Renowned statistician Nate Silver said on Sunday that a new poll showing Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson with 24% of support in his home state of New Mexico made the chances of an Electoral College deadlock “plausible.”
Silver wrote on his FiveThirtyEight website that Johnson had a 2% or 3% chance of winning the Land of Enchantment state. If that were to happen, and Trump and Clinton were to split on key swing states, neither of the candidates could reach the necessary 270 votes needed to secure the presidency.
A new poll puts @GovGaryJohnson at 24% in New Mexico, which makes this map plausible. Electoral College deadlock. https://t.co/EpKzUmfzUP pic.twitter.com/kgqpWlLuIK
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) October 2, 2016
In such a scenario, the election would be thrown to the House of Representatives, which would determine the fate of the election.
Silver did caution that while “plausible,” it was certainly unlikely that such a scenario would play out.
“It’s not far-fetched to think the Electoral College would be close enough that New Mexico would make the difference, and it’s not totally crazy to think that Johnson could win his home state,” he wrote.
Silver added: “But for both to occur together is quite a parlay. In 20,000 simulations of our polls-only model this morning, cases in which neither Clinton nor Trump received a majority of electoral votes and Johnson received at least one came up just 30 times, putting the chances at 0.15%.”
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