There are 5 terrifying scenarios where 2020 could come down to 1 electoral vote
Composite image of Donald Trump and Joe Biden (screengrabs)

With 2020 election ballots already being mailed to North Carolina, all eyes are on the 2020 presidential election.


Many states saw a surge of voting during the primaries, as voters chose to vote from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. With coronavirus largely sideling the campaigns, there remains a great deal of uncertainty as to what might happen with the election.

It is against that backdrop that CNN elections analyst Harry Enten laid our four scenarios where the election could come to a single electoral vote -- and one that results in a tie.

If Trump won the states he carried in 2016, but lost Michigan and Pennsylvania, Trump would win exactly the 270 electoral votes needed to win, with Biden receiving 268 electoral votes.

That isn't the only scenario where Trump could win exactly 270 electoral votes. It would be the same outcome if Trump won the states he carried in 2016, picked up New Hampshire and lost Arizona and Florida.

Another scenario involves a small quirk in how states award their electoral votes. Two states, Maine and Nebraska, reward electoral votes by congressional district, instead of awarding all the electoral votes to the statewide victor as occurs in the other 48 states.

This allows a scenario where Biden could win with exactly 270 electoral votes by winning the states Hillary Clinton carried, plus flipping Arizona, Michigan, Wisconsin and Nebraska's second congressional district.

Biden also has a second scenario where he could get exactly 270 electoral votes. This would occur if he won the Clinton states, lost Minnesota, but picked up Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Nebraska's second congressional district.

Both scenarios where Biden receives 270 electoral votes would require him flipping Nebraska's second congressional district. But what if either of the scenarios happened, except he did not flip the Nebraska electoral vote?

In that scenario there would be a tie, with both Trump and Biden receiving 269 electoral votes. The framers of the Constitution imagined such a scenario. If there was a tie, the outcome would be decided by the House of Representatives, but each representative would not receive an individual vote. Instead, each state delegation would receive a single vote, which could result in Trump winning despite the fact the House of Representatives is currently controlled by Democrats.