Your next president could be Joe Biden. No, this isn’t based on the theory that Democrats replace Hillary Clinton on the ticket because of her health. Is it based on a legitimate electoral possibility. There is a path – albeit a narrow one – for an alternative to Trump or Clinton. There is a realistic way for Joe Biden to assume the presidency in January, 2017. Here’s how it can happen.
If Clinton and Trump were to tie in the Electoral College and if the House of Representatives failed give majority support to either candidate, Biden could end up in the Oval Office.
Based on an 11-state battleground, the 540 Electoral College votes can end in a tie, 32 different ways. And a failure by any candidate to reach a majority of 270 would throw the election to the House of Representatives. Don’t laugh – that’s how Thomas Jefferson beat out Aaron Burr in 1800. And it’s how John Quincy Adams beat Andrew Jackson in 1824.
This is where it gets interesting. If no one wins a majority of the Electoral College, the election is thrown to the House, where each state delegation would get one vote. Currently, 33 state delegations are controlled by Republicans, 14 by Democrats, and three are tied. That would seem to favor Donald Trump. Not so quick! It is possible that Democrats will pick up eight more state majorities in the 2016 election, leaving 25 states in Republican hands and 25 states in Democratic hands. We’d have a tie.
So then what happens?
According to the 12th Amendment, “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.”
That day was later changed to January 20th by the 20th Amendment. So if the tie isn’t broken by inauguration day on January 20, 2017, we could end up with President Joe Biden.
The Senate would pick the new Vice President, which would likely be Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, as the new Senate may lean Democratic.
It’s unlikely, but nothing is impossible this year. So get ready. Your next president may just be your old Vice President. Say it with me – “President Joe Biden.”
About the Author
Chris Wilson is the Digital Director of Maxim Magazine. He writes regularly on a variety of topics, including politics, history, travel, music, and entertainment.