Contingent Election of the President and Vice President by Congress: Perspectives and Contemporary Analysis by CRS Specialist Thomas H. Neale, November 3, 2016
What would happen if no candidate for President of the United States won a majority of electoral votes?
The Congressional Research Service explains: “In these circumstances, the 12th Amendment . . . provides that the House of Representatives would elect the President, and the Senate would elect the Vice President, in a procedure known as ‘contingent election’.”
This is not a purely speculative scenario. “Contingent election has been implemented twice in the nation’s history under the 12th Amendment: first, to elect the President in 1825, and second, the Vice President in 1837.”