What happens if the House has to decide the next president?

10/18/2020 3:01:00 PM

What happens if the House has to decide the next president?

outcome Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have openly acknowledged."I don't want to end up in the Supreme Court and I don't want to go back to Congress either, even though we have an advantage," Trump said of the election at a Sept. 26 Pennsylvania rally.

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MORE: Election experts implore Congress to extend 'arbitrary' vote-tallying deadlinesPelosi fired back in a letter to House Democrats two days later, encouraging members to support candidates in"key districts" across the country."If Trump can't win at the ballot box, he wants the House to deliver him the presidency," she wrote."It's sad we have to plan this way, but it's what we must do to ensure the election is not stolen."

Republicans hold advantage in the HouseUnder the Constitution's 12th Amendment, the House would select the next president and the Senate would pick the vice president if no candidate has a majority of Electoral College votes.By law, states have until Dec. 8 to certify their results or have the state legislature appoint electors to the Electoral College, which is set to convene on Dec. 14. Congress is set to formally count electors' votes and declare a winner on Jan. 6.

In the scenario of a tie, each state would only have a single vote in the House of Representatives. The party with more House seats would determine the presidential vote.Republicans control 26 state delegations, while Democrats hold 23. Pennsylvania is split between both parties, and Republicans also have a chance to break even with Democrats in Michigan and Minnesota if they capture one additional seat in each state.

Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty ImagesPresident Donald Trump speaks at a"Make America Great Again" rally on Oct.15, 2020, in Greenville, NC.President Donald Trump speaks at a "Make America Great Again" rally on Oct.15, 2020, in Greenville, NC.

That math is on the minds of Democratic leaders, donors and strategists in the final weeks of the election. With most Democratic candidates in Trump-leaning districts flush with cash and leading Republican challengers in public and private polling, the party is working to expand the map and give the party a broader path to securing their House majority.

That includes investments in suburban contests in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Florida, but also in newly competitive races in rural Montana and Alaska, which each have a single seat in Congress and were carried by Trump by 15% to 20% in 2016.Democrats control the delegations of several competitive presidential battleground states -- such as Arizona, Iowa, Minnesota and Nevada -- by a single seat, while Republicans have a single-seat advantage in Florida.

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Pelosi 'prepared' for every election scenarioPelosi decided to acknowledge the scenario of the House deciding a contested election in a public letter to colleagues after Trump repeatedly mentioned the possibility and amid his refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power.

"I had been working on this for a while. I've been working on almost every scheme he might have to steal the election. And kind of sub rosa -- since he went public, then so did I," she said in a late-September MSNBC appearance of Trump's comments about the House determining the outcome of the election.

In addition to signaling Democrats' preparations for any election outcome, Pelosi's comments also served as a reminder to Democrats and donors not to lose sight of competitive House races amid the presidential contest.MORE: A 'Twitterized Bush v Gore 2.0'? It's possible, election experts say

"It's helpful to remind donors and other groups that the presidential race gets a ton of attention, the Senate gets a ton of attention, and we have to take all of the steps available to us to make sure we aren't missing these opportunities," Caitlin Legacki, the communications director for the Democratic House Majority PAC, told ABC News, referring to securing more seats in the House.

Kyle Kondik, the managing editor of Sabato's Crystal Ball, a political newsletter published by the University of Virginia Center for Politics, said it would be"unlikely" the presidential race would end in an Electoral College tie, noting Biden's consistent lead over Trump for several months in national and battleground state polls, but sketched out several possible scenarios based on the results of the 2016 election.

One would involve Biden winning every state carried by 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, flipping Michigan and Pennsylvania and carrying the electoral vote from Nebraska's 2nd Congressional District. (Nebraska and Maine, unlike other states, award Electoral College votes by congressional district in addition to allocating electoral votes to the state's popular vote winner.)

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Tasos Katopodis/Getty ImagesSpeaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi gestures during the Weekly News Conference on Capitol Hill, Oct. 8, 2020 in Washington, DC.Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi gestures during the Weekly News Conference on Capitol Hill, Oct. 8, 2020 in Washington, DC.

But a world where Democrats are in position to retake House seats in Alaska and Montana and win control of their delegations, he added, is"a world in which Biden is over 270 electoral votes" -- making the balance of the House moot in determining the next president.

Derek Muller, a law professor at the University of Iowa who wrote about the issue ahead of the 2016 election, called the possibility of the House determining the next president"very unlikely" in an era of two major political parties."Those scenarios come closest when it looks like a third party swoops in and captures some set of electoral votes that sort of deprives the winner of a majority," he said, pointing to the results of the 1824 presidential election - when a race between four candidates led to a deadlock, and eventually, the House selecting John Quincy Adams as president.

"It remains a possibility, but I think a very remote one," Mueller said.MORE: Trump blasts Sasse on Twitter over critical commentsDavid Mandel, who served as showrunner and executive producer of"Veep," isn't losing sleep over the odds, either.

"Nothing shocks me, but of all the many, many things that come to fruition on Planet Earth that may hit first, this is the least of them," Mandel, a Democrat who has helped raise money for the party, told ABC News.Electoral College complications

Short of an Electoral College tie, election experts have pointed to several other improbable scenarios that could throw the White House race into chaos into January, when Congress certifies results.While 32 states and the District of Columbia require presidential electors to pledge their votes to the winner of the popular vote in their states,"faithless" electors could refuse to vote for the candidate who wins the popular vote.

Another concern is the possibility of disputed results in certain contested states with divided governments -- such as Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, which have Democratic governors and GOP-held legislatures.Stefan Zaklin/Getty Images, FILEThe U.S. Capitol in June 5, 2003 in Washington.

The U.S. Capitol in June 5, 2003 in Washington.If the leaders of divided states can't agree on the results of the election, they could each send their own slate of electors to Washington, leaving it up to party leaders to determine which group to recognize from a given state.

"There's a difference between Congress having to make the decision about which votes to count, which would give a candidate 270 or more, and then its decision if nobody gets to 270," said Muller, who downplayed the likelihood of that possibility.

Read more: ABC News »

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The house will go home to BURNED HOUSES. Check it out! Do You Want To make 5 stunning animated logo intro videos in 24 hours? Contact Me : LogoAnimation MadeOnFiverr Top Logo Animation Best Logo Animation The people of the nation are deciding as we tweet. Look at the Trump rally’s they’re bigger than 2016. It won’t even be close

LOL poor snowflakes When will the Senate Republicans step up to the plate and do what’s right and following the rules of law and tell Donald Trump that he’s getting totally out of Hand and Breaking the Law. Look how much Damage Donald Trump has Created in just 4 years. This country is suffering So much in the news and talks about this

A country without a President. HA...BREAK OUT THE CHAIN SAWS PEEPS... NO HOLDS BARRED...VOTE HIM OUT...USA Well... it is 2020 after all... VoteBiden and make it a landslide so Trump has no outs Democrats are counting on a lot of things to go their way while interfering in it every step of the way. They're also spending tons of money on creating chaos.

Trump was ambushed by Savannah and Biden was coddled by George! Nothing new though we REPs are used to it. Protect the DEMS and attack the REPS! Hunters laptop is the latest! Vote Trump and let the establishment know we’re not going to take the BS! After the DEMS! Lock them up! 우리 주님께서 오십니다. 메시아께서 오십니다.

This President of to go-he is wicked than dead Whoop whoop here it is y'all AbsenteeBallots. florida KellyO it is me ' trucker' joe twitter 🔒 me out = guess what i am voting hm realDonaldTrump & VP PressSec kayleighmcenany DanScavino CNN JoeBiden DNC marthamaccallum EricTrump Alyssafarah maggieNYT WhiteHouse

With more red states than blue states, we get another four years of Trump. Republicans aren’t courageous enough to put the country ahead of the party allegiances. This is so ridiculous. In my entire life - 15 presidential elections - ONE was not decided election night. ONE. We'll know by 12 midnight who our next president is. Mark it down.

Insane system of politics Important News:- SpeakerPelosi is MVP - “I've been working on almost every scheme he might have to steal the election” She’s playing the highest stakes game of chess w/ a petulant fascist wannabe who refuses to play by the rules. Your Electoral system is way too complicated. The popular vote should be all that is needed.

JoeRapedHunter WheresHunterBiden What a crack of joke. Democrats none sense conspiracy theory. Sky News Australia: 👉EXCLUSIVE: Joe Biden's son emailed shop owner about hard drive to … Nothing like printing a headline that hasn't happened since 1824, if you want to go back in time maybe you should pick the part where the Democrats supported slavery!

Election day is in 16 days! Polls say Biden is likely to win. Who will win in your opinion? Retweet Juju Bot Live Stream It'll never happen. BidenHarrisLandslide2020 ABC would be incredibly proud to see the people’s will subverted by Nancy’s circus clowns!!! We won’t have it!!! We the people will bring down the thunder!!!


^ THIS ^ may be YOUR delightful dream, but I wouldn't worry about it. You've over-sampled Democrats for MONTHS now and are worried that the ACTUAL numbers don't fare well for Biden. Even Barry came out from under his rock and has ADMITTED it's 'going to be close.' FakeNews then trump will get his karma right in his face

ThAt will be a very sad day.....and we might as well be a communist country. I remember learning about this in middle school social studies. It’s incredibly stupid that the popular vote wouldn’t determine the president in this scenario. It’s just more evidence that our “democracy” is for show and not for function

Won’t happen. Get ready for the giant red wave to come. Civil War.😔 I don’t know why we are going through all these scenarios because of Trump. every president has peacefully stepped down after their term was done or they lost an election. If Biden wins outside the margin of error, it’s over, let Trump complain to himself.

I’ve been voting since 1978–have voted for candidates from both parties. The country is SO divided. It’s sad...I really hope election results do not need any other “political body” to determine the winner. Stop coming out w 💩 , trying to get people confused, stop it Overthrow of the Government , most likely

THE REACTION OF THE PEOPLE Well...what do you think happens One thing I didn't see in the article is that if there is a runoff in the House it would be held after January 3 when the newly elected Representatives are sworn in. While Republicans currently control 26 State delegations that may not be so. That won’t happen. The results won’t be that close!

ArmeniaKillsCivilians ArmeniaKillsChildren StopArmenianTerrorism SropArmenianAgression They won't have to. What will happen then? Perhaps a president as a puppet controlled by China? So if you believe any of the polls, they said Biden had a XX point lead. The all of a sudden Biden people are saying the race is dead even because they realized that people my not get out and vote for him. Starting to get worried they are... The polls are wrong

THIS WILL HAPPEN.. Seems you guys in media feels untouchable ... Why racking up the insane Trump style conspiracy theories? Shameless. Trump is such a murderous Nazi communist he makes hitler and Stalin look like peace loving capitalists Uh, Pelosi becomes president until January and Trump goes to prison?

Lol. Hilarious. HIDING FROM THE TRUTH. IT WILL BE A VERY LONG DARK NIGHT No worries.... early voting favors trump. They won't have to, Trump landslide If the TheDemocrats keep the House, then they will vote for Joe Biden. If the GOP win the House, they will vote for Donald Trump. Election2020 Biden Trump Vote November3 Debates2020 ElectionDay

Looking at most of the models, particularly 538, its unlikely to even be close. There is a new social platform coming out who are giving users control of their data & content with freedom of speech. Its called Hyprr. They have a live beta now so people an setup their channels so we can get away from all these other places!!! UK/US owned & operated howdooHQ

SecureNorthNow EndNorthBanditryNow Northisbleeding CNN BBCWorld NBCNews AJEnglish Reuters Our country is not safe Our region is not longer safe Our government is blind 😭 THIS IS WHAT WILL HAPPEN...STREET REACTION.. Pelosi walking into work that day. Won’t happen. Biden will destroy Trump 400-139.

Joe biden it's a very good president. He its good for america. The whole world. 🇺🇸🇺🇸👍👍❤️❤️❤️ Let’s not go down that rabbit hole with doomsday scenarios . good We are in deep trouble..🥺 We all know what will happen, we have been thru this b4 ok Bush v Gore blah blah blah Slow news day right, its Sunday Piss Off!

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GOP House candidate whose social media posts mirror QAnon conspiracies denies knowing about groupThe Republican candidate is running for the congressional seat formerly occupied by civil rights leader John Lewis. a few years ago 'pedo island is a conspiracy theory' Only the truth gets censored and banned. Next time someone gets pulled over for a dui, just say you didn't know you were drunk. If it works for trump and the gop it has to work for us! “I love the poorly educated” - Donald Trump Ever wonder whom he might be talking about? 🤣

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Report: White House Officials Deliberately Hid FDR’s Mechanical Spider Legs From PublicNEW HAVEN, CT—Shedding new light on one of the most influential leaders in American history, Yale University historians released a report Thursday that suggests White House officials deliberately hid President Franklin Roosevelt’s mechanical spider legs from the public. This is what happens when you marry your cousin people! I wonder if Trump will retweet this. awesome

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