It has happened several times over the course of the history of the presidential politics. A candidate captures more of the popular vote, but falls short in the electoral college. The candidate that achieves the dreaded "split" enjoys the support of more Americans, but is also not the president of the United States.
A few polls are leaning in that direction so we asked the manager of Vice President Al Gore's 2000 campaign if it could happen again. Donna Brazile would know, because it happened to her.
RICHMOND (WWBT)- Could it happen again?
12 years ago, in one of the closest elections in presidential history, George W. Bush was elected president, despite losing the popular vote. He won enough electoral votes, which was enough to win.
In 2012, some polls show Mitt Romney pulling ahead nationwide, but he still trails President Barack Obama in several swing states.
No one remembers the 2000 election better than Donna Brazile.
Brazile was the campaign manager for Al Gore, the Vice President and democratic nominee. More people voted for Gore than Bush, but not in the right states and Gore lost.
"In those non-battlegrounds states, we call them red states or blue states like California President Obama has maybe a 12 point lead, while in states like Alabama or Mississippi where I'm from Governor Romney might have a 12 to 15 point lead," said Brazile.
In those solid states, many of which are heavily populated, Romney could run up the score, but max out on electoral votes. If he falls short in a state like Ohio or here in Virginia, He doesn't get a single electoral vote.
"Yes,” said Brazile. “There could be a scenario where what we call a "split" vote happens."
A split like that has happened three times, 2000, in 1888 and 1876. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said that isn't something either campaign is worried about.
"The most important thing for us to do over the next 18 days is to worry about the issues, talking about the issues and making sure people understand the stakes,” he said. “If we do that, Governor Romney is going to win all of it."
Brazile agrees, voters care more about the economy and jobs than electoral math.
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See our full interview with Brazile below: