Posted by Aaron Blake on October 19, 2012 at 3:03 pm
The presidential race appears to be getting closer just two and a half weeks before voters will cast the deciding ballots.
And more and more, political analysts are suggesting that it’s a very real possibility that nobody will win on Election Day — i.e. the Electoral College vote will wind up knotted at 269.
It’s still very unlikely that such a thing would happen — but it was also unlikely that 537 voters in Florida would decide the presidential race, as they did in 2000.
In other words, it’s worth exploring.
Before we get to what would happen in the case of a tie, here are a few scenarios under which it would come to pass.
These scenarios assume that the map stays largely as-is over the next two-plus weeks, with Mitt Romney winning GOP-leaning states like Arizona and Missouri, and President Obama carrying blue-leaning states like Michigan and Pennsylvania.
For the purposes of this exercise, let’s leave Ohio and North Carolina as swing states, even though The Fix has moved Ohio to “lean Obama” and North Carolina to “lean Romney.” (These states remain the most competitive “lean” states.)
Here are five scenarios under which we would have a tie:
Scenario No. 1: Obama wins New Hampshire, Ohio and Wisconsin, while Romney carries Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, North Carolina and Virginia. This appears to be the most likely scenario, given New Hampshire, Ohio and Wisconsin seem to be pretty fertile territory for Obama, with some analysts suggesting they represent his “firewall.”
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