If Michael Bloomberg runs for president as an independent, he won’t win the White House but he could provoke a Constitutional crisis. The former New York City mayor could plausibly win three or more states – say, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania – which would deny either the Republican or Democratic candidate a majority, if the two parties otherwise carry the same states they did in 2012.
Under the Twelfth Amendment, the choice then goes to the House, where the GOP maintains firm control. But what if the Republican candidate – say, Donald Trump – is rejected by many GOP House members as unacceptable? If just a third of states abstain from voting, then the presidency is vacated and the Vice President-elect becomes president. And how is that VP chosen? By a vote of the closely divided Senate – which might choose the Republican nominee, the Democratic nominee, or the Bloomberg-Independent candidate.
Fasten your seatbelts: the chaotic surprises in months to come could be disturbing – and thrilling.