November 13, 2012

Richard Posner gives 5 reasons to keep the Electoral College.

In case you want to contemplate the unachievable goal of getting rid of it or you just want to learn to love what you can't avoid.

After the 2000 election, I read 3 books, published in 1971/1972, dealing with the inquiry into the Electoral College that grew out of the very close 1960 election. The great constitutional law scholar Alexander Bickel wrote one of the books, "Déjà vu: Reform and Continuity; The Electoral College, the Convention, and the Party System." Here's the PDF of the article I wrote about it.

Posner doesn't mention one benefit to the Electoral College that was considered very important back in the 1960s: the perpetuation of the 2-party system. From my article:
Although the electoral college does not eliminate third parties, it suppresses them. Only the geographically concentrated third party can gain electoral votes. If third parties have a role to play, one should argue that it is the third party that transcends state borders that is more likely to infuse the political debate with worthy new ideas; better a Henry Wallace than a George Wallace. Despite the disturbing ability of a third party candidate like George Wallace to make headway in the electoral college system by appealing to regional prejudice, that candidate did not succeed. The threat he posed within the electoral college system was overshadowed, at least for some observers, by the potential under the direct vote system for multiple candidates to jockey for position in a runoff or to seek to provoke a runoff and then bargain with candidates who might need to make deals or concessions to win in the runoff. Withdrawing the need to win a plurality in a state to acquire votes would energize third parties who tapped national popular issues. More candidates would enter the field, creating a greater likelihood of a runoff election and lowering the percentage necessary to qualify for the runoff. What if moderate candidates cancelled each other out, resulting in a runoff between two ideologues or extremists? What would stop major party candidates who failed to win their party's nomination from routinely joining the race? Instead of opening the democratic process to greater participation, one might end up with a small crowd of “demagogues, quick-cure medicine men, and ... fascists of left and right” who would collude among themselves.
The perceived need to preserve the 2-party system led the ABA to identify 6 other reasons why it would continue without the Electoral College:
... (1) the tendency of an existing form to persist; (2) the use of plurality votes to determine the winners of single member districts; (3) public consensus; (4) a supposed American cultural homogeneity; (5) political maturity; and (6) the natural tendency toward dualism. 
Yeah, I know: what?! But that's what they said. You may wonder what's so damned good about the 2-party system. But a key point was: You can't amend the Constitution without the votes of the present members of Congress and the state legislatures, and these folks are all there as a consequence of the 2-party system. The argument they made out loud was that the 2-party system produced stability and moderation.

80 comments:

shiloh said...

One solution has been previously proposed:

Each state passes an amendment/law stating said state will give all it's electoral votes to the winner of the nationwide popular vote.

shiloh said...

its

joated said...

Eliminate? No. Modify? Yes.

One possible change I would like to see vis-a-vis the electoral college would be to somehow moderate the influence of a single state. If that means that any state that has more than say 25 EVs be forced to split in two or more new states so be it.

Another option which could be done on a state-by-state level would be to go to a system where the EVs are awarded based on congressional districts with the two votes alloted for Senate seats going to the candidate getting the most votes in the state. (I believe that's what Maine and Nebraska do now.)

Having as many EVs as California (55), Texas (35) or even New York (31) have in a winner-take-all scenerio is, to me, ridiculous.

TosaGuy said...

I think the EC is an elegant construct -- states are important entities within our federal system of government.

Electoral votes keep elections as neat, tidy packages within a state. Much easier to conduct recounts in one state rather than 50.

Nonapod said...

This discussion is always brought up after close elections, but the reality is it's highly unlikely that we'll ever get rid of the EC. It's a completely unnecessary antiquated system, but nowhere near enough people care that much to change it. As usual some people will grumble for a bit but we won't be calling any consitutional conventions.

Craig said...

Maine and Nebraska allocate their votes proportionally. If half the states, particularly the smaller ones, took that route, it could quickly (d)evolve into essentially a multi-party as opposed to a two party system.

jr565 said...

Remove the electoral college and you give far too much weight to populated cities.

jr565 said...

joated wrote:
Having as many EVs as California (55), Texas (35) or even New York (31) have in a winner-take-all scenerio is, to me, ridiculous.

That is true.

Dante said...

f. Withdrawing the need to win a plurality in a state to acquire votes would energize third parties who tapped national popular issues. More candidates would enter the field, creating a greater likelihood of a runoff election and lowering the percentage necessary to qualify for the runoff.

I live in CA. CA could distribute votes proportionally. It's up to the state.

From the perspective of CA, how much more powerful it would be in federal elections if it were to do this. But good luck. Party trumps all.

Neither Democrats nor Republicans need to give much lip service to California. It's a kept state. It simply goes to show that party loyalties are more powerful than the needs of California.

Meanwhile, the press does not address this issue. The voters don't understand it. I once considered a "One person, One vote" law for CA, and discussed with various friends. No chance, they said.

Meanwhile, our Governor wants to further diminish CAs vote by creating a super-block of votes for Democrats, by tying the CA vote to other large blue states.

KLDAVIS said...

I'm surprised that there's no mention of the very relevant concern of some sort of regional disaster (natural or otherwise) that could very easily sway the popular vote (by greatly decreasing turnout in California or New York, for example) but would have a much harder time influencing the electoral vote, since the percentage of people who get to the polls in a particular state is unlikely to change greatly (Althouse's theories about 'coastal voters' notwithstanding).

gregq said...

The two party system is strongly preferable to the multi-party systems many other places have. In a multi-party system, small groups with small ideas get to act in a negative fashion: we'll deny you our votes, and extort concessions out of you (so that you can get our three votes that you need to get a majority, and govern).

In a two party system, small groups with small ideas have to act in a positive manner: support us, and we'll bring our voters to you so you can win election. Instead of people going off, and forming insular little groups, you have to join together with other groups, and work together.

In private live, I think it's great that I get to find my own culture, rather than be forced to imbibe the left's "national culture" (screw you, Walter Cronkite). But in politics, esp. national politics, far better to reward people for being to work with others (two party system), rather than building a system that rewards people for dividing into little insular groups that don't play well with each other.

gregq said...

"If that means that any state that has more than say 25 EVs be forced to split in two or more new states so be it."

Ah, so you want to increase the Senate power of all those big states, by splitting them and then giving them more senators? Pass.

"Another option which could be done on a state-by-state level would be to go to a system where the EVs are awarded based on congressional districts"

So you want to make gerrymandering even more high stakes? What a great idea.

IOW, bad ideas, don't try again.

edutcher said...

The Demos are all hot to get rid of the Electoral College.

Reason enough to keep it.

shiloh said...

One solution has been previously proposed:

Each state passes an amendment/law stating said state will give all it's electoral votes to the winner of the nationwide popular vote.


Doesn't even make a little sense.

And, an open invitation to catering to only the big-vote states.

PS Even though it's a dumb Lefty idea, the little weasel for once made a serious comment, so he gets dispensation.

KLDAVIS said...

But, what if we split the large states AND repeal the 17th Amendment...then...Profit!

TosaGuy said...

Every vote on every issue is YES or NO (in the case of Sen. Obama, add present). If 8 parties exist, their memebers will still vote yes or no.

I don't see a political party's failure to be competitive within a particular area for a particular period of time a reason to modify the system. Parties will adapt because politics always changes.

We essentially have coalition building within the parties now as disparate factions figure it out.

shiloh said...

"Having as many EVs as California (55), Texas (35) or even New York (31) have in a winner-take-all scenerio is, to me, ridiculous."

Much like Alaska pop. 700k having (2) senators.

rehajm said...

The stability and moderation argument is still valid. Imagine the five center right and five center left candidates, each with slight but superficial differences among them diluting the middle of the electorate, leaving the runoff election for the 'pot for all' party vs. the anarchists.

And Posner has it right with the electoral college: '..This is a desirable result because a candidate with only regional appeal is unlikely to be a successful president...the new president will have no regard for their interests'. You may feel like that with the current system, imagine a system where a candidate could win by pushing a 75% advantage in New York City and Chicago to 90% instead of needing to appeal to voters in Ohio, Nevada and Florida.

TosaGuy said...

Political coalitions are sandcastles on the beach and the American people are both the waves and the sand.

Those built higher on the beach last longer, but there is always a wave that eventually reaches it.

TosaGuy said...

Imagine how many Philly and Chicago wards would have zero votes for the other guy under a national popular vote scenario.

Matthew Sablan said...

Someone, at one point, had a list of the 10 or 15 largest population centers in the country, and what margin you would need to win those by to be able to completely ignore the votes in the rest of the country.

That was enough to convince me it was a bad idea.

edutcher said...

I said I'd repost these and now seems a good time.

10% of Romney votes flip to O in an Allentown precinct.

Zero won every state without a voter ID law.

shiloh said...

Having as many EVs as California (55), Texas (35) or even New York (31) have in a winner-take-all scenerio is, to me, ridiculous.

Much like Alaska pop. 700k having (2) senators.


For somebody to claims to have taken an oath to protect and defend the Constitution, the little weasel shows he knows nothing about it.

Which reminds me, where were you hiding out 10/5 - 11/5 when the Romster was winning?

Emergency caribou proctologist?

jr565 said...

Ohions food stamp aid to decrease by by bucks a month

http://www.toledoblade.com/State/2012/11/12/Ohioans-food-stamp-aid-to-be-cut.html
So, Obama can be credited with putting ever more people on food stamps and now they're going to have their benefits slashed.
50 bucks a month is 60 hundred dollars a year. For people relying on food stamps thats a lot.
Suckers!

Matthew Sablan said...

I don't know why EVs aren't handed out by district like in Nebraska and Maine. That seems to me to be a perfect compromise between the EC and the popular vote camps. It makes the popular vote more valuable (running up the score in a safe state now matters, since you might lose an individual district), without breaking down the inherent value of being united states.

jr565 said...

Meanwhile if any college student wants to get a job at a restaurant like Papa John's, they most likely are going to have their hours cut to be part time because of Obama care.
Suckers!

jr565 said...

THat of course assumes that Papa John's will be hiring new people, which they probably wont.
Again, Suckers!

Zach said...

It's not clear that an electoral college would do much to suppress third parties. There's no possibility for coalition government in the executive branch, after all, and the relevant elector's aren't free to vote as their candidate directs.

The big difference, it seems to me, is between winner take all elections for individual seats, and parliamentary systems in which each party is apportioned seats relative to its share of the full vote. In a system of individual races, it makes sense to chase a third party candidate out of the race or make a coopting side deal. In a parliamentary system, it may be more attractive to make a side deal after the election by forming a coalition government.

X said...

Much like Alaska pop. 700k having (2) senators

and Rhode Island has 3 senators. at least for yacht tax purposes.

speaking of John Kerry, maybe when he's nominated SecDef we can see his military records. more likely, he can fix them. I've always wondered what the Navy thought of him running for office, being rejected by the people, then taking it on himself to meet with the enemy in the wake of that repudiation.

jr565 said...

Obama slogan if there were truth in advertising - Backward!

Justin said...

Having as many EVs as California (55), Texas (35) or even New York (31) have in a winner-take-all scenerio is, to me, ridiculous.

Not as ridiculous as Delaware or Wyoming having three each. The proportion of California's EVs relative to its population results in Californians votes counting less than any other state.

What do people think about eliminating the EVs attributable to Senators? It seems to me that would make things more fair without changing the fundamental way the system works. (With the exception of NH, candidates already don't campaign in those small states, so don't say that this approach would disenfranchise voters in those states.)

kimsch said...

I agree with joated:

Another option which could be done on a state-by-state level would be to go to a system where the EVs are awarded based on congressional districts with the two votes alloted for Senate seats going to the candidate getting the most votes in the state. (I believe that's what Maine and Nebraska do now.)

Having as many EVs as California (55), Texas (35) or even New York (31) have in a winner-take-all scenerio is, to me, ridiculous.


These states (Illinois too) are beholden to their urban areas when awarding electoral votes.

Another benefit of this would be that no state would be "in the bag" for any candidate. Candidates would have to campaign everywhere!

kimsch said...

and no states would be "have to win" states either.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Not as ridiculous as Delaware or Wyoming having three each. The proportion of California's EVs relative to its population results in Californians votes counting less than any other state."

-- Er... that was part of the original compromise designed to protect the small state's interests. While California voters EV-per-vote value is lower, the state as a whole is significantly more powerful than the 3-vote states. This is a common misinterpretation of the EC though when someone fails to remember that we are a union of states, with a set of individual state governments that work in tandem with the federal government. If we start chipping away at the protections for smaller states, we might as well start consolidating them into larger territories.

"What do people think about eliminating the EVs attributable to Senators?"

-- A terrible idea that would cripple smaller states without even harming larger states. The difference between 55 and 53 EVs is marginal; between 1 and 3 worthwhile.

"It seems to me that would make things more fair without changing the fundamental way the system works."

-- It would do nothing to make anything more fair. Remember, the established federal government is specifically designed so as to balance the power of the net population -against- the power of the individual states. It is a feature, not a bug.

John said...

We live in the United States

Not the United Counties.

Not the United Regions

Not the United Provinces.

Not the United Whatevers.

The United States.

Go look at the definition of the word "state". Pay particular attention to the meaning of the word as understood by the founding fathers and authors of the Constitution.

The electoral college, by which states elect the president if key to whole concept of the United States.

John Henry

SteveR said...

Except for a relatively small minority of people, the Electoral College is poorly understood by Americans. By poorly I mean not at all. Given what we know about voters, I can't imagine any proposed changes to the existing system holding anyone's attention very long. "Where's my check?" "What time is the game on?" "Did you hear they are going to outlaw birth control?"

cubanbob said...

Why the criticism of the electoral college and the electoral votes? it's a brilliant idea of balancing interests.
Without it what would have? Multiparty elections? Coalition governments? If you think what we have is bad one only has to go to places like Italy to see how bad it can really be when coalitions are dominated by fringe parties or those parties act like spoilers. No thanks. Besides what incentive is there for the smaller states to stay in the union if their votes don't count? There is a reason every state no matter the size has two senators and its the same reason there is the electoral college.

As for the popular vote, that is what the House Of Representatives is for and why spending bills must originate there. The House should do its duty (but won't) and force the matter by declining to raise the debt limit and funding the government by continuing resolution and forcing the the senate to pass on budgets given to it.

The problem with the system is it's debasement by corruption, corruption of the vote by fraud and the willingness to accept the fraud and the debasement by doing end runs around the constitution such as non-discretionary spending, continuing spending resolutions and fraudulent accounting by the agencies.

shiloh said...

Bottom line, the system will never change, but it's nice to have an EC discussion every (4) years to see how conservatives want to rework EC votes, so Reps have a chance at winning the presidency.

aka sour grapes!

kimsch said...

shiloh,

States have 2 senators each because the senator is actually supposed to represent the STATE (not the population thereof). The House represents the People, the Senate represents the State. Senators are supposed to have their own state's interests in mind. Nelson was the only one who actually did this with regard to Obamacare. He voted for it only if his state were exempted forever from its negative aspects.

The 17th amendment, while making it "easier" for states to choose their senators, did more harm than good in my opinion. Even if states used a popular vote to choose a senator rather than the legislature appointing senators, forcing all states to convert to a popular vote reduced states' power in the federal government.

shiloh said...

Nelson knew he had no chance for re-election regardless and would be stepping down, so what he said re: Obamacare is irrelevant.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Bottom line, the system will never change, but it's nice to have an EC discussion every (4) years to see how conservatives want to rework EC votes, so Reps have a chance at winning the presidency."

-- In 2000, 2004 it was Democrats with the sour grapes. 2008 wasn't really that bad either way; 2012 is where Republicans are trying to gin up the same epic whining that was Team Blue in 2004, but they're just not going to get there before the New Year I think.

mishu said...

For all the whiners in California, New York, etc. who think it's unfair that states get two extra EV's for their Senators, one remedy is to split your respective states into smaller states so you get more Senators. For example, California could split into three states, one Northern California, one Southern California and one inland California and then... Oops there goes one third of the state free of Democrat dominance.

Matthew Sablan said...

That would be another solution, but one no state will readily agree to, I think. Splitting a state sounds like a logistical nightmare.

mishu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
shiloh said...

MS

As David Frum has been talkin' about recently and I posted a couple years ago and updated yesterday, Reps have a #s problem:

1992 ~ 37.5% Bush41 an incum­bent pres­i­dent who won Bart’s er the 1st Gulf War.

1996 ~ 40.7% Dole

2000 ~ 47.9% against a very, very weak can­di­date Gore.

2004 ~ 50.7% as an in­cum­bent wartime Rep ran against a very, very weak Kerry.

2008 ~ 45.7% as the best Reps could come up with, Mc­Cain, didn’t have a dog’s chance in hell af­ter (8) years of cheney/​​​bush.

2012 ~ 47.8% as Willard had a con bil­lion­aire $$$ advantage.

>

The good news ;) for Reps ~ the updated aver­age has gone from 44.5% to ( 45.05% ) for the last (6) pres­i­den­tial elections.

>

btw, Nate pre­dicted Obama would get 50.8% and grog’s link has a pro­jec­tion of 50.8%.

>

ok, ok, Reps have several problems lol as someone at the other blog I frequent pointed out the Dem candidate hasn't received less than (256) electoral votes in a quarter century.

Indeed, the math isn't looking good for cons as AZ will be a swing state in 2016 and TX in 2012.

And Michael Steele expressed the obvious ie Reps er teabaggers have ((( pissed ))) away (5) senate seats the past 2 election cycles.

I yield back the balance of my time to delusional Althouse cons.

shiloh said...

TX in 2020

edutcher said...

mishu said...

For all the whiners in California, New York, etc. who think it's unfair that states get two extra EV's for their Senators, one remedy is to split your respective states into smaller states so you get more Senators. For example, California could split into three states, one Northern California, one Southern California and one inland California and then... Oops there goes one third of the state free of Democrat dominance.

We'd have our 57 states, certainly, so Choom would be right, for once, but there have been talks about dividing CA since the 50s simply because the state is too big.

Same with diving TX into 5 states.

shiloh said...

Bottom line, the system will never change, but it's nice to have an EC discussion every (4) years to see how conservatives want to rework EC votes, so Reps have a chance at winning the presidency.

Even that wouldn't have worked in '00.

PS Where were you hiding out 10/5 - 11/5 when the Romster was winning?

Float inspector at the SF Rally for Nudity?

Caution: really disgusting.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Indeed, the math isn't looking good for cons as AZ will be a swing state in 2016 and TX in 2012."

-- In the 90s, I was told those would be swing states by 2000. So, we'll see.

Nathan Alexander said...

Vice shiloh, I don't see even a significant majority of conservatives pushing changes to the EC.
Conservatives are the ones defending the status quo.
To the extent that conservatives are discussing changes to the EC, it is only to consider changes less radical than the liberals' proposals of elimination or other attempts to make the president solely on the basis of a national majority.

But shiloh doesn't get irony, so there you have it.

Rusty said...

It hardly matters, Althouse. We now have a permanent taker class that outnumbers the makers.
They'll just keep voting themselves more perks until the clock runs out.

edutcher said...

shiloh said...

btw, Nate pre­dicted Obama would get 50.8% and grog’s link has a pro­jec­tion of 50.8%.

Because Axelrod had already fed him the totals.

It's easy when you're telling precincts the turnout percentage.

Indeed, the math isn't looking good for cons as AZ will be a swing state in 2016 and TX in 2012.

Only if they steal them.

And, speaking of lowlifes, where were you hiding out 10/5 - 11/5 when the Romster was winning?

Cucaracha picker for Raul Grijalva?

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

People seem to have forgot the two fundamental essentials regarding the Electoral College:

a) Despite popular conception, the President is elected by the *States* (not the people) to be the executive head of the federal union of those states.

b) Because the President is also head-of-state for that same federal union (s)he is elected by the *States* (not the people) to handle international representation and activities on behalf of the union of States.

shiloh said...

NA not understanding the concept aside:

Nathan Alexander said...

Go big or go home:

Romney - 355
Obama - 183

Rationale: the polls are off due to bad polling. Obama was up 5-6 in states like PA, MI, and WI just a week ago according to polls. Now tied.
So shift all current RCP averages 6 points to Romney.

That's what you get when Romney wins independents by 22, takes 13% of the Democrat vote, and has an enthusiasm/turnout advantage not shown in polling.

11/5/12 5:27 PM

>

Nathan Alexander said...

So Dem turnout is significantly down from 2008, and garage says that "dispels" the enthusiasm gap notion.

But here's the other thing:
Not only is the enthusiasm gap erasing Obama advantage in Dem/GOP splits, but there is significant evidence that 13% of those Dem voters are voting for Romney.

That makes for a GOP landslide.

But, yeah: we have to wait until Tuesday night to see if that is accurate or not.

11/5/12 5:17 PM


Indeed, you can't get conservative NA's astute, political analysis er idiotic gobbledygook just anywhere ... only at Althouse!

blessings

Chip S. said...

I might consider getting rid of the EC if it were replaced with the voting rule, "one acre, one vote."

Of course, the resulting ag subsidies might bankrupt us.

shiloh said...

Again, NA was just ((( wishin'/hopin'/prayin' ))) like all the rest of Althouse con flock, rather than doing astute political analysis.

Irony indeed!

edutcher said...

shiloh said...

Again, NA was just ((( wishin'/hopin'/prayin' ))) like all the rest of Althouse con flock, rather than doing astute political analysis.

Counties reporting 140% turnout and precincts reporting a 100% sweep for Choom now constitute )))) astute political analysis (((((?

Now that's a lol.

Rove, Morris, Barone, Ras, and even Gallup were right if there was an honest count.

BTW, where were you hiding out 10/5 - 11/5 when the Romster was winning?

Camel gelder for the Tahleebahn?

The Savage Noble said...

Why not allow the electoral votes for the representatives to go the way of their respective districts? And the two electoral votes for the senators to go the way the way of the state as a whole. It would more accurately reflect the will of the districts and the populace as a whole.

The only issue that I see is that it would really promote gerrymandering (for instance, Illinois...big rural patches that have a long fingers just touching a population base that will help ensure they stays with the "right" representation).

It would be interesting to see how the last few elections would have worked out with such a scheme.

edutcher said...

Nobody better make any bets for '16.

NYy and NJ have been hung out to dry by FEMA and now OH's food stamps are going to be cut.

You're gonna need a bigger bus.

gregq said...

With our first past the post system, negotiations are done before the election, and all the voters get to see them. You want the environmentalist vote? Fine, you make your pitch to the environmentalist voters. And if your pitch is too extreme, you lose other voters while losing the environmentalists.

With a parliamentary system / party voting / proportional representation system, you make your pitch to your voters, then after the voting is done you try to "buy" the people the other voters elected. And you get to make deals without worrying about whether or not they'd turn off your other voters, because those poor suckers have already voted for you.

I hate the outcome of the last two presidential elections. But are system is infinitely superior to any of the systems people have offered in its stead.

You want to "matter" in the presidential selection process? Great, find a candidate you like, and support him or her. You want to matter, but you don't want to work for a candidate? Fine, move to an early voting state / swing state.

You want to matter, but you don't want to have to work, or move, or actually do anything? Tough. It's clearly not important to you. So I don't see why anyone else should listen to your whining, or care about what you want.

Darrell said...

BTW, where were you hiding out 10/5 - 11/5

shiloh was making sure that the official margins of victory in each of the swing states beat the requiremnt for automatic recount. The ballots have to be destroyed if your going to post totals out of your ass.

Darrell said...

How about you keep the EC, but States running a deficit lose 2/3 of their votes?

damikesc said...

Again, give each state ONE electoral vote.

Winner has to win 26 states.

It will make the campaign way harder --- which is only a benefit.

NYy and NJ have been hung out to dry by FEMA and now OH's food stamps are going to be cut.

You're gonna need a bigger bus.


NY, NJ, and CA are the battered housewives of politics. No matter WHAT Democrats do, they'll stabd by them.

campy said...

NYy and NJ have been hung out to dry by FEMA and now OH's food stamps are going to be cut.

That's all Bush's fault.

Rabel said...

The frightening thing to me is that the current electorate and political class have the power to undo the work of the Constitutional Convention.

I guess the Founders didn't get everything right.

edutcher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
edutcher said...

Darrell said...

BTW, where were you hiding out 10/5 - 11/5

shiloh was making sure that the official margins of victory in each of the swing states beat the requiremnt for automatic recount. The ballots have to be destroyed if your going to post totals out of your ass.


The states with voter ID were won by the Romster.

The states without voter ID were won by Choom.

Throw in 140% turnout in some counties, 100% of the vote going for Choom in some precincts, and it's got nothing to do with the new demographics or Axelrod keeping the white vote home (what a crock!).

toto said...

In 1969, The U.S. House of Representatives voted for a national popular vote by a 338–70 margin. It was endorsed by Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and various members of Congress who later ran for Vice President and President such as then-Congressman George H.W. Bush, and then-Senator Bob Dole.

Jason Cabel Roe, a lifelong conservative activist and professional political consultant wrote in National Popular Vote is Good for Republicans: "I strongly support National Popular Vote. It is good for Republicans, it is good for conservatives . . . , and it is good for America. National Popular Vote is not a grand conspiracy hatched by the Left to manipulate the election outcome.
It is a bipartisan effort of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents to allow every state – and every voter – to have a say in the selection of our President, and not just the 15 Battle Ground States.

National Popular Vote is not a change that can be easily explained, nor the ramifications thought through in sound bites. It takes a keen political mind to understand just how much it can help . . . Republicans. . . . Opponents either have a knee-jerk reaction to the idea or don’t fully understand it. . . . We believe that the more exposure and discussion the reform has the more support that will build for it."

Former Tennessee U.S. Senator and 2008 presidential candidate Fred Thompson(R), former Illinois Governor Jim Edgar (R), and former U.S. Representative Tom Tancredo (R-CO) are co-champions of National Popular Vote.

National Popular Vote's National Advisory Board includes former Senators Jake Garn (R–UT), and David Durenberger (R–MN) and former congressman John Buchanan (R–AL).

Saul Anuzis, former Chairman of the Michigan Republican Party for five years and a former candidate for chairman of the Republican National Committee, supports the National Popular Vote plan as the fairest way to make sure every vote matters, and also as a way to help Conservative Republican candidates. This is not a partisan issue and the NPV plan would not help either party over the other.

Rich Bolen, a Constitutional scholar, attorney at law, and Republican Party Chairman for Lexington County, South Carolina, wrote:"A Conservative Case for National Popular Vote: Why I support a state-based plan to reform the Electoral College."

Some other supporters who wrote forewords to "Every Vote Equal: A State-Based Plan for Electing the President by National Popular Vote " include:

Laura Brod served in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 2003 to 2010 and was the ranking Republican member of the Tax Committee. She was the Minnesota Public Sector Chair for ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) and active in the Council of State Governments.

James Brulte served as Republican Leader of the California State Assembly from 1992 to 1996, California State Senator from 1996 to 2004, and Senate Republican leader from 2000 to 2004.

Ray Haynes served as the National Chairman of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in 2000. He served in the California State Senate from 1994 to 2002 and was elected to the Assembly in 1992 and 2002

Dean Murray is a member of the New York State Assembly. He was a Tea Party organizer before being elected to the Assembly as a Republican, Conservative Party member in February 2010. He was described by Fox News as the first Tea Party candidate elected to office in the United States.

Thomas L. Pearce served as a Michigan State Representative from 2005–2010 and was appointed Dean of the Republican Caucus. He has led several faith-based initiatives in Lansing.

toto said...

The current state-by-state winner-take-all method of awarding electoral votes (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but since enacted by 48 states), under which all of a state's electoral votes are awarded to the candidate who gets the most votes in each separate state, ensures that the candidates, after the conventions, in 2012 did not reach out to about 80% of the states and their voters. Candidates had no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, campaign, or care about the voter concerns in the dozens of states where they were safely ahead or hopelessly behind.

80% of the states and people were just spectators to the presidential elections. That's more than 85 million voters, 200 million Americans.

Policies important to the citizens of non-battleground states are not as highly prioritized as policies important to ‘battleground’ states when it comes to governing.

Since World War II, a shift of a few thousand votes in one or two states would have elected the second-place candidate in 4 of the 13 presidential elections

The National Popular Vote bill preserves the Electoral College and state control of elections. It changes the way electoral votes are awarded in the Electoral College.

Under National Popular Vote, every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election. Every vote would be included in the state counts and national count. The candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC would get the 270+ electoral votes from the enacting states. That majority of electoral votes guarantees the candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC wins the presidency.

With National Popular Vote, the United States would still be a republic, in which citizens continue to elect the President by a majority of Electoral College votes by states, to represent us and conduct the business of government in the periods between elections.

States have the responsibility and power to make all of their voters relevant in every presidential election and beyond.

The number and population of battleground states is shrinking. We're down to only 9 battleground states.

During the course of campaigns, candidates are educated and campaign about the local, regional, and state issues most important to the handful of battleground states they need to win. They take this knowledge and prioritization with them once they are elected. Candidates need to be educated and care about all of our states.

Compare the response to hurricane Katrina (in Louisiana, a "safe" state) to the federal response to hurricanes in Florida (a "swing" state) under Presidents of both parties. President Obama took more interest in the BP oil spill, once it reached Florida's shores, after it had first reached Louisiana. Some pandering policy examples include ethanol subsidies, Steel Tariffs, and Medicare Part D. Policies not given priority, include those most important to non-battleground states - like comprehensive immigration reform, water issues in the west, and Pacific Rim trade issues,

“Maybe it is just a coincidence that most of the battleground states decided by razor-thin margins in 2008 have been blessed with a No Child Left Behind exemption. “ - Wall Street Journal

Six current heavily traveled Cabinet members, have made more than 85 trips this year to electoral battlegrounds such as Colorado, Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania, according to a POLITICO review of public speeches and news clippings. Those swing-state visits represent roughly half of all travel for those six Cabinet officials this year.


toto said...

The current state-by-state winner-take-all system does not protect the two-party system. It simply discriminates against third-party candidates with broad-based support, while rewarding regional third-party candidates. In 1948, Strom Thurmond and Henry Wallace both got about 1.1 million popular votes, but Thurmond got 39 electoral votes (because his vote was concentrated in southern states), whereas Henry Wallace got none. Similarly, George Wallace got 46 electoral votes with 13% of the votes in 1968, while Ross Perot got 0 electoral votes with 19% of the national popular vote in 1992. The only thing the current system does is to punish candidates whose support is broadly based.

Based on historical evidence, there is far more fragmentation of the vote under the current state-by-state system of electing the President than in elections in which the winner is simply the candidate who receives the most popular votes in the jurisdiction involved.

Under the current state-by-state system of electing the President (in which the candidate who receives a plurality of the popular vote wins all of the state's electoral votes), minor-party candidates have significantly affected the outcome in six (40%) of the 15 presidential elections in the past 60 years (namely the 1948, 1968, 1980, 1992, 1996, and 2000 presidential elections). The reason that the current system has encouraged so many minor-party candidates and so much fragmentation of the vote is that a presidential candidate with no hope of winning a plurality of the votes nationwide has 51 separate opportunities to shop around for particular states where he can affect electoral votes or where he might win outright. Thus, under the current system, segregationists such as Strom Thurmond (1948) or George Wallace (1968) won electoral votes in numerous Southern states, although they had no chance of receiving the most popular votes nationwide. In addition, candidates such as John Anderson (1980), Ross Perot (1992 and 1996), and Ralph Nader (2000) did not win a plurality of the popular vote in any state, but managed to affect the outcome by switching electoral votes in numerous particular states.

toto said...

With the current system of electing the President, no state requires that a presidential candidate receive anything more than the most popular votes in order to receive all of the state's electoral votes.

Not a single legislative bill has been introduced in any state legislature in recent decades (among the more than 100,000 bills that are introduced in every two-year period by the nation's 7,300 state legislators) proposing to change the existing universal practice of the states to award electoral votes to the candidate who receives a plurality (as opposed to absolute majority) of the votes (statewide or district-wide). There is no evidence of any public sentiment in favor of imposing such a requirement.

If an Electoral College type of arrangement were essential for avoiding a proliferation of candidates and people being elected with low percentages of the vote, we should see evidence of these conjectured apocalyptic outcomes in elections that do not employ such an arrangement. In elections in which the winner is the candidate receiving the most votes throughout the entire jurisdiction served by that office, historical evidence shows that there is no massive proliferation of third-party candidates and candidates do not win with small percentages. For example, in 905 elections for governor in the last 60 years, the winning candidate received more than 50% of the vote in over 91% of the elections. The winning candidate received more than 45% of the vote in 98% of the elections. The winning candidate received more than 40% of the vote in 99% of the elections. No winning candidate received less than 35% of the popular vote.

Since 1824 there have been 16 presidential elections in which a candidate was elected or reelected without gaining a majority of the popular vote.-- including Lincoln (1860), Wilson (1912, and 1916), Truman (1948), Kennedy (1960), Nixon (1968), and Clinton (1992 and 1996).

With the current system, it could only take winning a plurality of the popular vote in the 11 most populous states, containing 56% of the population of the United States, for a candidate to win the Presidency with a mere 26% of the nation's votes.

gregq said...

"80% of the states and people were just spectators to the presidential elections. That's more than 85 million voters, 200 million Americans."

Wah, wah, wah.

You don't want to be ignored? Don't be a one-party state.

Vote fraud is a serious problem in the US. 19,000+ (Obama) - 0 (Romney), in 59 Philadelphia precincts. The Electoral College means that while big city crooks can steal the vote in one state, they can't steal it in the entire country.

When the Democrat party stops being the party of vote fraud, we'll talk. Until the, get lost.

(We'll know that the Democrats have stopped being the party of vote fraud when they stop opposing measures to stop vote fraud. Photo ID, cleaning the voting rolls, coming up with something to get better control over absentee ballots, etc.)

toto said...

The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC), without needing to amend the Constitution.

The National Popular Vote bill would change current state winner-take-all laws that award all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate who get the most popular votes in each separate state (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but since enacted by 48 states), to a system guaranteeing the majority of Electoral College votes for, and the Presidency to, the candidate getting the most popular votes in the entire United States.

The bill preserves the constitutionally mandated Electoral College and state control of elections. It ensures that every vote is equal, every voter will matter, in every state, in every presidential election, and the candidate with the most votes wins, as in virtually every other election in the country.

Under National Popular Vote, every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election. Every vote would be included in the state counts and national count. The candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC would get the 270+ electoral votes from the enacting states. That majority of electoral votes guarantees the candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC wins the presidency.

The presidential election system that we have today was not designed, anticipated, or favored by the Founding Fathers but, instead, is the product of decades of evolutionary change precipitated by the emergence of political parties and enactment by 48 states of winner-take-all laws, not mentioned, much less endorsed, in the Constitution.

The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for President. Historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the President, including ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote and 48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state legislative action.

In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state's electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided). Support for a national popular vote is strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group in virtually every state surveyed in recent polls in recent closely divided Battleground states: CO – 68%, FL – 78%, IA 75%, MI – 73%, MO – 70%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM– 76%, NC – 74%, OH – 70%, PA – 78%, VA – 74%, and WI – 71%; in Small states (3 to 5 electoral votes): AK – 70%, DC – 76%, DE – 75%, ID – 77%, ME – 77%, MT – 72%, NE 74%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM – 76%, OK – 81%, RI – 74%, SD – 71%, UT – 70%, VT – 75%, WV – 81%, and WY – 69%; in Southern and Border states: AR – 80%, KY- 80%, MS – 77%, MO – 70%, NC – 74%, OK – 81%, SC – 71%, TN – 83%, VA – 74%, and WV – 81%; and in other states polled: AZ – 67%, CA – 70%, CT – 74%, MA – 73%, MN – 75%, NY – 79%, OR – 76%, and WA – 77%. Americans believe that the candidate who receives the most votes should win.

The bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers in 21 states. The bill has been enacted by 9 jurisdictions with 132 electoral votes - 49% of the 270 necessary to go into effect.

NationalPopularVote

toto said...

gregq
In our presidential election system,, where you live should not determine how much, if at all, your vote matters. Most Americans don't believe that “If people don’t like it, they can move from a safe state to a swing state.”

Supporters of National Popular Vote find it hard to believe the Founding Fathers would endorse the current electoral system where 80% of the states and voters now are completely politically irrelevant. 10 of the original 13 states are ignored now.

In 1960, presidential campaigns paid attention to 35 states. In 2008, Obama only campaigned in 14 states after being nominated. In 2012, the presidential campaigns only cared about 9 swing states.

The number and population of battleground states is shrinking.

States' partisanship is hardening.

Some states have not been been competitive for than a half-century and most states now have a degree of partisan imbalance that makes them highly unlikely to be in a swing state position.
• 41 States Won by Same Party, 2000-2008
• 32 States Won by Same Party, 1992-2008
• 13 States Won Only by Republican Party, 1980-2008
• 19 States Won Only by Democratic Party, 1992-2008
• 9 Democratic States Not Swing State since 1988
• 15 GOP States Not Swing State since 1988

FairVote

toto said...

With National Popular Vote, big cities would not get all of candidates’ attention, much less control the outcome.
The population of the top five cities (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston and Philadelphia) is only 6% of the population of the United States and the population of the top 50 cities (going as far down as Arlington, TX) is only 15% of the population of the United States.

Suburbs and exurbs often vote Republican.

Any candidate who ignored, for example, the 16% of Americans who live in rural areas in favor of a “big city” approach would not likely win the national popular vote.

If big cities controlled the outcome of elections, the governors and U.S. Senators would be Democratic in virtually every state with a significant city.

A nationwide presidential campaign, with every vote equal, would be run the way presidential candidates campaign to win the electoral votes of closely divided battleground states, such as Ohio and Florida, under the state-by-state winner-take-all methods. The big cities in those battleground states do not receive all the attention, much less control the outcome. Cleveland and Miami do not receive all the attention or control the outcome in Ohio and Florida.

The itineraries of presidential candidates in battleground states (and their allocation of other campaign resources in battleground states) reflect the political reality that every gubernatorial or senatorial candidate knows. When and where every vote is equal, a campaign must be run everywhere.

With National Popular Vote, when every vote is equal, everywhere, it makes sense for presidential candidates to try and elevate their votes where they are and aren't so well liked. But, under the state-by-state winner-take-all laws, it makes no sense for a Democrat to try and do that in Vermont or Wyoming, or for a Republican to try it in Wyoming or Vermont.

Even in California state-wide elections, candidates for governor or U.S. Senate don't campaign just in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and those places don't control the outcome (otherwise California wouldn't have recently had Republican governors Reagan, Dukemejian, Wilson, and Schwarzenegger). A vote in rural Alpine county is just an important as a vote in Los Angeles. If Los Angeles cannot control statewide elections in California, it can hardly control a nationwide election.

In fact, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland together cannot control a statewide election in California.

Similarly, Republicans dominate Texas politics without carrying big cities such as Dallas and Houston.

There are numerous other examples of Republicans who won races for governor and U.S. Senator in other states that have big cities (e.g., New York, Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts) without ever carrying the big cities of their respective states.

With a national popular vote, every vote everywhere will be equally important politically. There will be nothing special about a vote cast in a big city or big state. When every vote is equal, candidates of both parties will seek out voters in small, medium, and large towns throughout the states in order to win. A vote cast in a big city or state will be equal to a vote cast in a small state, town, or rural area.

Candidates would need to build a winning coalition across demographics. Candidates would have to appeal to a broad range of demographics, and perhaps even more so, because the election wouldn’t be capable of coming down to just one demographic, such as waitress mom voters in Ohio.

toto said...

The current state-by-state winner-take-all system of awarding electoral votes maximizes the incentive and opportunity for fraud, coercion, intimidation, confusion, and voter suppression. A very few people can change the national outcome by adding, changing, or suppressing a small number of votes in one closely divided battleground state. With the current system all of a state's electoral votes are awarded to the candidate who receives a bare plurality of the votes in each state. The sheer magnitude of the national popular vote number, compared to individual state vote totals, is much more robust against manipulation.

National Popular Vote would limit the benefits to be gained by fraud or voter suppression. One suppressed vote would be one less vote. One fraudulent vote would only win one vote in the return. In the current electoral system, one fraudulent vote could mean 55 electoral votes, or just enough electoral votes to win the presidency without having the most popular votes in the country.

The closest popular-vote election in American history (in 1960), had a nationwide margin of more than 100,000 popular votes. The closest electoral-vote election in American history (in 2000) was determined by 537 votes, all in one state, when there was a lead of 537,179 (1,000 times more) popular votes nationwide.

For a national popular vote election to be as easy to switch as 2000, it would have to be two hundred times closer than the 1960 election--and, in popular-vote terms, forty times closer than 2000 itself.

Which system offers vote suppressors or fraudulent voters a better shot at success for a smaller effort?

toto said...

The current system makes a repeat of 2000 more likely, not less likely. All you need is a thin and contested margin in a single state with enough electoral votes to make a difference. It's much less likely that the national vote will be close enough that voting irregularities in a single area will swing enough net votes to make a difference. If we'd had National Popular Vote in 2000, a recount in Florida would not have been an issue.

The idea that recounts will be likely and messy with National Popular Vote is distracting.

The 2000 presidential election was an artificial crisis created because of Bush's lead of 537 popular votes in Florida. Gore's nationwide lead was 537,179 popular votes (1,000 times larger). Given the miniscule number of votes that are changed by a typical statewide recount (averaging only 274 votes); no one would have requested a recount or disputed the results in 2000 if the national popular vote had controlled the outcome. Indeed, no one (except perhaps almanac writers and trivia buffs) would have cared that one of the candidates happened to have a 537-vote margin in Florida.

Recounts are far more likely in the current system of state-by-state winner-take-all methods.

The possibility of recounts should not even be a consideration in debating the merits of a national popular vote. No one has ever suggested that the possibility of a recount constitutes a valid reason why state governors or U.S. Senators, for example, should not be elected by a popular vote.

The question of recounts comes to mind in connection with presidential elections only because the current system so frequently creates artificial crises and unnecessary disputes.

We do and would vote state by state. Each state manages its own election and is prepared to conduct a recount.

The state-by-state winner-take-all system is not a firewall, but instead causes unnecessary fires.
“It’s an arsonist itching to burn down the whole neighborhood by torching a single house.” Hertzberg

Given that there is a recount only once in about 160 statewide elections, and given there is a presidential election once every four years, one would expect a recount about once in 640 years with the National Popular Vote. The actual probability of a close national election would be even less than that because recounts are less likely with larger pools of votes.

The average change in the margin of victory as a result of a statewide recount was a mere 296 votes in a 10-year study of 2,884 elections.

No recount would have been warranted in any of the nation’s 57 previous presidential elections if the outcome had been based on the nationwide count.

The common nationwide date for meeting of the Electoral College has been set by federal law as the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December. With both the current system and the National Popular Vote, all counting, recounting, and judicial proceedings must be conducted so as to reach a "final determination" prior to the meeting of the Electoral College. In particular, the U.S. Supreme Court has made it clear that the states are expected to make their "final determination" six days before the Electoral College meets.

toto said...

Maine and Nebraska use the congressional district method. Maine and Nebraska voters support a national popular vote.

A survey of Maine voters showed 77% overall support for a national popular vote for President.
In a follow-up question presenting a three-way choice among various methods of awarding Maine’s electoral votes,
* 71% favored a national popular vote;
* 21% favored Maine’s current system of awarding its electoral votes by congressional district; and
* 8% favored the statewide winner-take-all system (i.e., awarding all of Maine’s electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most votes statewide).
***
A survey of Nebraska voters showed 74% overall support for a national popular vote for President.
In a follow-up question presenting a three-way choice among various methods of awarding Nebraska’s electoral votes,
* 60% favored a national popular vote;
* 28% favored Nebraska’s current system of awarding its electoral votes by congressional district; and
* 13% favored the statewide winner-take-all system (i.e., awarding all of Nebraska’s electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most votes statewide).

&&&&

Dividing more states’ electoral votes by congressional district winners would magnify the worst features of the Electoral College system.

If the district approach were used nationally, it would be less fair and less accurately reflect the will of the people than the current system. In 2004, Bush won 50.7% of the popular vote, but 59% of the districts. Although Bush lost the national popular vote in 2000, he won 55% of the country's congressional districts.

The district approach would not provide incentive for presidential candidates to campaign in a particular state or focus the candidates' attention to issues of concern to the state. With the 48 state-by-state winner-take-all laws (whether applied to either districts or states), candidates have no reason to campaign in districts or states where they are comfortably ahead or hopelessly behind. In North Carolina, for example, there are only 2 districts (the 13th with a 5% spread and the 2nd with an 8% spread) where the presidential race is competitive. Nationwide, there have been only 55 "battleground" districts that were competitive in presidential elections. With the present deplorable 48 state-level winner-take-all system, 80% of the states (including California and Texas) are ignored in presidential elections; however, 88% of the nation's congressional districts would be ignored if a district-level winner-take-all system were used nationally.

Awarding electoral votes by congressional district could result in third party candidates winning electoral votes that would deny either major party candidate the necessary majority vote of electors and throw the process into Congress to decide.

Because there are generally more close votes on district levels than states as whole, district elections increase the opportunity for error. The larger the voting base, the less opportunity there is for an especially close vote.

Also, a second-place candidate could still win the White House without winning the national popular vote.

A national popular vote is the way to make every person's vote equal and matter to their candidate because it guarantees that the candidate who gets the most votes in all 50 states and DC becomes President.

toto said...

Any state that enacts the proportional approach on its own would reduce its own influence. This was the most telling argument that caused Colorado voters to agree with Republican Governor Owens and to reject this proposal in November 2004 by a two-to-one margin.

If the proportional approach were implemented by a state, on its own, it would have to allocate its electoral votes in whole numbers. If a current battleground state were to change its winner-take-all statute to a proportional method for awarding electoral votes, presidential candidates would pay less attention to that state because only one electoral vote would probably be at stake in the state.

The proportional method also could result in third party candidates winning electoral votes that would deny either major party candidate the necessary majority vote of electors and throw the process into Congress to decide.

If the whole-number proportional approach had been in use throughout the country in the nation’s closest recent presidential election (2000), it would not have awarded the most electoral votes to the candidate receiving the most popular votes nationwide. Instead, the result would have been a tie of 269–269 in the electoral vote, even though Al Gore led by 537,179 popular votes across the nation. The presidential election would have been thrown into Congress to decide and resulted in the election of the second-place candidate in terms of the national popular vote.

A system in which electoral votes are divided proportionally by state would not accurately reflect the nationwide popular vote and would not make every vote equal.

It would penalize states, such as Montana, that have only one U.S. Representative even though it has almost three times more population than other small states with one congressman. It would penalize fast-growing states that do not receive any increase in their number of electoral votes until after the next federal census. It would penalize states with high voter turnout (e.g., Utah, Oregon).

Moreover, the fractional proportional allocation approach does not assure election of the winner of the nationwide popular vote. In 2000, for example, it would have resulted in the election of the second-place candidate.

A national popular vote is the way to make every person's vote equal and matter to their candidate because it guarantees that the candidate who gets the most votes in all 50 states and DC becomes President.

toto said...

With the current state winner-take-all system of awarding electoral votes, winning a bare plurality of the popular vote in the 11 most populous states, containing 56% of the population, could win the Presidency with a mere 26% of the nation's votes!

But the political reality is that the 11 largest states rarely agree on any political question. In terms of recent presidential elections, the 11 largest states include five "red states (Texas, Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, and Georgia) and six "blue" states (California, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and New Jersey). The fact is that the big states are just about as closely divided as the rest of the country. For example, among the four largest states, the two largest Republican states (Texas and Florida) generated a total margin of 2.1 million votes for Bush, while the two largest Democratic states generated a total margin of 2.1 million votes for Kerry.

In 2004, among the 11 most populous states, in the seven non-battleground states, % of winning party, and margin of “wasted” popular votes, from among the total 122 Million votes cast nationally:
* Texas (62% Republican), 1,691,267
* New York (59% Democratic), 1,192,436
* Georgia (58% Republican), 544,634
* North Carolina (56% Republican), 426,778
* California (55% Democratic), 1,023,560
* Illinois (55% Democratic), 513,342
* New Jersey (53% Democratic), 211,826

To put these numbers in perspective, Oklahoma (7 electoral votes) alone generated a margin of 455,000 "wasted" votes for Bush in 2004 -- larger than the margin generated by the 9th and 10th largest states, namely New Jersey and North Carolina (each with 15 electoral votes). Utah (5 electoral votes) alone generated a margin of 385,000 "wasted" votes for Bush in 2004. 8 small western states, with less than a third of California’s population, provided Bush with a bigger margin (1,283,076) than California provided Kerry (1,235,659).

damikesc said...

Jesus Christ, toto, WTFL (Way Too F'n Long); TDFR (Totally Didn't F'n Read)

shiloh said...

“wasted” popular votes"

Only if you consider down ballot races a waste also ie Oklahoma had a Dem gov. from 2003 to 2011.

Yes Virginia, there are a few Dems in OK ~ gasp!

Again, bottom line, Reps have a #s problem as the demographics are all trending Dem as older white Reps continue to pass ...

kentuckyliz said...

WTFL TDFN here too.

Dude, just post the link.

Re: EC, if that model requires the smaller states to pass it, how are you going to convince them to vote against their own interests?

(WTFL may answer that, but you need a sound bite version.)

I'm a flyover zone gal and see what a nightmare it would be to be totally ruled by coastal urbanites.

We're not your bitches, bitches.