As the TEA Party’s influence grows, the odds of a legitimate 3rd party joining the Democrooks and Republican’ts are getting shorter. While 3rd party candidates have had some success in getting some votes in a general election, no one has come close to actually winning an electoral votes since George Wallace captured 46 electoral votes in 1968 as the American-Independent candidate. There are 538 electoral votes at stake during a presidential election and whomever gets a majority or 270 electoral votes wins. But, what happens if no presidential candidate gets 270 electoral votes? According to the National Archives:
If no candidate receives a majority of electoral votes, the House of Representatives elects the President from the 3 Presidential candidates who received the most electoral votes. Each State delegation has one vote. The Senate would elect the Vice President from the 2 Vice Presidential candidates with the most electoral votes. Each Senator would cast one vote for Vice President. If the House of Representatives fails to elect a President by Inauguration Day, the Vice-President Elect serves as acting President until the deadlock is resolved in the House.
And you hated the Electoral College BEFORE this scenario came to mind. Imagine a lame duck congress having to decide the President? I guess it’s no worse than the Supreme Court deciding in 2000. Though, at least we won’t have a repeat of the 1800 election in which Jefferson defeated Burr by a House vote because Hamilton detested Burr so much he backed Jefferson over his own Federalist party member and incumbent president John Adams. The result: the Twelfth Amendment to split the election of President from Vice President and Aaron Burr killing Alexander Hamilton. Those who forget history are doomed to suffer from thoughts of President Palin and Vice President Huckabee.