Poll

2 votes (28.57%)
4 votes (57.14%)
1 vote (14.28%)
No votes (0%)

7 members have voted

pacomartin
pacomartin
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July 5th, 2012 at 1:43:18 AM permalink
This topic came up in another thread, so I thought I would repost with a poll.
In the event that no presidential candidate wins a majority of electoral college votes, the election of the POTUS is determined by the House of Representatives with each state getting 1 vote (DC gets zero). The Vice President is elected by the Senate with each Senator getting one vote.
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I admit that a tie is unlikely. It is much more likely if there is a world changing event in the next few months that allows a third party candidate to run and win some electoral college votes. A third party candidate makes it much more likely that neither Obama or Romney win a majority of 270 votes. As a historical footnote, Harry Byrd won 14 electoral college votes in 1960 and Wallace won 46 electoral college votes in 1968.
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While we are accustomed to the VP being an aide to the POTUS, the original concept of the position is that it would go to the 2nd place finisher in the presidential election. That concept was changed after the 4th election.
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Assuming the scenario of a tie in the electoral college vote, the Democratically controlled Senate would be tasked with electing the VP. Leaving aside the matter of the election of the president, could it be possible that the Senate could elect Biden as VP even if Romney is president.
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Although it would be unusual, it would give the Democrats the presidency if Romney would die, and also they could retain Biden to break ties in the Senate. So far Biden has not cast any tie breaking votes, but Cheney cast 8 tie breaking votes in his eight years in office.
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In particular if there is a tie electoral vote, it is quite possible that Obama/Biden will still win the popular majority. The Senate may feel that it is fair that the Democrats at least retain the office of the VP.
WongBo
WongBo
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July 5th, 2012 at 4:50:54 AM permalink
in 1992, ross perot received 18.9% of the popular vote and still received zero electoral college votes.
so even if a third party candidate were to enter the race,
there is a lot of pressure within the two parties to retain the two-party status quo,
and not to empower a third party movement with electoral college votes.
i personally believe that the senate would elect the vp of romney in your scenario,
mainly because the democrats in the senate are not quite as rabidly divisive as the republicans.
i also do not think that a person (especially obama or biden) would be interested in serving under a president of the opposing party.
In a bet, there is a fool and a thief. - Proverb.
pacomartin
pacomartin
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July 5th, 2012 at 6:00:57 AM permalink
Quote: WongBo

in 1992, ross perot received 18.9% of the popular vote and still received zero electoral college votes. so even if a third party candidate were to enter the race, there is a lot of pressure within the two parties to retain the two-party status quo, and not to empower a third party movement with electoral college votes. i personally believe that the senate would elect the vp of romney in your scenario, mainly because the democrats in the senate are not quite as rabidly divisive as the republicans. i also do not think that a person (especially obama or biden) would be interested in serving under a president of the opposing party.



I agree with you that it is difficult to get electoral college votes. I don't think that anyone has done it since 1968. There also are no significant 3rd party candidates right now. It would probably require a global cataclysmic event to create someone at this time. But there still is the possibility of a tie.

While Biden probably wouldn't choose to serve under a Republican POTUS, he might see it as a valuable service to his party. He would still have the power to break ties in the Senate. It would give him a strong bully pulpit to counter the President. If not, there is a possibility of a Republican controlled Senate, House, Presidency, and Vice Presidency. While we're making a list, 5 of the 9 Supreme Court Justices have been nominated by a Republican presidency.

All of these scenarios were raised by a pundit in 2008, including a VP of a different party than the POTUS. The opening sentence of the article is " President Obama, with Vice President Palin? President Biden? President Pelosi? "
269 tie: An electoral college ‘doomsday’? (23 Sep 2008)

According to the WT article Constitutional experts are not even in agreement if it is the outgoing House of Representatives and Senate or the newly elected ones that get to make the vote. So even a basic question like that is subject to lawsuits.
AZDuffman
AZDuffman
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July 5th, 2012 at 6:04:45 AM permalink
Quote: WongBo


i personally believe that the senate would elect the vp of romney in your scenario,
mainly because the democrats in the senate are not quite as rabidly divisive as the republicans.



Har har har. That is the funiest thing I will hear all day,and I just got up!

On the thread, the Democrats in the Senate would elect the Democrat Candidate for VPOTUS, end of story. If you believe anything else, I have a greate roulette system I will sell you cheap.
All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others
pacomartin
pacomartin
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July 5th, 2012 at 6:11:04 AM permalink
Quote: AZDuffman

On the thread, the Democrats in the Senate would elect the Democrat Candidate for VPOTUS, end of story.



Well WongBo does raise one interesting point. The House must choose the POTUS from the Top Three candidates by electoral college vote. In 1824 there were 4 candidates that had electoral college votes.

I am unable to figure out who would qualify for VP. Would it just be Biden and Romney's candidate? Would Obama even be an option at all? What if Biden and Obama are not interested? Can the Democratic Senate elect another candidate of their choice? Can they make Nancy Pelosi the VP? How about Hillary Clinton?

Maybe Biden would take the job for two years. At that point the Democrats may win back control, and they could try and get a favored cihild in as VP who would then run for POTUS in 2016.
AZDuffman
AZDuffman
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July 5th, 2012 at 6:31:25 AM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

Well WongBo does raise one interesting point. The House must choose the POTUS from the Top Three candidates by electoral college vote. In 1824 there were 4 candidates that had electoral college votes.

I am unable to figure out who would qualify for VP. Would it just be Biden and Romney's candidate? Would Obama even be an option at all? What if Biden and Obama are not interested? Can the Democratic Senate elect another candidate of their choice? Can they make Nancy Pelosi the VP? How about Hillary Clinton?

Maybe Biden would take the job for two years. At that point the Democrats may win back control, and they could try and get a favored cihild in as VP who would then run for POTUS in 2016.



Here is what the Constitution says:

12th Ammendment

"The person having the greatest Number of votes for President, shall be the
President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors
appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having
the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as
President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot,
the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by
states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this
purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and
a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. And if the House
of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice
shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then
the Vice-President shall act as President, as in the case of the death or other
constitutional disability of the President."

24th Ammendment

"Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the
President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon
confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress."


Note a few things. There is nothing about the US Senate getting involved. And logically there should not be as the House was supposed to be the people's voice and the Senate (was) the voice of the "states" meaning state governments. Not to digress, but that is why there were no big unfunded mandates before direct election of US Senators, the Senators would be voted out when their actions requiring more medicaid at the state level resulted in a tax increase costing legislators their jobs. Back on track, so no Senate vote, it ends in the house. No Senate vote and no "coin-flip" like when the NFL is out of tiebreakers.

Next, note it says the VP "shall act as President." So the only way the Senate "picks" POTUS is by their VP Vote. (edited after I re-read the clause.)


Finally, note that if VP is vacant, the POTUS "shall" nominate a new VP. Not "may" but "shall." VP has had periods of vacancy for years, but no more. Both Houses must approve. GOP will likely flip the Senate and keep the house, so they could well tell him "it is Romney or nothing gets done." Even Biden would realize it would risk a Constitutional Crisis to not go along here and he would probably nominate a GOP VPOTUS. But you never know.
All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others
ThatDonGuy
ThatDonGuy
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July 5th, 2012 at 6:50:07 AM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

This topic came up in another thread, so I thought I would repost with a poll.
In the event that no presidential candidate wins a majority of electoral college votes, the election of the POTUS is determined by the House of Representatives with each state getting 1 vote (DC gets zero). The Vice President is elected by the Senate with each Senator getting one vote.
---
Assuming the scenario of a tie in the electoral college vote, the Democratically controlled Senate would be tasked with electing the VP. Leaving aside the matter of the election of the president, could it be possible that the Senate could elect Biden as VP even if Romney is president.


Yes. Very.
It is also possible that the Senate could elect Biden President but the House get into some sort of deadlock, especially if there are three candidates (note that the House chooses from the top three Presidential candidates, but the Senate chooses from only the top two VP candidates), and there is no elected President by January 20, in which case Biden becomes acting President until the deadlock is resolved.

There is, however, one assumption you are making.
The counting of the Electoral votes takes place on January 6 (Title 3, Section 15, United States Code).
However, the newly-elected Senate takes over on January 3 (20th Amendment).
It is possible that the Republicans can gain control of the Senate by then. Of course, if it is a 50-50 tie, Joe Biden is still Vice President until January 20, so he does keep his tiebreaking vote, and yes, he can vote for himself.

My answer to the poll would be, "The Senate would elect Biden if the Democrats have 50 or more Senators in the new Congress, and Romney's candidate if the Republicans have 51 or more."
ThatDonGuy
ThatDonGuy
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July 5th, 2012 at 6:57:10 AM permalink
Quote: AZDuffman

Here is what the Constitution says:

12th Ammendment

"The person having the greatest Number of votes for President, shall be the
President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors
appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having
the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as
President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot,
the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by
states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this
purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and
a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. And if the House
of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice
shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then
the Vice-President shall act as President, as in the case of the death or other
constitutional disability of the President."

Note a few things. There is nothing about the US Senate getting involved.


Now, read the rest of the 12th Amendment:

"The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States."

The Senate is very much involved.
AZDuffman
AZDuffman
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July 5th, 2012 at 6:59:19 AM permalink
Quote: ThatDonGuy

Now, read the rest of the 12th Amendment:

"The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States."

The Senate is very much involved.



I went back and edited this before your post, probably at the same time you were writing it. Like a lot of things, the Founders wanted decisions and power to be very, very indirect. They might have been the most thoughtful group of people put together at one time in history.
All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others
thecesspit
thecesspit
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July 5th, 2012 at 7:21:04 AM permalink
The 12th Amendment is about fifteen years newer than constitution itself. That said, do you consider those writers to be the Founders?
"Then you can admire the real gambler, who has neither eaten, slept, thought nor lived, he has so smarted under the scourge of his martingale, so suffered on the rack of his desire for a coup at trente-et-quarante" - Honore de Balzac, 1829

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