Tag Archives: Joe Biden

Presidential Election: What If Nobody Wins?

The Presidential election is just days away and the pundits are speculating about who will win and by what margin. Some talking heads are even saying that one candidate or another will act as a “spoiler” for one of the major party candidates in one or more States.

Some people have event speculated at the possibility of a tied electoral vote, in which Obama and Romney each receive 269 Electoral Votes. This scenario is extremely unlikely and has only happened three times in American history (1800, 1824 & 1836), with one more extremely unusual situation in 1876. What would happen in such an unlikely scenario?

First, allow me to explain how the Presidential election works. One election day, voters cast a ballot for a slate of electors that are pledged to the various Presidential candidates. The winning slates of electors are usually certified in mid-November and under federal law must be certified by December 11. The fifty-one slates of electors (one slate from each State, plus Washington, D.C.) meet and cast the official votes on December 17. The official vote by the electors is sealed and sent to the President of the Senate by December 26 and the electoral votes are officially counted on January 6 before a joint session of the newly sworn-in Congress.

The Office of the Federal Register states, “If a State submits conflicting sets of electoral votes to Congress, the two Houses acting concurrently may accept or reject the votes. If they do not concur, the votes of the electors certified by the Governor of the State on the Certificate of Ascertainment would be counted in Congress.”

Further, “If no Presidential candidate wins 270 or more electoral votes, a majority, the 12th Amendment to the Constitution provides for the House of Representatives to decide the Presidential election. If necessary the House would elect the President by majority vote, choosing from the three candidates who received the greatest number of electoral votes. The vote would be taken by state, with each state having one vote.” The Senate would decide the Vice President, with each Senator having one vote.

This is where things get interesting, especially since the House votes per State delegation. Under the current Congress, the Republican Party has a majority in 33 State Congressional delegations (3 States have the same number of Republican and Democrat Congressmen). The Republican’s will likely maintain control of 34 State Congressional delegations after the election. This means that if there is a tie for Electoral Votes, then Mitt Romney will likely be elected by the House. If the Democrats retain the Senate, then Joe Biden would likely be elected Vice-President. However, there is a very slim possibility that the Republican’s will control the Senate after the election.

Since the 2000 Presidential election, there have been calls for changing or abolishing the Electoral College. If there were an tie vote, I’m fairly certain that the Electoral College would be modified in some manner, and probably in a way that further discourages voting for a “minor party” candidate.

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Are the presidential candidates smarter than a fifth grader?

The Commission on Presidential Debates has held three events so far this year, and I wanted to know if our next commander-in-chief (or the next in line) were able to beat out a fifth grader (hello, pop culture references). I sliced and diced the transcripts of each participant (including the moderators and audience) and ran them through a couple of algorithms.

The Flesch–Kincaid readability test and the Gunning fog index are widely recognized methods for determining the education level needed to grasp subject material — in this case the dialogue transcripts of the debates. The numbers shown indicate the grade level one would need to be able to comprehend each respondent.

The results are presented below:

First Presidential Debate (Denver, Colorado)

Kincaid Fog
Jim Lehrer (moderator) 4.1 8.1
Barack Obama 8.3 11.9
Mitt Romney 5.8 9.5

Vice Presidential Debate (Danville, Kentucky)

Kincaid Fog
Martha Raddatz (moderator) 4.4 7.9
Joe Biden 4.9 8.1
Paul Ryan 4.5 7.8

Second Presidential Debate (Hempstead, New York)

Kincaid Fog
Candy Crowley (moderator) 3.1 6.5
Barack Obama 6.4 10.0
Mitt Romney 5.7 9.3
All audience 7.8 11.5

UPDATE: Added the fourth debate (third presidential debate) and overall scores based on D/R, below:

Third Presidential Debate (Boca Raton, Florida)

Kincaid Fog
Bob Schieffer (moderator) 4.3 7.5
Barack Obama 7.6 11.1
Mitt Romney 5.6 9.0

All Presidential Debates (averaged)

Kincaid Fog
Moderators 3.9 7.5
Democrats 6.6 10.1
Republicans 5.3 8.8

Apparently the moderators are not smarter than fifth graders, and the candidates are barely eking by according to Kincaid standards.

However, it’s interesting to note that the debate audience at the second presidential debate — a town hall format — scored off the charts in smarts compared to all the candidates and moderators.

Maybe we should go ahead and elect one of them.

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LIVEBLOG: Danville Kentucky CPD VP debate

From time to time, here at Hammer of Truth one of us will liveblog a debate or something. This is what it looks like.

On Thursday October 11th 2012, Democrat Vice President Joe Biden met with Republican nominee Congressman Paul Ryan to lay into each other in the new public blood sport democratic process of getting to know our next-in-line to commander in chief. Romney/Ryan are still trailing far behind Obama in projected electoral vote counts, but walked away with a national poll bounce from the Denver performance (mostly due to Obama’s apparent boredom). Jim Gray, the Libertarian Party vice-presidential candidate was not invited to attend due to not meeting the required 15% threshold.

An official transcript of the debate can be found here.

All times are in Eastern Daylight Time.

12:30AM (10/12): The Judge Jim Gray debate response livestream archive seems to have been made private for unknown reasons. I’ve reached out to the Johnson campaign to see what’s going on and will let everyone know what we find out. Unfortunately I was busy with the Biden/Ryan debate and have no idea if Jim Gray performed well or not, so I’ll reserve judgement for the moment (others aren’t so kind).

10:30PM: Liveblog portion over, here’s a link to Judge Jim Gray’s live responses (will archive shortly), which should be a source of entertainment to anyone disappointed with either of these D/R VP candidates.

10:21PM: Are either of you embarrassed by the “tone” of negative ads? Biden metaphorically waves a flag for the troops, then smacks Romney around for the 47% thing again. I think he’s missed the point.

Ryan proceeds to do the same thing. Wonderful bipartisanship.

10:15PM Candidates asked about their religious faith. Oh great, the wedge issue of abortion. Ryan says don’t kill babies in America (but gleefully kill them in the Middle East??) *barf*

Biden answers in the affirmative that he’s going to dodge this issue by claiming he’s Catholic pro-life but wouldn’t impose that on anyone else. But he’ll impose death? Yep. Another two-faced fucker.

10:14PM: Ryan asks what his criteria is for waging war. Answers, “strategic national interests of our country” which is diplomatic code for “resources”.

10:08PM: Now on Syria; Biden still angry; Biden wants you to know if it blows up and wrong people gain control the whole region is fucked. Let’s bomb, but not put American boots on the ground. Yes, that wins wars (not). “We are doing it exactly like we need to do to blah blah blah Sunni Shiite regional war. Pew pew pew, shoot more brown people with drones.”

10:03PM: Now Biden is arguing with the moderator over the effectiveness of the surge (bringing them home during the “fighting seasons”). Biden angry, drink. see more…

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LibertyManiacs presents the Veep debate drinking game

I’ll be live-blogging the Vice Presidential debate (sober, unlike the press in Kentucky), but friend of the site Dan McCall of LibertyManiacs has put out a timely rules chart for how you might want to “enjoy” the show the duopoly tag team has in store.

“If you’re going to drink the Kool-Aid, you might as well spike it.” Well said:

Also, one side-show to keep an eye out for is Libertarian Party Vice Presidential candidate Judge Jim Gray — who promises to make his own stand online by answering the same questions as the other candidates. Go ahead and drink if he mentions “Obamney”, “The Federal Reserve” or that neither party is “following the constitution”.

Yes, that drinking game is much more depressing.

Whether you’ll be drinking or not tonight, brace yourself, the internet is going to be slammed with drunk libertarians and independents…

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Vice President Joe Biden gets schooled by AP on 500 years of audacity preceding Osama Bin Laden raid and assassination

I love it when a reporter takes the time to completely obliterate a stupid political remark:

BIDEN on the bin Laden raid: “You can go back 500 years. You cannot find a more audacious plan. Never knowing for certain. We never had more than a 48 percent probability that he was there.” – At a Morris Township, N.J., Democratic fundraiser Monday.

THE FACTS: Pick your audacity for the ages. A partial list of awfully bold and odds-defying plans of the last 500 years to stack beside the bin Laden raid for comparison:

-George Washington’s nighttime crossing of the Delaware in December 1776, capturing 1,000 prisoners with fewer than a dozen casualties in his own army, in a watershed for the American Revolution.

-Any number of daring feints and bloody raids of the Civil War.

-Dec. 7, 1941, the sneak assault on Pearl Harbor by more than 350 Japanese planes that killed more than 2,400 people, decimated the Pacific Fleet and drew the U.S. into war.

-June 6, 1944, D-Day, the surprise landing of 160,000 Allied troops on the massively fortified shores of Normandy, France, supported by 5,000 ships and 13,000 aircraft – a “nothing less than full victory” gambit that unleashed armies on a march across Europe to crush Nazi Germany. see more…

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