It is statistically possible for neither President Obama or Mitt Romney to get the necessary 270 electoral college votes to obtain the Presidency. BOTH could end up with 269! It is not likely BUT possible with such a close race.
Here is what would happen if this were to happen:
1. The election of the President would then take place in the House of Representatives.
2. Each State would have ONE vote for President according to which Party (Democrat or Republican) has the MOST number of Members of the House in that State. Example: Texas has a total of 36 members in the House---Currently 24 of those are Republican and 11 are Democrats (there is one toss-up State--not enough to make a difference) Texas would cast its vote for Romney, no doubt. California has a total of 52 members in the House---Currently 35 of those are Democrats and 15 are Republicans (2 toss ups---again not enough to make a difference). California would cast its vote for Obama, no doubt. So on and so forth through the 50 States.
3. According to Larry Sabato's "Crystal Ball" website, the Republicans are in pretty solid control of 29 States and the Democrats are in solid control of 15 States and 6 are toss ups and too close to call.
4. If all of the 50 States representatives showed up to vote a simple majority (26) vote would determine the President. If the Republicans have 29 votes, then no doubt Mitt Romney would win, right??
5. Hold on a minute. The Constitution requires AT LEAST 2/3 of the States show up to vote. Which means a minimum of 35 States have to be present for a vote to even occur and 15 could not show up at all.
6. If all the Republican States showed up that would be 29---SIX SHORT of the quorum! Democrats could boycott the process. The Republicans would need either (1) for 6 Democrats to show up or (2) win ALL majorities in the 6 remaining States that "Crystal Ball" says are toss ups. This seems unlikely.
7. If those 6 Democrats did not show up then no quorum and no immediate election of a President.
8. Does it stop there? No, the process evolves to another layer of steps but I am getting "tired-head" trying to follow the numbers so I will stop there.
Here is an excellent video illustrating what I spoke of here PLUS additional analysis. Again, SO MANY layers and odd pieces to fit together.
You know, like a Platypus...
Thanks to Andrew Monrreal for this link!!