WASHINGTON – Only in the world of politics could a 50-50 tie equate to an advantage for one side over another.
There are 100 seats in the Senate and control would seem to go to the party with at least 51 of them. However, Republicans would retain control after Election Day (search) if they have 50 seats and George W. Bush (search) in the White House.
According to Senate rules the vice president would be called in to break any ties.
However, a 50-50 split under a John Kerry (search) presidency won't immediately translate into a Democrat-led Senate.
If Kerry wins, Dick Cheney would still preside until January 20th. And, as president, Kerry would have to resign his seat, giving Republicans a 50 to 49 edge.
Republicans would have that advantage until the spring or summer. That's when Massachusetts voters would elect a replacement for Kerry under a law approved by the Democrat-dominated state legislature.