2012 Presidential Election Polls

Tie Scenarios for 2012 Presidential Election

April 4, 2011

We have added the ability to calculate tie scenarios to The Road to 270 on the 2012 election map. This is part of “The Road to 270” feature, which is displayed below the election map when neither candidate has 270 electoral votes and there are 12 or fewer states undecided on the map you have created.

An electoral college tie can occur since there are an even number of electoral votes (538) available.   It would occur if each candidate in the 2012 presidential election ended up with exactly 269 electoral votes, one fewer than the required 270.

What then?

If neither candidate gets a majority of the Electoral Votes, the election for President is decided in the House of Representatives, with each state delegation having one vote. Senators would elect the Vice-President.

It is important to note that an apparent tie on election night does not mean that there is actually a tie. The actual Electors meet on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December (December 17, 2012) to cast their votes. Only about half the states have laws requiring their Electors to vote for the popular vote winner. It is possible that an Elector could cast his or her vote for another person. As long as that vote wasn’t for the other major candidate in the race, this wouldn’t be an issue — neither candidate would have 270. However, imagine a scenario where a single Elector in a single state switched their vote to the other party — the vote would be 270 -268. While very unlikely, it has happened before (most recently in 1968, although the election that year wasn’t close).

More than likely, the election would remain undecided after the Electors voted.   The decision would then fall to the new Congress (the one to be elected in November, 2012).  After they are seated (likely the first week of January, 2013), the new Congress will count the electoral votes (this count happens whether the election is close or not). If neither candidate has reached 270 Electoral Votes, then the House and Senate take over and elect the President and Vice-President, respectively.

  • Alex

    Loving all the new features you guys are doing already. Any chance of you all adding an Independent/Third Party Candidate option to the electoral map? Right now we only have Republican and Democrat.

    Been trying to analyze electoral counts where Trump runs as an Independent. Thinking maybe:
    Democratic Nominee: Blue
    Republcan Nominee: Red
    Independent Nominee: Yellow


    • admin

      A lot of features are tied to the map, so it isn’t as easy as just adding another color. It probably won’t be a high priority unless a 3rd party that can win electoral votes comes along. That hasn’t happened since 1968, not even in 1992 when Perot had a pretty strong 3rd party showing.

  • Angelo

    Any idea when the 2012 Senate Map will be updated to play with? I like that 3rd party idea as well…..

    • admin

      No immediate plans to do a 2012 Senate map.

  • Rick

    The Tea Party is rising, as well, and it may even be likely the Tea Party chooses a Nominee separate from the Republican Party.

  • thoughtchallenge

    West of the Missippi is largely of a libertarian mindset. Ron Paul could if nominated take every delegate west of the Missippi including the big prize California, with the exception of Hawaii; then also take a few southern states Missippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucy South Carolina. Obama takes everything East of the Missippi and North of the Ohio and also Florida Georgia Virginia, West Virginia and DC. Keep in mind these are not predominantly libertarian states nor are Indiana and Ohio. Those states are actually more of a blue collar conservative mindset. In my scenario if I have described it properly at least we have a tie 269 to 269.

  • Phoenician

    Alex & Admin: Regarding the independent color, I’m surprised more people don’t insist that it be White — I mean, its the natural complement to the Red and Blue that Republicans and Democrats have been pegged with since 2000.

    Of course, most maps, prints, and sites would leave people thinking a White state was simply undecided, but 270toWin avoids the issue by having tan/beige undecided states (not to mention purple where states like NE and ME can have mixed electoral votes.)

  • Angelo

    Any idea when we can see a House map for 2012?

    • admin

      We’ve no immediate plans to do one. It will involve the creation of a whole new map once the Census redistricting is done. With the presidential election, we may or may not have the time and/or resources to do it.

  • David Gurney

    Almost all plausible 269-269 scenarios involve Nebraska again splitting their vote.

  • http://www.junkyjunk.com Junky Junk

    Hiya! I simply wish to give an enormous thumbs up for the nice data you will have right here on this post. I will probably be coming back to your weblog for extra soon.

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