December 3, 2016

"Americans' support for keeping the Electoral College system for electing presidents has increased sharply."

"Weeks after the 2016 election, 47% of Americans say they want to keep the Electoral College, while 49% say they want to amend the Constitution to allow for a popular vote for president."
In the past, a clear majority favored amending the U.S. Constitution to replace the Electoral College with a popular vote system.... This year, for the first time in the 49 years Gallup has asked about it, less than half of Americans want to replace the Electoral College with a popular vote system.

64 comments:

campy said...

I wonder if republicans will still like the electoral college in January?

Hagar said...

The county vote map demonstrate the wisdom of keeping it.

tcrosse said...

How well distributed is the polling ? Is it as poorly distributed as HRC's popular vote total ?

Achilles said...

Left out of the cross tabs is the difference between legal and illegal voters.

mockturtle said...

Are theses the same pollsters who had Hillary winning by a 5% margin?

Zach said...

The recent recount mischief has really underscored this, in my opinion.

Have people really forgotten how awful the Florida recount was in 2000? Scuzzy local officials, self serving ballot challengers, judges dividing along strict partisan lines, unconvincing judicial opinions...

In a national system, you've got that every single year. One rotten district turning out fake votes or ignoring real ones could turn the whole election, which means that every single district is subject to the same Florida style nastiness.

Michael K said...

The Hillary recount circus will make the case for the EC better than any Constitutional argument.

Paul said...

The founding fathers knew far more than most people today.

And the electoral college is proof of that.

tcrosse said...

Eliminating the EC is politically impossible. There are enough low-population states which will block ratification. It's pointless even to talk about it, because it's not on the menu.

Steven said...

Would be better, IMO, if everybody moved to the Maine/Nebraska system, where a) cheating in one Congressional district can only affect at most 3 EVs, and b) there's a swing district in almost every state, forcing a nationwide campaign rather than a swing-state campaign.

But that would require substantial coordnation, since there's serious disincentive for safe states like Texas/California to give extra EVs to the Democrats/Republicans, while swing states have a reason to encourage candidates to shower extra benefits on them.

Jupiter said...

"...49% want to amend the Constitution to allow for a popular vote for President."

What bilge. Ask them whether they would contribute a dollar toward that goal.

Can we agree, that Gallup is part of the Media Conspiracy to Destroy America? Maybe next week, these dumb bunnies can go around asking how many people would like to amend the Koran so the Good Guys win in the end.

Fabi said...

Keep hope alive, campy! Lulz

campy said...

I'll put Fabi in the "Yes, they will" column, then.

Gahrie said...

The American people have finally figured out that the Electoral College is the only thing standing between them and the tyranny of the urban elites.

SteveR said...

Sure we will campy, just because it can be screwed with, doesn't mean its not good.

campy said...

How about a system of no human electors, just automatically assigned electoral votes.

coupe said...

Democracy is suicide. The proxy voting for President is in keeping with a Republic.

PackerBronco said...

America's genius is for compromise. The compromise solution is to assign 10 electoral votes to the winner of the popular vote.

James Pawlak said...

"Popular Vote" would establish mob rule in the USA as: Rightfully feared by the Founders; And, has destroyed the protections of "The Bill Of Rights" in California.

Fabi said...

Why wouldn't we, campy -- do you really think the Democrats are going to steal enough electors to change the outcome of the election? Lulz

Leon said...

In 2000 HRC said she was going to change the law....

campy said...

"do you really think the Democrats are going to steal enough electors to change the outcome of the election?"

It wouldn't surprise me.

Alex said...

campy - don't worry. When SkyNet goes online in 2057, we won't have to worry anymore about electoral systems.

That's when The War against the Machines(TM) begins... perhaps even tonight.

Freder Frederson said...

"The American people have finally figured out that the Electoral College is the only thing standing between them and the tyranny of the urban elites."

Have you looked at Trumps cabinet picks?! Hell, he even managed to find a guy who's both a partner at Goldman Sachs and a Hollywood producer.

Unknown said...

Seeing the looney toons that are arguing against it and realizing that without la-la California trump takes the popular vote really sharpens the mind.

Hagar said...

The illegal aliens voting is a much smaller problem than double-voting by citizens, such as college students voting at home and at college and "snowbirds" voting absentee in one state and in person in the other where they own property.
And there is no re-count that is going to catch that.

Hagar said...

"Stealing elections" would refer to manually changing the vote tallies or "stuffing" the ballot boxes. Possibly also rigging the voting machines, but I think that is risky business for what you get, unless you have got the courts in the bag too.

Michael K said...

""Popular Vote" would establish mob rule in the USA as: Rightfully feared by the Founders;"

For those interested in ancient history, direct democracy destroyed Athens. They voted to go to war with Syracuse, then after the fleet had left, they voted to arrest the best general.

Books have been written about it.

traditionalguy said...

This is another feather in DJT and Kellyann's cap. They communicated the necessary understanding of the wisdom of the Electoral College, and suddenly the confusion about needing to win a National popular vote, which had been carefully sown by the Fake News Media, disappeared.

Jack Wayne said...

The Electoral College is a vestige of elitist Founding Father arrogance and fear of the Common Man. It has become the Tyranny of the Cities. If we want to force the two parties to behave better, we should replace it with this:
One electoral vote for each Representative District popular vote winner, Two electoral votes for the popular vote winner of the State; the winning nominee must get a majority of electoral votes. And the winning nominee must win the popular vote in at least 50% of the States. If no nominee gets these 2 items, then it goes to the House, the winner to serve only one term and out.

Gahrie said...

Have you looked at Trumps cabinet picks?! Hell, he even managed to find a guy who's both a partner at Goldman Sachs and a Hollywood producer.

Half the people who worked for Obama were from Goldman Sachs and Wall Street. Coincidentally, the last major criminal instigation of wall street began in 2008.

tim in vermont said...

Campy seems convinced that death threats and insults will flip enough electors to get Hillary elected. Same strategy they used in the election.

campy said...

"Campy seems convinced that death threats and insults will flip enough electors to get Hillary elected."

Don't forget the slush fund ... er, "charitable foundation" millions for bribes.

And can you really shrug off death threats from this crowd that easily? Against yourself, maybe, but what if they targeted your loved ones?

CWJ said...

National elections determined by popular vote assumes a uniform nationwide method of voter registration, voting method, and voter validation. None of these exist at present. The idea is unworkable nonsense. Now if you went ahead with it anyway, think of the incentives for each state, city, district to game the system to it's advantage, if only to defend itself from every other's attempts to up the vote count. We might actually see 100% plus voting nationwide! Like I say. Insane!

I don't see anyone opposed or in favor thinking this through and making these points.

Alex said...

CWJ... the only people I see opposed to the EC are Bolshi-types.

khesanh0802 said...

For the first time in years the people have had the electoral college explained and at the same time seen its benefits to backward, uneducated, deplorable, intolerant, misogynistic, bigoted, racist small states versus large,sophisticated, all-knowing, crooked large states. The electoral college worked as intended. What is there not to like if you're from one of those aforementioned small states?!?

Fen said...

while 49% say they want to amend the Constitution to allow for a popular vote for president.

Ah yes, the wolves are voting to eat the sheep. Fortunately, the founding fathers were keenly aware of the tyranny of the majority and set up the EC as a safeguard against it. Remove it and we will cull your numbers well below 49%.

Ironic that the Left postures so much about minority rights but is cool with California and Texas deciding what matters to the people of Montana and New Hampshire. There's an axiom that frames such routine hypocrisy by the left, I forget the exact quote, but it's something about the Left not really believing in the things they lecture the rest of us about. I think by some dead white male. :)

Fen said...

Freder: Have you looked at Trumps cabinet picks?! Hell, he even managed to find a guy who's both a partner at Goldman Sachs and a Hollywood producer.

Well, considering that just last week you morons were declaring that Trump was going to round up minorities and put them ovens, Goldman Sachs is a step up.

whitney said...

There are plenty of people that supported and voted for Hilary that are completely horrified about how some of their party members are acting. I bet.

Paul said...

campy said...
"How about a system of no human electors, just automatically assigned electoral votes."

campy, the electoral college is more than just a knee jerk reaction. IF no one gets 270 or more, House of Representatives picks the president if no candidate wins 270 electoral votes, while the Senate picks the vice president.

But if the voters in the electoral college feels the whole thing stinks.. theoretically they can vote their conscience. But it's never gotten that bad. It would have to get real real bad before that happened. Say a race between Nero and Caligula.


https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/about.html

"The founding fathers established it in the Constitution as a compromise between election of the President by a vote in Congress and election of the President by a popular vote of qualified citizens."

And that is why it's as it is.

Mark said...

"Come mothers and fathers, throughout the land, and don’t criticise, what you cannot understand."

Alex said...

Has anyone here read The Federalist Papers? Perhaps we all should and then return to this discussion.

mccullough said...

The rest of the US doesn't want to become California

HoodlumDoodlum said...

I mean, when Trump said there's be so much winning I'd get tired of it I just assumed that was typical politician's bluster/puffery...but that guy delivers!

cornroaster said...

Hagar said...
The illegal aliens voting is a much smaller problem than double-voting by citizens, such as college students voting at home and at college and "snowbirds" voting absentee in one state and in person in the other where they own property.
And there is no re-count that is going to catch that.

Easy solution. Index finger fingerprint of each voter when you vote. Will eliminate double voting in different jurisdictions and those voting from the grave. Also provides a deterrent to non-citizens voting, especially if you pass a law mandating deportation for non-citizens voting, with no statute of limitations.

tim in vermont said...

I guess Freder knows of some other candidate besides Hillary that was running against Trump with a chance to win. How much money did she personally take from them anyways Freder? You seem so concerned about these kinds of issues, maybe you should look it up. While you are at it, you can read her speeches to them on Wikileaks. Lots of rah rah rah Goldman, and bomb Iran stuff in there you should probably read.

eric said...

Polls also told us that Hillary was going to win the election.

Why do we still quote polls?

I stopped listening to polls when they kept saying the country wanted Homosexual's to get married, and then referendum after referendum failed at the State level.

It needed the courts to mandate it. Because those pesky polls!

And now the polls keep telling us it's popular, and we believe it, because it's also legal, so why not?

mikee said...

Now ask those who support popular voting what the electoral college is, what it does. Heck, ask them what "popular voting" is. Ignore their answer in the poll if they don't know.

"32 million adults in the U.S. can't read. That's 14 percent of the population. 21 percent of adults in the U.S. read below a 5th grade level, and 19 percent of high school graduates can't read." (2013 - top google result for "US illiteracy")

And we expect the public to vote sensibly?

richardsson said...

It's a high bar to amend the Constitution and if you can't get a majority in the Electoral College how in hells bells are you going to amend the Constitution. But, I know. It's part of mourning. We'll just have to put up with the wailing and moaning for awhile longer.

richard mcenroe said...

Turns out those clueless old dead white men saw it ALL coming...

Mick said...

The electoral college vote revealed the Geographic Landslide for Trump and illustrated perfectly why the EC is necessary. The Lunatic fringes of the US were painted blue.

Rusty said...

reder Frederson said...
"The American people have finally figured out that the Electoral College is the only thing standing between them and the tyranny of the urban elites."

Have you looked at Trumps cabinet picks?! Hell, he even managed to find a guy who's both a partner at Goldman Sachs and a Hollywood producer.


Uh huh. After eight years of record crony capitalism you really don't want to go there.
Did you know that Werhner von Braun was a nazi?
Sort of makes the whole space program invalid, doesn't it.

campy said...

Easy solution. Index finger fingerprint of each voter when you vote.

And what about people with no hands, you ableist bigot?

hstad said...

".....It's a high bar to amend the Constitution and if you can't get a majority in the Electoral College how in hells bells are you going to amend the Constitution....." You are correct! But it is even higher because of the subject matter. Can anyone imagine that 2/3 of our fifty states will voluntarily amend the Constitution and give the most populous states all this power and relegate the smaller states to observers in Federal Elections? Never will happen! Hell, I can't even think ultra liberal states like RI and DE will agree to give up their power. But sore losers don't see past their noses! They assume that the populous states will be forever liberal and vote Democratic. You know that CA did vote in both Reagan and Schwarznegger as their governors. Things are never static permanently!

toto said...

The National Popular Vote bill is 61% of the way to guaranteeing the majority of Electoral College votes and the presidency in 2020 to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in the country, by changing state winner-take-all laws (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but later enacted by 48 states), without changing anything in the Constitution, using the built-in method that the Constitution provides for states to make changes.

All voters would be valued equally in presidential elections, no matter where they live.

Every vote, everywhere, for every candidate, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election.
No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps of predictable outcomes.
No more handful of 'battleground' states (where the two major political parties happen to have similar levels of support) where voters and policies are more important than those of the voters in 38+ predictable states that have just been 'spectators' and ignored after the conventions.

The bill would take effect when enacted by states with a majority of the electoral votes—270 of 538.
All of the presidential electors from the enacting states will be supporters of the presidential candidate receiving the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC)—thereby guaranteeing that candidate with an Electoral College majority.

The bill was approved this year by a unanimous bipartisan House committee vote in both Georgia (16 electoral votes) and Missouri (10).
The bill has passed 34 state legislative chambers in 23 rural, small, medium, large, red, blue, and purple states with 261 electoral votes.
The bill has been enacted by 11 small, medium, and large jurisdictions with 165 electoral votes – 61% of the way to guaranteeing the presidency to the candidate with the most popular votes in the country

NationalPopularVote

toto said...

With National Popular Vote, when every popular vote counts and matters to the candidates equally, successful candidates will find a middle ground of policies appealing to the wide mainstream of America. Instead of playing mostly to local concerns in Ohio and Florida, candidates finally would have to form broader platforms for broad national support. Elections wouldn't be about winning a handful of battleground states.

Support for a national popular vote is strong in every smallest state surveyed in recent polls among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group

Among the 13 lowest population states, the National Popular Vote bill has passed in 9 state legislative chambers, and been enacted by 4 jurisdictions.

Now political clout comes from being among the handful of battleground states. 80% of states and voters are ignored by presidential campaign polling, organizing, ad spending, and visits. Their states’ votes were conceded months before by the minority parties in the states, taken for granted by the dominant party in the states, and ignored by all parties in presidential campaigns.

State winner-take-all laws negate any simplistic mathematical equations about the relative power of states based on their number of residents per electoral vote. Small state math means absolutely nothing to presidential campaign polling, organizing, ad spending, and visits, or to presidents once in office.

In the 25 smallest states in 2008, the Democratic and Republican popular vote was almost tied (9.9 million versus 9.8 million), as was the electoral vote (57 versus 58).

In 2012, 24 of the nation's 27 smallest states received no attention at all from presidential campaigns after the conventions. They were ignored despite their supposed numerical advantage in the Electoral College. In fact, the 8.6 million eligible voters in Ohio received more campaign ads and campaign visits from the major party campaigns than the 42 million eligible voters in those 27 smallest states combined.

The 12 smallest states are totally ignored in presidential elections. These states are not ignored because they are small, but because they are not closely divided “battleground” states.

Now with state-by-state winner-take-all laws (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but later enacted by 48 states), presidential elections ignore 12 of the 13 lowest population states (3-4 electoral votes), that are non-competitive in presidential elections. 6 regularly vote Republican (AK, ID, MT, WY, ND, and SD), and 6 regularly vote Democratic (RI, DE, HI, VT, ME, and DC) in presidential elections.

Similarly, the 25 smallest states have been almost equally noncompetitive. They voted Republican or Democratic 12-13 in 2008 and 2012.

Voters in states, of all sizes, that are reliably red or blue don't matter. Candidates ignore those states and the issues they care about most.

toto said...

Rhode Island is among the smallest states that have enacted the National Popular Vote bill.

From 1992- 2012
13 states (with 102 electoral votes) voted Republican every time
19 states (with 242) voted Democratic every time

Until 2016, some states have not been or were not competitive for more 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, 2000-2012
• 32 States Won by Same Party, 1992-2012
• 13 States Won Only by Republican Party, 1980-2012
• 19 States Won Only by Democratic Party, 1992-2012
• 7 Democratic States Not Swing State since 1988
• 16 GOP States Not Swing State since 1988

toto said...

"Geography" doesn't elect candidates in any (other) election in the country.

Most Americans don't ultimately care whether their presidential candidate wins or loses in their state or district . . . they care whether he/she wins the White House. Voters want to know, that no matter to their candidate. Most Americans think it is wrong that the candidate with the most where they live, even if they were on the losing side, their vote actually was equally counted and mattered popular votes can lose. We don't allow this in any other election in our representative republic.

toto said...

Unable to agree on any particular method for selecting presidential electors, the Founding Fathers left the choice of method exclusively to the states in Article II, Section 1
“Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors….”
The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly characterized the authority of the state legislatures over the manner of awarding their electoral votes as "plenary" and "exclusive."

Neither of the two most important features of the current system of electing the President (namely, universal suffrage, and the 48 state-by-state winner-take-all method) are in the U.S. Constitution. Neither was the choice of the Founders when they went back to their states to organize the nation's first presidential election.

In 1789, in the nation's first election, a majority of the states appointed their presidential electors by appointment by the legislature or by the governor and his cabinet, the people had no vote for President in most states, and in states where there was a popular vote, only men who owned a substantial amount of property could vote, and only three states used the state-by-state winner-take-all method to award electoral votes.

The current winner-take-all method of awarding electoral votes is not in the U.S. Constitution. It was not debated at the Constitutional Convention. It is not mentioned in the Federalist Papers. It was not the Founders’ choice. It was used by only three states in 1789, and all three of them repealed it by 1800. It is not entitled to any special deference based on history or the historical meaning of the words in the U.S. Constitution. The actions taken by the Founding Fathers make it clear that they never gave their imprimatur to the winner-take-all method. The winner-take-all method of awarding electoral votes became dominant only in the 1830s, when most of the Founders had been dead for decades, after the states adopted it, one-by-one, in order to maximize the power of the party in power in each state.

The constitutional wording does not encourage, discourage, require, or prohibit the use of any particular method for awarding a state's electoral votes.

States have the responsibility and constitutional power to make all of their voters relevant in every presidential election and beyond. Now, 38 states and their voters are politically irrelevant in presidential elections

toto said...

Newt Gingrich summarized his support for the National Popular Vote bill by saying: “No one should become president of the United States without speaking to the needs and hopes of Americans in all 50 states. … America would be better served with a presidential election process that treated citizens across the country equally. The National Popular Vote bill accomplishes this in a manner consistent with the Constitution and with our fundamental democratic principles.”

Trump, November 13, 2016, 60 Minutes
“ I would rather see it, where you went with simple votes. You know, you get 100 million votes, and somebody else gets 90 million votes, and you win. There’s a reason for doing this. Because it brings all the states into play.”

In 2012, the night Mitt Romney lost, Donald Trump tweeted.
"The phoney electoral college made a laughing stock out of our nation. . . . The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy."

Recent and past presidential candidates who supported direct election of the President in the form of a constitutional amendment, before the National Popular Vote bill was introduced: George H.W. Bush (R-TX-1969), Jimmy Carter (D-GA-1977), Hillary Clinton (D-NY-2001), Bob Dole (R-KS-1969), Michael Dukakis (D-MA), Gerald Ford (R-MI-1969), and Richard Nixon (R-CA-1969).

Recent and past presidential candidates with a public record of support, before November 2016, for the National Popular Vote bill that would guarantee the majority of Electoral College votes and the presidency to the candidate with the most national popular votes: Congressmen John Anderson (R, I –ILL), and Bob Barr (Libertarian- GA), Senator Birch Bayh (D-IN), Senator and Governor Lincoln Chafee (R-I-D, -RI), Governor and former Democratic National Committee Chair Howard Dean (D–VT), U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R–GA), Senator and Vice President Al Gore (D-TN), Ralph Nader, Governor Martin O’Malley (D-MD), Jill Stein (Green), Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO), and Senator Fred Thompson (R–TN).


toto said...

Because of state-by-state winner-take-all laws, not mentioned, much less endorsed, in the Constitution. . .

537 votes, all in one state determined the 2000 election, when there was a lead of 537,179 (1,000 times more) popular votes nationwide.

Less than 100,000 votes in 3 states determined the 2016 election, where there was a lead of over 2,5oo,ooo popular votes nationwide.

Since World War II, a shift of a few thousand votes in 1, 2, or 3 states would have elected a 2nd-place candidate in 5 of the 16 presidential elections

In the 2012 presidential election, 1.3 million votes decided the winner in the ten states with the closest margins of victory.

After the 2012 election, Nate Silver calculated that "Mitt Romney may have had to win the national popular vote by three percentage points on Tuesday to be assured of winning the Electoral College."

toto said...

Because of state-by-state winner-take-all laws, not mentioned, much less endorsed, in the Constitution. . .

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in 2015 was correct when he said
"The nation as a whole is not going to elect the next president,"
“The presidential election will not be decided by all states, but rather just 12 of them.

Candidates have no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, campaign, or care about the voter concerns in the dozens of states where they are safely ahead or hopelessly behind.

With the end of the primaries, without the National Popular Vote bill in effect, the political relevance of 70% of all Americans was finished for the presidential election.

In the 2016 general election campaign

Over half (57%) of the campaign events were held in just 4 states (Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Ohio).

Virtually all (94%) of the campaign events were in just 12 states (containing only 30% of the country's population).

In the 2012 general election campaign

38 states (including 24 of the 27 smallest states) had no campaign events, and minuscule or no spending for TV ads.

More than 99% of presidential campaign attention (ad spending and visits) was invested on voters in just the only ten competitive states..

Two-thirds (176 of 253) of the general-election campaign events, and a similar fraction of campaign expenditures, were in just four states (Ohio, Florida, Virginia, and Iowa).

Over 87% of both Romney and Obama campaign offices were in just the then 12 swing states. The few campaign offices in the 38 remaining states were for fund-raising, volunteer phone calls, and arranging travel to battleground states.

toto said...

Because of state-by-state winner-take-all laws, not mentioned, much less endorsed, in the Constitution. . .

Issues of importance to non-battleground states are of so little interest to presidential candidates that they don’t even bother to poll them individually.

Charlie Cook reported in 2004:
“Senior Bush campaign strategist Matthew Dowd pointed out yesterday that the Bush campaign hadn’t taken a national poll in almost two years; instead, it has been polling [the then] 18 battleground states.”

Bush White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer acknowledging the reality that [then] more than 2/3rds of Americans were ignored in the 2008 presidential campaign, said in the Washington Post on June 21, 2009:
“If people don’t like it, they can move from a safe state to a swing state.”


toto said...

Because of state-by-state winner-take-all laws, not mentioned, much less endorsed, in the Constitution. . .

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.

“Battleground” states receive 7% more presidentially controlled grants than “spectator” states, twice as many presidential disaster declarations, more Superfund enforcement exemptions, and more No Child Left Behind law exemptions.

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 water issues in the west.

The interests of battleground states shape innumerable government policies, including, for example, steel quotas imposed by the free-trade president, George W. Bush, from the free-trade party.

Parochial local considerations of battleground states preoccupy presidential candidates as well as sitting Presidents (contemplating their own reelection or the ascension of their preferred successor).

Even travel by sitting Presidents and Cabinet members in non-election years is skewed to battleground states