Unlikely scenario could find a different face in the Oval Office in January.
It appears the country is pretty much evenly divided between Democratic and Republican parties, although the emergence of Libertarian and Green Party candidates are starting to garner some headlines and catching the attention of some voters, particularly those that are not excited over the major parties’ nominees.
If you take a realistic view of the third-party candidates chances for getting elected, you will have to admit the possibilities are quite slim. But that doesn’t mean they may not have an impact on who does become our next Commander-in-Chief.
Should any of the third-party candidates receive enough votes to collect some electors, they could possibly prevent both of the two major party candidates from getting the required 270 votes to become the president-elect.
In that unlikely scenario, the House of Representatives would have the task of selecting from the top three candidates for the office, with the delegation from each state receiving one vote. The current makeup of the House would seem to favor Trump, as Republicans hold a 247-188 majority.
But publicly, a number of Republican congressmen have already announced they would not support Trump as their party’s nominee in the upcoming election, and who know how many more privately hold the same view. Perhaps some of those members would side with Clinton instead, or even with one of the third-party candidates, creating a deadlock in the House vote.
Again, very unlikely, but still a remote possibility. So what happens then?
According to the National Archives and Records Administration’s U.S. Electoral College webpage, “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.”
If neither candidate for Vice-President received the required number of electoral votes, the responsibility falls to the Senate, which would elect the VP from the top two candidates with the most electoral votes, with each Senator allowed to cast one vote.
The current Senate consists of 54 Republicans, 44 Democrats, and two independents, but 34 of the 100 seats are up for grabs in the election of 2016. That number could change dramatically, and again, with some Republican elected officials being turned off by Trump’s candidacy, it is not all that far-fetched to imagine Clinton’s running mate, Tim Kaine, getting the nod.