President Paul Ryan? President Chris Christie? President… Elizabeth Warren!?
That might sound crazy, since none of them are even running for president.
But experts say it could happen.
In what could be the most bizarre finish to the most bizarre election season in anyone’s memory, two presidential candidates with high unfavorable ratings could BOTH end up losing.
U.S. presidents are still selected by the Electoral College, rather than directly by voters. There are 538 electoral votes, which means it takes 270 to win – and the appropriately named election-tracking website 270towin.com has 32 scenarios under which an election between party frontrunners Donald Trump-Hillary Clinton could result in a 269-269.
They’re unlikely scenarios… but no less unlikely than Donald Trump becoming the Republican nominee may have seemed just a year ago.
Considering the historic unpopularity of the two candidates, it’s not too far fetch to imagine Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson managing to pick off a state or two. A late-entry independent candidate could conceivably do the same.
In that situation, it becomes even more likely that neither Trump nor Clinton would win 270 electoral votes.
According to the Twelfth Amendment, that would toss the election into the fumbling hands of Congress.
Under the Constitution, the House picks the president from the top three candidates, while the Senate picks the vice president from the top two choices.
This is where it gets wild, because it’s the incoming House and Senate that get to vote, which meets on Jan. 3 – two and a half weeks before Inauguration Day.
The House votes by state, and Republicans control 33 delegations – a number that won’t change significantly. That would favor Trump on paper. But with so many establishment Republicans refusing to support Trump (and some actively undermining their own party’s candidate), they could deadlock on ballot after ballot — and end up compromising on a candidate like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
If the Senate remains in Republican control, it would likely choose Trump’s running mate – but if it flips to the Democrats in November (a very real possibility) or to a 50-50 tie (giving Joe Biden the decisive vote), the Senate could go with a liberal balance pick – perhaps Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
Yes, there could be a President Christie and Vice President Warren.
On the other hand, if the House can’t get its house in order by Jan. 20 and fails to pick a candidate, the Presidential Succession Act kicks in… and the Senate-selected vice-president then becomes our president.
That could mean President Warren.
Ready for this to get even crazier?
No matter who wins control over the Senate, neither party will have a filibuster-proof majority… meaning they could also have a deadlock.
With no president and no vice president, next in line of succession would be the speaker of the house.
That’s Paul Ryan.
But Ryan didn’t want the speaker job in the first place… and a battle to choose a president – especially Trump, who he only barely supports – could cause him to resign.
He could also resign because he sees the deadlocked ballots putting him in line for the presidency, and wants nothing to do with it.
That would mean the job goes to the NEXT person in the line of succession: The president pro tempore of the senate, traditionally the longest-serving member of the party in control.
If the Republicans keep control of the Senate, your next president is Orrin Hatch. If the Democrats take over, it’s Patrick Leahy.
Either would be far and away the oldest man ever inaugurated for president… setting the stage for a new crisis under a different Amendment: the Twenty-Fifth, which requires BOTH house of Congress to approve the vice president.
It’s wild. It’s unlikely. But considering the wackiness of the 2016 election so far, it’s very possible.
— The Horn editorial team
Main Street says
My Senator from here in the dear old Bay State. An Oklahoma WASP who told us she was Cherokee. A multi millionaire who told us she was working class. Last month the Boston Herald highlighted her buying foreclosed houses and making a big profit in Oklahoma City. She gets hundreds of thousands of dollars to teach one class at Harvard. Scott Brown forgot folks who voted for him. Especially moderate Democrats .He had the worst constituent services. He was more Hollywood than Boston. that’s how Fakehontas, Lieawatha Warren got elected here.
I hope not goofy
LOL, great post!!! Not to worry, that wacko will NEVER be president of this once great country, she’s too delusional and deranged, just like $chittlery!!!
First of all, Trump WAS NOT UNFAVORABLE in the eyes of the people!! The people LOVE Trump like crazy! That is the reason he has skyrocketed through the atmosphere in this election. It’s so simple <<>> “Do something that supports the people instead of diminishes them for a change!!”
DUH…. that is a no brainer, yet NOBODY else was willing to side with the people for crying out loud. Trump gets it. He sides with us, for the first time in like 30 years of debauchery and crushing the people left and right, we finally have a guy that is interested in the American people for a change. WOW. How is this so confusing to all the dolts out there??
DUH. Nobody stands a chance against Trump, not fakeohantas, not Killary, not anybody.
…TRUMP IS AWESOME!!!!
Your off your rocker. If I am anything like the average voter, then the reason the 2 are neck in neck is because both would be terrible presidents. One a criminal riding the Clinton name for all it’s worth, without a lick of sense. The other trying to buy his way into the oval office while insulting the fastest growing race in the US. Build a wall and make Mexico pay for it. That’s really going to go over well. Why don’t we just ask Canada to take all the Muslim refugees while we’re at it. Then we can have both bordering countries wanting war. The republican Party should have just put 2 good candidates in the lime light from the beginning and the democratic Party would have never had a chance after Obama’s pathetic display of running the country.
Thomas Stanley says
Didn’t know much about her so looked her up. At first she sounded pretty good but as I read her points decreased to what it is now, in my eyes she is a delusional idiot conflicted with feelings of hero worship and can’t tell the truth from a lie.
Exchange one liar, do nothing for another?????????????????????????????????????????
This woman is a liar who defends Hillary for criminal activates in the White house as first lady, and as secretary of state. While attacking Trump for every minor misjudgment. Just saw for the first time yesterday how bill received 16 million in donations from a college for speaking and to the highly questionable Clinton foundation. In return as secretary of state Hillary gave federal grants to the college for 55 million. That’s what’s called quip-pro-co, Money for favors in this case money for money. The Clinton foundation is a supposed charity foundation which keeps 80-85% of the money raised to pay exorbitant fees primarily to the Clintons in management salaries. The Clinton foundation is rated one of the worst charities in the united states. Its like a Ponzi scam to make the Clintons rich and its all tax free. For Elizabeth Warren to come to Mrs. Clintons Defense is to say I am fine with Criminal activity in the highest offices in the land. Also that there is no such thing as a need for national security, I am referring to Mrs. Clintons, and for that matter Bills total disregard of care for Americas Top Secrets which can be used to hurt the United States Military and American people.
Elizabeth Warren hasn’t endorsed anyone….you stupid ignorant right wingers are who are the reason why this country is so screwed up….Bush…the entire bush crime family should be indicted for war crimes.
YOUR RIGHT LIZ , BUT NOT BILL AND HILL THEY SO FUCKING HONEST RIGHT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hey you pathetic moron, Liz. It would be nice if you would inform yourself of what is going on before showing the world what an ill informed MORON you are. Elousybeth, the moron, endorsed Kamala Harris who DOES endorse $chittlery and thereby does the same. The problem with delusional idiots like you is that you are low information and purely uneducated. Sadly that’s the way you live your pathetic lives.
Stop making up bull shit it would never happen in 100 years . So just stop getting people up tight about bull shit ok!
Now I realize that there is a need to feed these 24/7 news outlet but we are allowing things to get totally out of hand. Writing or reporting stories that have no real truth or fact contained in them, nothing but pure conjecture on the reporters part. This is how a majority of these B.S. stories we see nowadays get started and why so many low information voters become extremely confused. By the time the story is told a few times all of a sudden it becomes fact. This practice is fine for the entertainment value of a piece, but lets be honest and say up front what the subject it and the source. Our future is just too damn important at this juncture.
Texas Son says
She is a WACKO!!!
John passerella says
What a charade painting Trump as the bad guy when Obama and his whole administration have continuously berated and criticized this great nation since he took office and brought us to our knees for the whole world to see.He(Obama) has freed the worst terrorists in the world from Gitmo to again cause havoc and killing. Obama is an Islamic sympathizer of the worst degree. And now he’s allowing thousands and thousands of terrorists into this country under the guise of being poor immigrants.If you notice the groups coming in are 90% young men you have to realize there is something wrong when all the men leave a country and leave behind their women and children to fight. It’s all a sham which will ultimately bring us down and we are now on the precipice of complete collapse. We need Trump and not politicians who have repeatedly shown their disrespect for the voting public. We have a very short time to correct the wrongs that have been done but even this may be too late.God help us.
Like Trump shows so much respect for the voters
Isn’t Elizibeth Warren straying a bit far from the RESERVATION, so to speak??? (with no disrespect intended for American Indians~~who are HONORABLE) Disrespect INTENDED FOR ELIZEBETH WARREN who is, well, a liar and less than honorable!!!!
Christopher S. O'Rourke says
The election of the Figurehead & Vice Figurehead should and ought to be done by the popular vote, not the damned electorial college. We are the only
country that has the electorial college in the entire world. France, Mexico, Brazil, the Philippines, Liberia, Poland, Greece all elect their Figureheads &
Vice Figureheads by popular vote. The members of the electorial college get to vote twice for the Figurhead & Vice Figurehead of the United States.
There is NO NEED to have the damned electorial college at all, time to put an end to the electorial college. In our colleges & universities, our nations
High schools there are class & student government elections that are done only by popular vote, there is no electorial college at all there. The electorial
college is a tool to just fix & rig elections today. IT’S MORE THAN LONG OVERDUE TO ABOLISH THE ELECTORIAL COLLEGE NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The scenario painted by The Horn article is extremely unlikely, assuming that it’s Trump v Clinton; everyone with a modicum of sense would know she didn’t get the D nomination honestly, but by cheating – and Bernie supporters would never vote for her, so there’s 30% gone right there; then the rank’n’file Union members, more and more women voters, even more Hispanic voters jumping on the Trump train daily…
It’ll be Trump in a landslide, most likely, and historically, Electoral College votes have matched the majority decisions of the voters of each State, so…
I believe of any of the above scenarios ever happened there would be such an uprising like never before seen in this country.
I agree totally with you Bobbie. But believe it or not there are some who realize they would profit from such action. Greed and “lust for power” whether criminal or not by governmental officials is systematically chipping away the Rights and Freedoms of Choice from the American Public. Our manufacturing and exporting needed for Our Prosperity is at an all time low. Right now the entire Game of Life is stacked in favor of the greedy long term politicians with little Regard for anyone but themselves. Donald J. Trump gives us an alternative to the Deck being Stacked against the Common Folk. Business and manufacturing revival is needed and he can stimulate such actions.
It is the ultimate goal, and has happened in the past, that the DemoPublicans want to take away any input that we the people (voters) may have in selecting our leaders. (When did it happen before; 2000 when Chimpy Bush lost the eection but was appointed to the job)
As George Carlin told us, if voting really mattered they wouldn’t let us do it! More true now than ever.
Squaw Warren was the one who first gave the “you didn’t build that ” speech that both obama and hilliar used. Squaw Warren founded the Consumer Protection Agency now headed by whiz kid Richard Cordray. It’s the lefty thorn in every business.
Hilliar won’t get indicted, but if popular opinion sinks any lower, obama will trot out Biden and Squaw Warren. The lefties will love it.
Vote for little lyin’ Trump, at least his family looks good on tv. ………………….. LIVE ON TRUMP UNIVERSITY !
Mikeyavelli, aren’t you about four years behind times in raising the “you didn’t build that” argument. Everybody knows what was meant. After all, you didn’t build the keyboard you used to type your comment. This article presents a facetious but important look at a problem that was handed us by the framers of the Constitution, and that is the electoral college. It has some real benefits, but only because of the mess our election campaigns have become. Still, we see that our forefathers did not trust “we the people.” Maybe there are some who can’t be trusted – and maybe the ones who can’t be trusted are going to be the nominees of the two major political parties – but most of us can be trusted, and we may want to re-think the whole electoral college. It’s not going to happen, though, if everyone keeps harping about the supposed deficiencies of Sen. Warren. She is not the problem. The system used for elections is the problem.
Justin W says
Our nation is in trouble. The remaining three candidates (Trump, Clinton, Sanders) leave a lot to be desired. Whoever wins on election night is likely to face a tempestuous term.
John passerella says
You are so wrong about Trump. Every single anti trump story has been debunked. You must listen too much news from NBC,CBS,ABC,CNN and now even FOX has turned left. The only thing wrong and this may not even be wrong is that Trump says it like it is and all these people including the Republican hierarchy hate to hear it. The republicans are willing to sabotage the election not to get trump into office. trump must be doing something right.
Trump is a freak show…….A pure clown and that is why he has my VOTE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Wonder how elizabeth warren even
Clinton would play out obamas
Executive decision 13603. To me
This is awful.
Certainly the described scenario is possible. It is also possible that the electoral college proceedings will be overseen by the overlords from the Pleiades – the same ones who counsel the illuminati.
El Tejas says
There is not any good scenario on the horizon. There is only bad, worse, and the worst. But we have to deal with what is available to us. The question remains; do we want to continue the awful legacy of the past eight years or take a chance on a loose cannon?
Never would a true American vote for his Mao loving, lying “how Indian is she”? another lying flake!
Ahhhhhh louis….do i detect a wee
Bit of sarcasm.
Ahhh, perhaps just a wee bit.
Crazy. Never realized the Succession Act could come into play with a deadlocked election.
Danny Stewart says
HELL NO !!!!!
Hell NO. We have had enough of the Radical Dems.
What a load of crap……..a huge load!!