AP News

Tough choices if Obama wins but loses popular vote

WASHINGTON (AP) — An uncertain and thorny four years could await President Barack Obama if, under one possible outcome of Tuesday's election, he keeps his office despite losing the popular vote to Republican Mitt Romney.

Never before in American history has a sitting president won a second term without winning the popular vote. This year, it's well within the realm of possibility. An incredibly tight race seems to favor Obama in the most competitive states that will decide the winner, even if growing Republican enthusiasm means more voters overall go for Romney.

If that happens, Obama would face mounting problems with little ability to claim that Americans support him. He'd be dealing with stubbornly high unemployment, Mideast unrest and the threat of a double whammy of tax increases and spending cuts in January.

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