Story highlights

The likelihood that Obama and Romney each net 269 electoral votes is not so far-fetched

A CNN analysis finds eight scenarios that could yield a Electoral College tie

In the event of a tie, each state's House delegation casts a single vote for president

In 1825, the House awarded the presidency to John Quincy Adams

Washington CNN  — 

An Electoral College tie.

It’s the white whale of American elections: elusive, mythical and never realized.But could it finally happen this year?

The likelihood that President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney will each net 269 electoral votes in November, instead of the 270 needed to win, is actually not so farfetched – and for close observers of the Electoral College system, a tie would set off a wave of constitutional and political mayhem that would make the 2000 Florida recount seem like a tidy affair.

Check out the CNN electoral map and calculator

Election results in key states would immediately be subject to legal challenges. Electors, normally an anonymous batch of party insiders elected to ratify each state’s winner with their electoral votes, would be lobbied to change their votes by friends, neighbors and political leaders.