(Reader Supported News) -- Just when you thought you’d heard everything about this year’s chaotic race for the presidency, you might want to go back and look at the 12th Amendment. It could, among other things, make Paul Ryan president.
Except in 1876, which was initially a tie, we’ve never had an election where no candidate received a majority of the Electoral College.
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John Quincy Adams did initially fail in 1824, but he cut a deal with Henry Clay of Kentucky and took the White House. The real victor in the popular vote (by about 150,000 to 100,000) was Andrew Jackson. The infuriated Tennessee slaveholder then built a new Democratic Party in large part on slavery, race, and the slaughter of Indians. He took the White House in 1828.
When the Democrats split in 1860, Abraham Lincoln won the Electoral College while carrying less than 40% of the popular vote.