You thought the 2000 Bush-Gore fiasco was bad? Consider this nightmare scenario.
1. Obama dominates in huge states like California, Illinois and New York, and ends up winning the national popular vote by a slim margin, say, 50.2% to 49.8%.
2. Obama and Romney tie in the Electoral College, 269-269. Think that can't happen?
Here's the current RCP electoral college prediction map, showing Romney up 206-201:
Now assume Romney wins the states he's expected now to win, Florida, Virginia and Colorado. That gets him to 257:
Now assume Romney ekes out wins in Nevada and Iowa, states that he's close in now. That gets him to 269:
Then Obama wins the upper Midwest industrial states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania, and also ekes out a win in the New England state of New Hampshire, all of which he won in 2008, and all of which are more or less Democratic states. That makes it 269-269.
3. So the Electoral College is tied and the decision goes to the House.
4. Now assume that the Democrats eke out a majority in the House, say, 220-215. So they win, right?
5. Wrong! Under the 12th Amendment to the Constitution, the decision by the House is by state delegations, not by raw numbers of Congressmen in each party. So, because Republicans will likely hold more state delegations (with the one Congressman in Wyoming weighing as much as the 55 in California), Romney will be elected President.
Think you can explain that to Obama supporters without rioting commencing?
I don't think so either.