Taking it to the House (of Representatives)
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I came across this intriguing scenario, without an author’s byline, on a web site called nextbigfuture.com. The writing isn’t very good but the premise is most interesting: NBC/WSJ polled multiple hypothetical matchups between the candidates in the 2012 presidential general election. The head-to-head matchup between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney shows Obama leading Romney by a 6 percent margin with Obama garnering 49 percent of the vote to Romney’s 43 percent. NBC/WSJ also polled a matchup between three candidates, Democrat Barack Obama, Republican Mitt Romney, and Ron Paul as an Independent. The results are underwhelming for the supposed favorites – but for Ron Paul, this is an opening. Barack Obama easily wins again, but with only 44 percent of the vote compared to Romney’s 32 percent. However, Paul captures a whopping 18 percent. Ron Paul could potentially capture enough Electoral votes to prevent both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney from reaching the 270 Electoral votes needed to become president. If this scenario plays out, the presidential election would be decided in the House of Representatives with the top three highest electoral vote getters being decided on who becomes president[as I said, the writing is terrible]. In 2012, the House will most likely still be Republican controlled, leaving Mitt Romney and Ron Paul vowing [vying–pb] for the highest office. With the growing number of tea party representatives in Congress, the election could look more similar to a European parliament vote, in building coalitions with many factions to support a prime minister. * * * * Intriguing, yes. Plausible, no. Readers will recall that Ross Perot ran for president in 1992, against George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton, and did not carry a single state. He got 18.9% of the vote, about what Ron Paul is projected to receive if he runs as an independent candidate. It would be a huge development if Paul were to carry a state. You can’t affect the electoral vote unless you carry a state, and I don’t think Paul can carry it off.