Electoral Roulette

If no candidate scores a clean win in November, Congress will have to choose the next President and there could be constitutional chaos

EACH TIME AN INDEPENDENT PRESIdential prospect rises above asterisk standing, an alarm shrieks on Capitol Hill. Sure enough, Ross Perot's strong showing in polls has prompted dozens of legislators to ask the Congressional Research Service for a memorandum on the roles the House and Senate play if no ticket wins a majority of the 538 electoral votes. The dry legalisms make that process sound easy: the House would pick the President from the top three candidates, while the Senate would select the Vice President from the leading two. But the politics of the issue are more complex and potentially scary.


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