There’s one more thing that Republicans gained control of when they grabbed more than 60 House seats after November’s elections. Now, they own the tiebreaker in a presidential election.
The GOP controls a majority of state delegations in the U.S. House now. That means, in the case of a tie in the electoral college in 2012, Republicans now own the tiebreaker. Governing.com explains.
If a presidential election results in a tie in the electoral college -- or if any candidate fails to secure a majority of electoral votes -- the election is thrown into the House. If that happens, the House decides on a state-by-state basis, with every state casting one vote, regardless of size.
The scenario requiring a House-decided presidential election is not all that farfetched. While the failure to secure a majority would require a third-party candidate who won more than a trivial number of electoral votes -- something that hasn't happened in recent history -- a tie vote is quite possible. Slight -- and plausible -- shifts in state voting patterns during the past three presidential elections, especially in the razor-close 2000 Bush-Gore election, could have produced an electoral college tie.
Before this year’s elections, Democrats controlled 33 state delegations, with the GOP in charge of 16. Now, the GOP controls 33, while the Democrats have 17.