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(Washington Post)   America is halfway to making presidential candidates care about non-swing states   (washingtonpost.com) divider line 291
    More: Spiffy, swing states, electoral colleges, Lincoln Chafee, elections, Susana Martinez  
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5254 clicks; posted to Politics » on 04 Aug 2013 at 4:50 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-08-04 02:04:12 PM  
There's nothing inherent in the proposal that gives Democrats an advantage

Well, nothing, other than demographics, making the red flyover states less important.
 
2013-08-04 02:42:45 PM  
An even more worthwhile change would be to base House Representatives on total vote percentages within each state.

For example, in 2012 in Pennsylvania:

Democratic House Candidates received a total of 50.6% of the total House votes

Republicans received only 49.4% of the total house votes

(independent candidates removed, there weren't enough to bother with)

Yet the GOP took 13 of the 18 House seats.

49.4% of the voters turned into 72.2% of the House representatives.  How is that anywhere close to representing the will and desires of the people of PA?
 
2013-08-04 02:48:14 PM  
"But since the electoral college cost Al Gore the presidency in 2000..."

This is as stupid/insane/dishonest as saying the rules cost the 49ers the Superbowl because they gained 100 more yards than the Ravens. It doesn't work that way.

I understand the arguments against the EC (although I disagree with them)... what I don't understand is why States are signing up to disenfranchise their own residents. It's mistifying.

I sincerely hope if this is ever put into practice, it bites the morons behind it (Democrats mostly) squarely in the ass.
 
2013-08-04 02:52:10 PM  

Pray 4 Mojo: "But since the electoral college cost Al Gore the presidency in 2000..."

This is as stupid/insane/dishonest as saying the rules cost the 49ers the Superbowl because they gained 100 more yards than the Ravens. It doesn't work that way.

I understand the arguments against the EC (although I disagree with them)... what I don't understand is why States are signing up to disenfranchise their own residents. It's mistifying.

I sincerely hope if this is ever put into practice, it bites the morons behind it (Democrats mostly) squarely in the ass.


If I'm reading it correctly the plan basically just makes the popular vote within each state receive the total electoral votes for that state... I agree, that doesn't really seem like an improvement.

Why not just abolish the system of electoral votes entirely and rely only on the popular vote nationwide?  That way everyone's voice is equal no matter what state you live in.
 
2013-08-04 03:08:42 PM  

TuteTibiImperes: If I'm reading it correctly the plan basically just makes the popular vote within each state receive the total electoral votes for that state... I agree, that doesn't really seem like an improvement.

Why not just abolish the system of electoral votes entirely and rely only on the popular vote nationwide? That way everyone's voice is equal no matter what state you live in.


You're reading it wrong. Each State signed onto this thing agrees to give their Electoral votes to the winner of the National popular vote.

And we don't have a national popular vote for President because this isn't, and was never intended to be, a Democracy.
 
2013-08-04 03:17:10 PM  

Pray 4 Mojo: TuteTibiImperes: If I'm reading it correctly the plan basically just makes the popular vote within each state receive the total electoral votes for that state... I agree, that doesn't really seem like an improvement.

Why not just abolish the system of electoral votes entirely and rely only on the popular vote nationwide? That way everyone's voice is equal no matter what state you live in.

You're reading it wrong. Each State signed onto this thing agrees to give their Electoral votes to the winner of the National popular vote.

And we don't have a national popular vote for President because this isn't, and was never intended to be, a Democracy.


How would electing the President based on a national popular vote not be a good thing though?  It would force candidates to pay attention to the country as a whole instead of just focusing on swing states, and it would give everyone an equal voice in their government.

Regardless of how the system was designed originally, it looks to me like that would be an improvement.
 
2013-08-04 03:45:24 PM  

TuteTibiImperes: How would electing the President based on a national popular vote not be a good thing though?   It would force candidates to pay attention to the country as a whole instead of just focusing on swing states, and it would give everyone an equal voice in their government.

Regardless of how the system was designed originally, it looks to me like that would be an improvement.


I call shenanigans on the bolded part. It's repeated often and makes no sense. If you can justify it, I'll listen... but saying it over and over again doesn't make it true. Does it really matter where the Candidates campaign? Any information a voter wants about a candidate... his/her platform... a speech... a debate... etc is immediately available to them with a few keystrokes. Are the needs of Californians being completely ignored by the Democrats because they know they have an easy win there?

The 5,000,000 popular vote ass-whipping Obama put on Romney came from two States. Two.
 
2013-08-04 03:53:05 PM  
I don't like that this would be done as a compact between states, and could start with only half the states in the union represented.  I'm all for getting rid of the Electoral College, but you have to do it right.  Half-ass measures like this that leave the Electoral College in existence could backfire and make it even less representative of the actual vote than it is now.
 
2013-08-04 04:00:30 PM  
 the electoral college cost Al Gore the presidency in 2000

No, Al Gore cost Al Gore the presidency in 2000.
 
2013-08-04 04:10:08 PM  

thamike: the electoral college cost Al Gore the presidency in 2000

No, Al Gore cost Al Gore the presidency in 2000.


No, Bill Clinton cost Al Gore the presidency in 2000.
 
2013-08-04 04:12:05 PM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: thamike: the electoral college cost Al Gore the presidency in 2000

No, Al Gore cost Al Gore the presidency in 2000.

No, Bill Clinton cost Al Gore the presidency in 2000.


Ok.
 
2013-08-04 04:14:27 PM  

thamike: Benevolent Misanthrope: thamike: the electoral college cost Al Gore the presidency in 2000

No, Al Gore cost Al Gore the presidency in 2000.

No, Bill Clinton cost Al Gore the presidency in 2000.

Ok.


No, Al Gore not using Clinton cost him the presidency.
 
2013-08-04 04:25:46 PM  

simplicimus: thamike: Benevolent Misanthrope: thamike: the electoral college cost Al Gore the presidency in 2000

No, Al Gore cost Al Gore the presidency in 2000.

No, Bill Clinton cost Al Gore the presidency in 2000.

Ok.

No, Al Gore not using Clinton cost him the presidency.


Give him a break, he's Canadian and was probably in elementary school in 2000.
 
2013-08-04 04:34:38 PM  

jake_lex: I'm all for getting rid of the Electoral College, but you have to do it right. Half-ass measures like this that leave the Electoral College in existence could backfire and

...

turn into an epic disaster.

The first time a Republican wins the popular vote (which admittedly won't be for a long time... if ever... because Republicans suck) this thing will be completely shot to hell. And my instinct tells me it will happen sometime between election night and January 6th.

"Sorry Californians... we know Jill Democrat got 2 million more votes here... but Jack Republican won the popular vote by 100,000... so he gets your dozens of Electoral votes. Better luck in 4 years."
 
2013-08-04 04:43:33 PM  

simplicimus: thamike: Benevolent Misanthrope: thamike: the electoral college cost Al Gore the presidency in 2000

No, Al Gore cost Al Gore the presidency in 2000.

No, Bill Clinton cost Al Gore the presidency in 2000.

Ok.

No, Al Gore not using Clinton cost him the presidency.


d1ovi2g6vebctw.cloudfront.net

"Yes, my idea to never mention or have Clinton campaign for Gore was BRILLIANT!"
 
2013-08-04 04:44:26 PM  

thamike: simplicimus: thamike: Benevolent Misanthrope: thamike: the electoral college cost Al Gore the presidency in 2000

No, Al Gore cost Al Gore the presidency in 2000.

No, Bill Clinton cost Al Gore the presidency in 2000.

Ok.

No, Al Gore not using Clinton cost him the presidency.

Give him a break, he's Canadian and was probably in elementary school in 2000.


LOL

She's American living in Canada, and she's old enough to have voted for Mondale/Ferraro in her misspent youth.

I'll rephrase, in agreement with simplicimus - The distinct lack of Bill Clinton cost Al Gore the presidency.  Along with Elian Gonzalez, Ralph Nader splitting off votes in Florida, and, well... Florida being Florida.
 
2013-08-04 04:55:35 PM  

Pray 4 Mojo: jake_lex: I'm all for getting rid of the Electoral College, but you have to do it right. Half-ass measures like this that leave the Electoral College in existence could backfire and...

turn into an epic disaster.

The first time a Republican wins the popular vote (which admittedly won't be for a long time... if ever... because Republicans suck) this thing will be completely shot to hell. And my instinct tells me it will happen sometime between election night and January 6th.

"Sorry Californians... we know Jill Democrat got 2 million more votes here... but Jack Republican won the popular vote by 100,000... so he gets your dozens of Electoral votes. Better luck in 4 years."


Not everyone is a cynical nihilist. I fully support this proposal and would do so even if it somehow meant going through a Sarah Palin or Ted Cruz presidency. The Electoral College is an anachronism that was designed to give slaveowners in the South more voting power than their Northern counterparts. Since slavery is now illegal, the reasons for creating the system no longer exist. Beyond that, every single state in the country elects its chief executive by a popular vote, and nobody complains about those elections being illegitimate.

/subby
 
2013-08-04 05:00:47 PM  
The story is bogus.

This liberal pipe-dream is right up there with making D.C. a state and minting trillion dollar coins.  The Supreme Court would strike this down.  If it didn't, you have a real Civil War II.
 
2013-08-04 05:06:05 PM  

Neighborhood Watch: The story is bogus.

This liberal pipe-dream is right up there with making D.C. a state and minting trillion dollar coins.  The Supreme Court would strike this down.  If it didn't, you have a real Civil War II.


What constitutional grounds would they use to strike it down? States have the plenary power to decide how their electors vote, and Congress does not have to formally approve of compacts that do not encroach on federal sovereignty. As for the popularity of the proposal, people of all partisan affiliations in every state support using a national popular vote in poll after poll.
 
2013-08-04 05:07:28 PM  

Pray 4 Mojo: I understand the arguments against the EC (although I disagree with them)... what I don't understand is why States are signing up to disenfranchise their own residents.


Perhaps you don't get it because you don't understand that the current system already disenfranchises all but a handful of states.  Most of the states that have signed on for this are the ones that get routinely ignored in presidential politics.
 
2013-08-04 05:07:49 PM  
Republicans will never let it happen. In the past 3 election cycles they have lost the popular vote 5 out of 6 times. Considering how things are going doing away with the electoral college means they never win the big chair again.
 
2013-08-04 05:08:17 PM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: thamike: simplicimus: thamike: Benevolent Misanthrope: thamike: the electoral college cost Al Gore the presidency in 2000

No, Al Gore cost Al Gore the presidency in 2000.

No, Bill Clinton cost Al Gore the presidency in 2000.

Ok.

No, Al Gore not using Clinton cost him the presidency.

Give him a break, he's Canadian and was probably in elementary school in 2000.

LOL

She's American living in Canada, and she's old enough to have voted for Mondale/Ferraro in her misspent youth.

I'll rephrase, in agreement with simplicimus - The distinct lack of Bill Clinton cost Al Gore the presidency.  Along with Elian Gonzalez, Ralph Nader splitting off votes in Florida, and, well... Florida being Florida.


Wasn't there a huge voter roll purge in 2000 that removed several thousand legitimate voters?
 
2013-08-04 05:08:35 PM  

jake_lex: I don't like that this would be done as a compact between states, and could start with only half the states in the union represented.  I'm all for getting rid of the Electoral College, but you have to do it right.  Half-ass measures like this that leave the Electoral College in existence could backfire and make it even less representative of the actual vote than it is now.


You don't need half the states to agree. You need 271 electoral votes worth of states. Which could be something like the 15 biggest states, though several smaller states have already signed on.
 
2013-08-04 05:09:06 PM  
Damn it. Add "in Florida" to the end of my post.
 
2013-08-04 05:10:02 PM  

Shakin_Haitian: Wasn't there a huge voter roll purge in 2000 that removed several thousand legitimate voters?



Yes.  They were in the military, and democrats did not want those votes counted.
 
2013-08-04 05:10:47 PM  
farm4.staticflickr.com

"Politicians often try to circumvent the Constitution."
 
2013-08-04 05:11:11 PM  
I'd like to see the Republican argument against states rights here.
 
2013-08-04 05:12:01 PM  

ScaryBottles: Republicans will never let it happen. In the past 3 election cycles they have lost the popular vote 5 out of 6 times. Considering how things are going doing away with the electoral college means they never win the big chair again.


They should support it. Obama could have lost the popular vote by 2 percent, and still would have easily won the election. Republicans do better in deep red states than Democrats do in deep blue states.
 
2013-08-04 05:13:31 PM  

Bashar and Asma's Infinite Playlist: I'd like to see the Republican argument against states rights here.


From what I've seen, the major counter-argument is "PLEASE THINK OF WYOMING!"  Which, personally, I have thought of, and I see no reason that a handful of people in Wyoming should hold disproportionate sway over who the chief executive is.  They already have undue influence in both houses of the legislature.
 
2013-08-04 05:13:55 PM  

Spaced Lion: [farm4.staticflickr.com image 200x150]

"Politicians often try to circumvent the Constitution."


"People often have no clue how the Constitution works."
 
2013-08-04 05:14:37 PM  
Most people are against this because candidates would ignore states with small populations.  To that I say good.  Government comes from representing the people.  Places that are more dense should have a greater say in government and the government should be answering to them.  We have the senate to protect smaller states already.  It's unfair that the government gets hijacked just because a few in-bred idiots want more jesus.
 
2013-08-04 05:16:03 PM  

Spaced Lion: "Politicians often try to circumvent the Constitution."


Except I argue that the compact is constitutional and thus can't be a circumvention.
 
2013-08-04 05:16:16 PM  

TuteTibiImperes: Pray 4 Mojo: "But since the electoral college cost Al Gore the presidency in 2000..."

This is as stupid/insane/dishonest as saying the rules cost the 49ers the Superbowl because they gained 100 more yards than the Ravens. It doesn't work that way.

I understand the arguments against the EC (although I disagree with them)... what I don't understand is why States are signing up to disenfranchise their own residents. It's mistifying.

I sincerely hope if this is ever put into practice, it bites the morons behind it (Democrats mostly) squarely in the ass.

If I'm reading it correctly the plan basically just makes the popular vote within each state receive the total electoral votes for that state... I agree, that doesn't really seem like an improvement.

Why not just abolish the system of electoral votes entirely and rely only on the popular vote nationwide?  That way everyone's voice is equal no matter what state you live in.


OK, that would be funny.  Some state that usually votes for one party for President runs a favorite son candidate.  He comes up 10,000 votes short nationally to the states' normally favored party but, of course, wins 80-20 in his home state, which has signed on to this idea.  Fun all around.

Any idea how this legislation deals with faithless electors?
 
2013-08-04 05:16:20 PM  

Britney Spear's Speculum: Most people are against this because candidates would ignore states with small populations.  To that I say good.  Government comes from representing the people.  Places that are more dense should have a greater say in government and the government should be answering to them.  We have the senate to protect smaller states already.  It's unfair that the government gets hijacked just because a few in-bred idiots want more jesus.


That's the dumbest argument too.  Candidates already ignore states with small populations.  And states with big populations.  And every state other than a small handful that happen to have just the right demographic blend to be "in play".
 
2013-08-04 05:19:49 PM  

Neighborhood Watch: The story is bogus.

This liberal pipe-dream is right up there with making D.C. a state and minting trillion dollar coins.  The Supreme Court would strike this down.  If it didn't, you have a real Civil War II.


States are free to select their electors in whatever way they see fit. Yet another conservative that hasn't read the Constitution they claim to worship.
 
2013-08-04 05:20:01 PM  

HeartBurnKid: Pray 4 Mojo: I understand the arguments against the EC (although I disagree with them)... what I don't understand is why States are signing up to disenfranchise their own residents.

Perhaps you don't get it because you don't understand that the current system already disenfranchises all but a handful of states.  Most of the states that have signed on for this are the ones that get routinely ignored in presidential politics.


Who cares? Seriously. Does it really matter if a candidate comes to speak in a high school gym in your city or one two States away?

Show me a piece of tangible evidence that there has been actual policy or legislation that was beneficial to a "swing" State... that was effected because it is a swing State.

The argument can easily be made the doing away with the EC takes the "power" away from swing States and simply places it in the hands of fewer States with more population.
 
2013-08-04 05:20:44 PM  
How about proportioning candidates for each congressional district not just based on number of voters but number of voters in the previous, lets say, last 5 congressional elections. This would also incentivize voting. If representation is supposed to be proportional, why should 100 voters out of 10000 (example numbers) in district A have the same power of electing a representative as 5000 out of 10000 voters in district B?
 
2013-08-04 05:20:44 PM  

HeartBurnKid: Britney Spear's Speculum: Most people are against this because candidates would ignore states with small populations.  To that I say good.  Government comes from representing the people.  Places that are more dense should have a greater say in government and the government should be answering to them.  We have the senate to protect smaller states already.  It's unfair that the government gets hijacked just because a few in-bred idiots want more jesus.

That's the dumbest argument too.  Candidates already ignore states with small populations.  And states with big populations.  And every state other than a small handful that happen to have just the right demographic blend to be "in play".


Bingo. I bet you that in in X amount of years when latinos are majority, they'll campaign in states with huge latino populations.
 
2013-08-04 05:20:59 PM  

Neeek: ScaryBottles: Republicans will never let it happen. In the past 3 election cycles they have lost the popular vote 5 out of 6 times. Considering how things are going doing away with the electoral college means they never win the big chair again.

They should support it. Obama could have lost the popular vote by 2 percent, and still would have easily won the election. Republicans do better in deep red states than Democrats do in deep blue states.


Uhm.... not to nitpick but he didn't, he won the popular vote too. Call me a pedant but I prefer to base my conclusions on things that actually happened not what I wished had.
 
2013-08-04 05:21:15 PM  

HeartBurnKid: Bashar and Asma's Infinite Playlist: I'd like to see the Republican argument against states rights here.

From what I've seen, the major counter-argument is "PLEASE THINK OF WYOMING!"  Which, personally, I have thought of, and I see no reason that a handful of people in Wyoming should hold disproportionate sway over who the chief executive is.  They already have undue influence in both houses of the legislature.


Yeah, the only thing this changes is that voting power is more evenly distributed. The argument about Wyoming and some of the other nearly empty plains states isn't even one of equality or morality. It's a straight up "This system privileges us at the cost of millions of other American voters, and we don't want to give that up." Of course, given that the recent mental gymnastics that took place during the proposed government shutdown, the debate rhetoric would contort itself into a superdense ball of insanity.

"Republicans are trying to shut down the government to defund Obamacare, and this will not stand!"
"Democrats are trying to shut down the government by not letting us defund Obamacare, and this will not stand!"
 
2013-08-04 05:21:35 PM  

Pray 4 Mojo: Show me a piece of tangible evidence that there has been actual policy or legislation that was beneficial to a "swing" State... that was effected because it is a swing State.


Corn subsidies.
 
2013-08-04 05:23:21 PM  
Just to add...

Pray 4 Mojo: The argument can easily be made the doing away with the EC takes the "power" away from swing States and simply places it in the hands of fewer States with more population.


You mean the places where the most people live will have the most power?  How undemocratic!
 
2013-08-04 05:23:27 PM  

Manfred J. Hattan: Any idea how this legislation deals with faithless electors?


From my GED in Wikipedia, states are relatively free to do as they wish with regard to faithless electors.

Twenty-some states already have laws to deal with it, so I guess they have or will figure out the logistics.
 
2013-08-04 05:24:03 PM  

Neighborhood Watch: The story is bogus.

This liberal pipe-dream is right up there with making D.C. a state and minting trillion dollar coins.  The Supreme Court would strike this down.  If it didn't, you have a real Civil War II.


What, you think teabaggers and survivalists are going to stop playing guns and fight for REAL?

A Hoverround ain't a good fighting vehicle.
 
2013-08-04 05:24:29 PM  

Bashar and Asma's Infinite Playlist: I'd like to see the Republican argument against states rights here.


The argument is that compacts between the states are illegal unless they've been approved by Congress. At the same time, each state gets to decide how to allocate its electoral votes.

I wouldn't want to take any bets as to how this might be ruled on in the courts.
 
2013-08-04 05:25:19 PM  
And as we already know, we only have as many flyover states as we do so the balance of slave and free states could be maintained. Otherwise there would be 2 states in the middle of the country.
 
2013-08-04 05:25:24 PM  

Wolf_Blitzer: Neighborhood Watch: The story is bogus.

This liberal pipe-dream is right up there with making D.C. a state and minting trillion dollar coins.  The Supreme Court would strike this down.  If it didn't, you have a real Civil War II.

States are free to select their electors in whatever way they see fit. Yet another conservative that hasn't read the Constitution they claim to worship.


I think it would be more fun if more states adopted proportional representation of Electoral vote. If a candidate gets 40% of the state vote, 40% of the Electors go to that candidate.
 
2013-08-04 05:26:50 PM  
No it isn't.
 
2013-08-04 05:27:07 PM  
HeartBurnKid:
From what I've seen, the major counter-argument is "PLEASE THINK OF WYOMING!"  Which, personally, I have thought of, and I see no reason that a handful of people in Wyoming should hold disproportionate sway over who the chief executive is.  They already have undue influence in both houses of the legislature.

When has Wyoming ever been a battleground state?
 
2013-08-04 05:29:26 PM  

phansen: HeartBurnKid:
From what I've seen, the major counter-argument is "PLEASE THINK OF WYOMING!"  Which, personally, I have thought of, and I see no reason that a handful of people in Wyoming should hold disproportionate sway over who the chief executive is.  They already have undue influence in both houses of the legislature.

When has Wyoming ever been a battleground state?


It's not, but that doesn't stop the argument from being made.
 
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