There is a distressingly nonzero chance that the election could wind up in the House of Representatives. It’s not likely, but there are multiple ways it could happen. The #toadstool is busily trying to make it happen.1,2 Our Plan A should be to prevent him from pulling this stunt.
Having said that, we have to consider Plan B. This is nasty, because if things get to this point, when the house votes for president, each state gets one vote. Not each house member, each state. This gives disproportionate voting power to a bunch of sparsely populated states. It’s like the senate, only worse, insofar as there’s no other chamber to serve as a check on them. It’s far worse than the electoral college.
The crucial vote will be taken by the new congress, in January, a few days after they’re sworn in. To get some idea about that, we can look at the current congress and use it as a baseline. If the vote were held today, it would be 22−26−2. We would lose by a substantial margin. Two of the state delegations would be tied and presumably unable to vote. Here’s the data:
To remedy this in the November election, having a huge majority of house members is not sufficient. We need to flip selected state delegations. In the data table, the rightmost column indicates what needs to be done. A “1” indicates that flipping one seat will give control of that delegation. A “1+” means that flipping one seat will create a tie, and you need to flip another to get outright control.
Here’s how I interpret the data: For starters, we absolutely must do the following:
And even that’s not enough. It only gets us to a 25−25 standoff. So we also need to find yet another state, some place where we can win or at least tie the delegation. Possibilities include some or all of the following:
This is really hard. The fate of the world may hinge on winning the MI 3rd (vacated by Amash). Also on the gerrymandering in PA. Or on just winning by a huge margin on election day so the house never comes into play.3