For John, BLUF: This is a great year for politics. Nothing to see here; just move along.
Here is my offering, at The [Lowell] Sun yesterday, "PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS: What if no one wins enough delegates?". That would be Electoral Votes, but I am not quibbling, since I expect a lot of folks would immediately pivot to Electoral Votes in their minds. Our system of electing Presidents is pretty arcane. But, it serves our purposes, as it diffuses responsibility amongst a number of parties and a bad outcome can be smoothed by sharing the blame amongst a number of institutions.
In sum, you need 270 Electoral College Votes to be elected President. If one or both of the main political parties fractures, it is just possible that no one will bet 270 Electoral College Votes and the election of the President will be thrown into the US House of Representatives, where each state gets one (1) vote.
How does that work? Take the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as an example and, since it is a new House, sworn in at the beginning of the year, let us assume that we finally have one Republican and eight Democrats. And further, let us assume that the Republicans get their act together and pick Governor Nikki Haley and the Democrats fracture and both Senator Sanders and former Secretary of State Clinton run.
Given the eight-one split, you might have the Massachusetts delegation deadlocked four for Sanders and four for Clinton and one for Haley. Remember, what happened in November only counts in terms of limiting the field of eligible candidates to the top three vote getters. Massachusetts could have gone for Willy Wonka♠ and it wouldn't matter. The Representatives are free to use their own judgement.
Will deals be offered? You betcha!
Regards — Cliff
♠ Just a cheap plug for another Fighter Pilot.