Election night "What if" McCain wins and dies

I was wondering…what happens if McCain wins the election and is so overcome with emotion and joy that he drops dead of a heart attack that night (god forbid)? Since nobody has been sworn in yet, does Palin get sworn in as the new Pres in January? Are new elections held?

This has never happened obviously but my understanding has always been the Vice-President Elect would take office in January. Here is a citation that should answer your questrion.

“Questrion” seems like a marketable word. I don’t know, brand trademark? Band name? Casual PC game? Not sure.


This being General Questions I will keep my personal feelings regarding my scenario and what would happen out of this and simply thank you for your help in answering my questions.

So, thanks. Ignorance has been fought. :slight_smile:

There’s a complication - if McCain died on election night, he wouldn’t yet have been officially elected - that doesn’t happen until whenever the electoral college gets together (some time in December??). And I don’t think the electoral college members would be legally bound to vote Palin as president, so in theory this could lead to smoke-filled room-related program activities and some random elder-statesman Republican getting the nod as President (George HW Bush?).

The delegates pledged to John McCain would be instructed by the Republican National Committee who to vote for instead. That would either be Sarah Palin or some other Republican who the RNC thought would be best for the job. They aren’t required by law to vote for who the RNC tells them to, but most likely they would.

Nothing becomes really complex until after the Electoral College votes.

Hahahaha. Bush Sr.* is 84. I don’t think he’d be willing to take the job, even if anyone thought he was up to it.

*Technically, since he’s George Herbert Walker Bush and the current President is George Walker Bush, they’re not Sr./Jr., but whatever.

Actually this has happened twice before (though never to the winning candidate).

In 1872 Horace Greeley died after the election, but since Grant already had an absolute majority, no alternate was selected.

In 1912 James Sherman (VP) died. His votes were given to Nicholas Butler.