President Mitt Romney, VP Joe Biden serve?

Nov. 5, 2012 at 5:45 PM
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BUFFALO, N.Y., Nov. 5 (UPI) -- U.S. researchers say it's possible a Republican President Mitt Romney and Democrat Vice President Joe Biden could serve in the White House, but it's improbable.

Political Science Professors Michael V. Haselswerdt, a Democrat, and Kevin R. Hardwick, a Republican, both of Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y., said the odds of having a president and vice president of opposite parties were slim, but much greater this election year.

With the election close, the presidential candidates could split the electoral votes evenly at 269-269 -- 270 electoral votes are required to elect the president.

"If that happens, the House of Representatives, which I believe will retain the Republican majority, would decide the president," Hardwick said in a statement. "The Senate, which should retain the Democratic majority, would decide the vice president. That means that Joe Biden would be vice president for the next four years under President Mitt Romney. We would have the 'Odd Couple' on steroids."

The House has decided the president three times in history. In 1800, it broke an electoral tie between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr and Jefferson won. In 1824 it decided a four-way race that ultimately elected John Quincy Adams. And in 1876, it decided the race between Samuel J. Tilden and Rutherford B. Hayes race and Hayes won.

"It's more possible this time than it has been in a long time," Haselswerdt said. "To think that Congress would have to make that decision, when its approval rating is now inching into the double digits, is pretty wild."

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