Of course there’s another longshot possibility – a tie in the Electoral College. If that happens, the House of Representatives will choose the president and the Senate will choose the vice president. Republicans are almost certain to hold onto the majority in the House and surprisingly Democrats may retain control of the Senate. If that happens and the Electoral College is a tie, we could end up with a President Mitt Romney and Vice President Joe Biden.
So whether you’re a Democrat or Republican, you should vote Tuesday to strengthen the argument of your party and candidate in case of a disputed election. Such a disputed election is not likely but it’s not impossible.
If Democrats hold on to the Senate majority, Kentucky’s senior senator, Mitch McConnell, will twice have missed attainment of his longtime goal of becoming Majority Leader. Six months ago, a Republican takeover looked all but certain.
But the Republican Party has tilted so far to the right that moderate senators like Indiana’s Dick Lugar can’t survive their primaries. Lugar would have been easily re-elected in the fall when Democrats and independents are part of the electorate. But Republican nominees like Richard Mourdock in Indiana and Todd Akin in Missouri will have a very hard time winning the general election.
Two years ago, I asked McConnell if he was concerned by the rightward lurch of his party, if perhaps it wouldn’t be wise for leading Republicans to do then what William F. Buckley did in the 1960s when Buckley called out the backers of the John Birch Society.
“You’re just being an alarmist,” McConnell answered with a smile.
Now it’s McConnell who’s alarmed about the prospects Democrats may retain control of the Senate.