one: Obama wins Ohio, Wisconsin and New Hampshire; Romney wins Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, Iowa, Colorado and Nevada (and all other states go as expected). The result: a 269-269 tie.
While it may not be likely to happen, the scenario is far from impossible.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Eric Tegethoff, Northern Rockies News Service
Stephan Rockefeller, EastIdahoNews.com