What happens if both candidates get 269 electoral votes? – The Sun

JOE Biden and Donald Trump are closely tied in one of "the most consequential elections in American history."

In the unlikely, but possible, event of Trump and Biden getting 269 electoral votes each, the Constitution says the House of Representatives chooses the president, with each state having one vote, and the Senate choosing the vice president.

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What happens if the candidates tie?

A 269-269 tie is unlikely, but there are possible different scenarios that could occur.

If neither presidential candidate gets 270 Electoral College votes, the Constitution requires the House of Representatives to pick the president.

The Senate would then pick the vice president.

However, although Democrats are poised to be in charge of the House of Representatives, this doesn't mean Biden would automatically win.

Nancy Pelosi said the House of Representatives were "ready" and "prepared" to face a possible tie.

Speaking to NPR, Pelosi said: "But let’s not worry about that right now.

“What we want to be ready for is a big vote tomorrow to dispel any thought other than that, on January 20, Joe Biden will be inaugurated president of the United States, that we will have a Democratic House and a Democratic Senate.”

Has there ever been a tie in a US election before?

The House has decided only two elections – both occurring before the current threshold of 270 electoral votes needed to win.

Thomas Jefferson defeated Aaron Burr in 1800 (fans of the Broadway play "Hamilton" should know this well). Jefferson and Burr were both part of the Democratic-Republican Party and finished in a 73-73 tie before the House gave the win to Jefferson.

“If neither candidate gets a majority of the 538 electoral votes, the election for President is decided in the House of Representatives, with each state delegation having one vote. A majority of states (26) is needed to win. Senators would elect the Vice-President, with each Senator having a vote. A majority of Senators (51) is needed to win,” the website states.

How close did Trump and Clinton come to a tie in 2016?

Hillary Clinton got the most individual votes from US citizens in 2016, but Donald Trump won the most electoral votes.

In 2016, Trump won the Electoral College with 304 votes compared to 227 votes for Hillary Clinton.

Trump, 74, is now hoping to win a second term after a tumultuous four years in which the country’s economy boomed and then crashed amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Biden failed to delivered a knockout blow by winning key states that paved a clear path to the presidency and yet again Trump defied the opinion pollsters to deliver an election night upset.

Trump won Florida early on and despite initial indications of possible shock wins for Biden in red states, the Democrat's lead was eaten away during the evening as more votes were counted – leaving the election on a knife edge.

The Republican firebrand has since taken both Texas and Ohio giving him a combined haul of 56 electoral votes.

One chink of hope for the Democrat challenger was a prediction that he would snatch Arizona away from Trump.

For months, opinion polls had predicted Biden would win by a large margin after four years of a turbulent Trump presidency.

But the race tonight was much closer than they had foreseen with the whispers of a 'shy Trump vote' becoming a reality – just like in 2016.

Should Trump and Biden take the states they are expected to win then the race could come down to Pennsylvania and the result may be days or even weeks away.

In 2016, Trump won the election with 306 electoral votes, meaning Biden will need to take back at least three sizable swing states to put him over the 270 mark.

Were Biden to win the swing states of, for example, Arizona, Pennsylvania and Michigan, it would put the Democrats on 270 vs the Republicans' 259 and Biden would take the White House.

 

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