Ahead of a competitive presidential election, elected officials on both sides of the aisle are planning for all sorts of potential outcomes — including a scenario in which the Constitution dictates the House of Representatives ultimately selects the next commander-in-chief.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is urging her caucus to work toward increasing the party’s majority, specifically by flipping potentially vulnerable Republican seats, on the off chance that the Electoral College vote ends up in a tie on Nov. 3, as reported by Fox News.
“All sorts of opportunities”
While Democrats hold more seats in the chamber, the GOP actually holds an advantage in terms of state delegations, controlling 26 states to the Democratic Party’s 22. The remaining two states are essentially tied.
Pelosi made her call to action during a news conference on Thursday.
“We have all sorts of opportunities to take down that one vote,” Pelosi said of the remote possibility, according to Fox.
Directing her remarks to President Donald Trump, the House speaker added that there “ain’t no light at the end of the tunnel for you in the House of Representatives.”
“We cannot leave anything to chance”
Days earlier, Pelosi sent a letter to House Democrats cautioning them of the possibility that the election could ultimately be in their hands, offering a path for victory if such a longshot opportunity came to pass.
“The Constitution says that a candidate must receive a majority of the state delegations to win,” she wrote, according to Fox News. “We must achieve that majority of delegations or keep the Republicans from doing so. Because we cannot leave anything to chance, House Majority PAC is doing everything it can to win more delegations for Democrats.”
The speaker went on to claim that it was “sad we have to plan this way, but it’s what we must do to ensure the election is not stolen.”
As Politico reported, the House has not decided an election since 1876, and such an outcome this year would almost certainly be far more bitterly partisan than any other political fight the nation has experienced in the modern era.
With so much at stake, and the difference in control of a state coming down to as little as one seat, Pelosi is not the only one preparing for the possibility.
“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 if we go back to Congress — does everyone understand that?” the president said at a rally on Pennsylvania on Saturday, according to Politico.