Sunday, November 06, 2016

Electoral College Tie: Could We End Up with Trump and Kaine as Pres and VP?

Here's an unlikely scenario that could make the unusual election season seem tame by comparison: what if we end up with a President Trump and a Vice President Kaine?

The idea isn't so far fetched.

First of all, what would it take for a tie? All it would take right now is for New Hampshire to tip into the Republican column on Nate Silver's map. The odds here are certainly not long. Several polls have shown Trump ahead in New Hampshire, though others favor Clinton. Silver gives Trump close to a 40% chance of winning New Hampshire, more than any other state currently in Clinton's column. If polls are off by even a small factor in Trump's favor, Trump is likely to capture this state first.

That puts the race into a 269 to 269 tie.

What happens next? This article gives a short overview of how the election then goes to the Electoral College and Congress to determine the President and VP.

With the House solidly in Repbulican hands, it's pretty safe to assume Trump would eventually emerge as the Presidential winner, even with a few supposed "faithless" Republican electors who decide not to vote for him.

That turns the VP election over to the Senate. Right now, Silver's most likely scenario for the Senate is a 50 - 50 tie. In the event of a tie, the sitting Vice President (Joe Biden), casts the deciding vote. Mr. Biden is sure to vote for his Democratic colleague, Tim Kaine.

What would a Trump / Kaine Presidency look like? Interesting, Dems would control the Senate, with Kaine, a Democrat, presiding over the Senate, and Trump as President. One can imagine either the worst gridlock possible....or perhaps, the idea that real compromise might be done. Either way, the unusual arrangement would certainly make the past year's folly seam like a light hearted romp in comparison. The HBO show Veep might become more of a real-life documentary than an absurdist comedy.....

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