22 September 2008

Root for a tie

The Electoral College needs to go, but it seems no outcome can sufficiently prove its absurdity to the two major parties. Genghis Bush won the 2000 election despite losing the popular vote, and nearly had the tables turned on in 2004, but neither prompted any movement toward revamping the antiquated system. There may be, however, one outcome disastrous enough to spur a movement for dumping the college.

A tie.

According to the last update from the boys of fivethirtyeight.com, a 269-269 electoral vote tie occurred in 3.2 percent of their simulations. The most likely road to a tie has Obama winning al the Kerry states save New Hampshire and adding Iowa, Colorado and New Mexico. It's a longshot, as McCain needs to come back in New Hampshire, and Obama must defend the key Kerry states of Michigan and Pennsylvania, but, this far from the election, it can't be ruled out.

Would it be a nightmare? It could be, especially if--as Silver predicts--McCain wins the popular vote. The House of Representatives would have to break a tie, and it's technically controlled by Democrats, though they could've fooled me. This could be the partisan inverse of Florida 2000 magnified a hundred fold, and I don't think the righties will take too kindly to having Katherine Harris come back and haunt them.