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Pick One : Mindful of the Chicago Tribune's fateful 'Dewey Defeats Truman' headline, we're hedging our bets.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Election Day scenarios from a parallel universe

By Curtis Cartier

With the election of the century falling on its traditional Tuesday and each week's Metro Santa Cruz printing on Tuesday afternoon, up-to-date coverage is sadly impossible. Or is it?

We've researched the possible outcomes to Tuesday's presidential election and are presenting them here so as not to feel left out of the media blitz come Wednesday morning. Read on and learn what might have happened if whatever did happen hadn't happened.

A. In a landslide victory, Barack Obama captures 300 electoral votes as states like Arizona, Virginia and Colorado abandon their Republican traditions and break for the young Illinois senator. Meanwhile, Democrats win House and Senate seats on all fronts, creating a filibuster-proof majority as the nation collectively rejects Republican rule wherever votes are cast. In Santa Cruz, the sun shines, birds sing and jubilant crowds take to the streets celebrating the start of America's bright new future.

B. Against all odds, the Republican base turns out in droves and propels McCain to a solid victory. Having hidden millions of voters in secret backwoods bunkers across the country and spliced their cable wires to show only FOX News, McCain's plan is realized when countless bearded and confused voters emerge from the hills and cast their ballots. McCain heads over to the White House for Taco Night with George W.

C. John McCain, in a come-from-behind-win, ekes out a victory after publishing a "lost photo" of Obama locked in an embrace with bin Laden on a pile of burning American flags. McCain, shocked by his own unlikely victory, has a massive stroke and slips into a coma. Sarah Palin is sworn in as president and announces her first order of business: moving the White House to Wasilla, Alaska, where she "can keep an eye on that Putin." California immediately secedes from the nation, and any Santa Cruzans who didn't hang themselves in a closet are drafted into Schwarzenegger's rebel army. A bloody war ensues.

D. With 49 states reporting, the race is a dead heat with one state left to count. You guessed it--Florida. Fingers are pointed, toes are counted and controversy engulfs the nation. In the midst of the confusion, the White House is attacked by pantsuited troops! President Bush is assassinated and Hillary Clinton takes office in a brilliant coup. Mad with power, Supreme Empress Clinton begins ruthlessly reducing dependence on foreign oil, brutally cracking down on government earmarks and socializing health care with an iron fist.

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