With Halloween coming up, it’s tempting to visualize a scary scenario where Sarah Palin glides into the White House without winning the popular or even the electoral vote.
There’s a better than even chance that Sarah Palin will capture the Republican nomination in 2012. After she abruptly quit her job as governor, she has been criss-crossing the country raising funds, acting as the Godmother of the party and supporting those candidates who drink the Tea Party Kool Aid. Her almost inevitable nomination would set up an Obama-Palin race. Yet, there are those who would find neither candidate to their liking. Independents and the ever-vanishing sane wing of the GOP might think Palin too unqualified and Obama too much of a disappointment for their tastes. Enter the ambitious and über-rich Michael Bloomberg.
Bloomberg could finance his own campaign and could conceivably capture some electoral votes from Palin or Obama. All he needs to do is carry one or two states in a close election to result in no candidate receiving a majority in the Electoral College. It’s even possible that he could win some electoral votes from the two states which allocate their electors proportionally.
So what happens in a scenario where neither Obama nor Palin receive enough electoral votes to win? The decision is made by the House of Representatives. And by all the punditry spewing across the airwaves, internet tubes, and in dead tree media, the Republicans are poised to take the House. In this situation, each state casts ONE vote for a presidential candidate, so the sparsely populated Alaska has the same clout as highly populated California. With a GOP majority in the House, the outcome from an Electoral College deadlock could be a President-elect Palin, even if she loses the popular vote and has fewer electoral votes than Barack Obama.