(no, nothing to do with Harry Potter!)
Today the Hartford Courant ran a really interesting opinion piece about the possibilities that could arise from an independent candidacy for the Presidency:
Take what the Electoral College could produce. If an independent won a couple of states in a politically even year, it would send the election into the House of Representatives, that bastion of calm, collected reasoning, where each state's delegation - that's right, delegation - would cast one vote for president. Texas would have as many votes as Wyoming: one each. States with an even split of Republicans and Democrats might have to resort to rock-paper-scissors. Weirder still, if no candidate won 26 delegations, then whomever the Senate picked for vice president would become president until the House made up its mind.
We may also have a popular-vote loser in the White House again. That likely would have happened in 1992 if Ross Perot's vote had risen nationally from 19 percent to 34 percent, with Perot cruising to an Electoral College majority, despite trailing Bill Clinton in popular votes. Or we might have the winner of the popular vote finish second in the Electoral College, but win in the House. Or the popular vote's third-place finisher could win in electoral votes, but the House elects the candidate who came in second.
But perhaps the most thought-provoking thing about this is the solution that they propose – a sort of treaty between states that would ensure the winner of the national popular vote picks up electoral college votes also:
Under the popular-vote compact, states that join agree to give all their electoral votes to the candidate who wins the popular vote nationally, regardless of the vote in their state.
You can read the whole article here.