Though far-fetched, technically it could happen that votes by the House and Senate to break an Electoral College tie would pair the Republican presidential nominee with the Democratic vice president.
For the first time in 135 years, the presidential race might depend upon Congress. With three weeks to go before the election, a 269-269 Electoral College tie is unlikely but possible, experts said. It could result, for example, if Romney wins all the swing states except Ohio, Wisconsin and New Hampshire.
In four U.S. elections, including 2000, the person who finished second in the popular vote won the presidency. The House decided two elections, including one with an Electoral College tie, and a bipartisan commission of House, Senate and Supreme Court members decided a third, according to the House historian.
“In a rather archaic tradition,” says Kyle Kondik, a tie throws the presidential decision to the House — which has a current GOP majority. Each of the 50 state delegations casts a single vote and the candidate who wins the most votes wins the White House, said Kondik, a political analyst at the University of Virginia.
“Republicans appear to be heading to comfortably holding their majority” in the 113th Congress, said Jeff Brauer, a Keystone College political scientist, “which means the advantage would go to Mitt Romney.”
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