Here’s how Obama and Romney could end up tied

The map above reflects one of various possible election outcomes envisioned by political scientist Larry Sabato in THIS PIECE:

The simplest way to explain this scenario is that Obama retains all the states John Kerry won in 2004, while adding New Mexico and Ohio. Under the 2004 map, that would make Obama president. But the 2010 reapportionment sent a handful of electoral votes from the Blue states to the Red states: just enough to make this scenario an exact 269-269 tie. But 269 would make Romney president, because in the event of a tie, the new House of Representatives would pick the president: each of the 50 delegations would get a single vote. Given that Republicans are almost assuredly going to control a solid majority of House delegations in the next Congress, Romney would win. 

Of course, this scenario involves Romney winning Nevada, but that might be very difficult. The Democratic machine in the Silver State that carried Sen. Harry Reid (D) over the finish line in 2010 appears to still be operating at full efficiency; Democrats continue to have a wide registration advantage in Nevada, and Jon Ralston, the prominent Nevada politics expert, believes that Obama has a lead there and that polls understate his advantage, much like they did for the president in 2008 and for Reid in 2010.

We don’t have a dog in this race, but we are rooting for one thing: no tie! A 269-269 Electoral College outcome would inevitably be a national crisis on par — or worse — with the 2000 Florida cliffhanger, especially if Romney lost the popular vote.



  1. The duo of Romney and Ryan would drive the entire economy into a nose dive as long as it benefits the richest Americans. Income inequality is endangering the Middle Class and making paupers of us all who don’t have those millions upon millions of dollars. Read more about the role of Romney’s riches in this election and the power of his sacred undergarments at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2012/05/mitt-romneys-magic-mormon-underwear.html The working class of our country can’t AFFORD to allow this election to be bought and sold!

  2. I believe the previous post was actually written by Joe Biden under the fake name of Brandt Hardin.

    And Joe: Are you smiling at the recent Gallup polls that show Romney ahead by 7 points, outside the margin of error?

  3. Luke Fredrickson

    Pat, what do the 5 votes offset next to Florida represent? ME-1, ME-2, NE-2 seem to imply that Nebraska and Maine are not winner take all, but they are also shown in the larger map as 4 and 6.

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