HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Only thing worse than The...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 11:30 PM

Only thing worse than The Electoral College are right-wing halfway measures to change it.

The Electoral College has multiple problems:

1) voters are not equally counted. the largest states, each voter has about 20% less power than the voter in a small state and in the smaller group of states, each voter has about 20% more power. for a national office in a system with a president, every voter should have equal influence.

2) the Electors themselves are in many states not bound to the state's voters. unfaithful electors can legally vote any way they want in about half our states. it's kind of ridiculous.

3) ties. the probability of a tie is fairly high, far higher than would be the case if it were based on the popular vote --the problem with a tie is how the tie is settled --a ridiculously unrepresentative 1 vote per state based on the composition of one's congressional delegation.

4) the popular vote winner doesn't necessarily win.

All that said, you'd think I'd appreciate any kind of proportional alteration of the Electoral College --but I don't.
I'm against the Electoral College because I don't think it's fair, democratic, doesn't have safeguards to prevent Presidential selections being completely out of left field and undemocratic.

But to fix it, you need to amend the constitution to rid ourselves of this and set up a new system.

Short of that, there are proposals that don't require changing the constitution, but these are risky.

1) Electoral votes based on congressional districts. This only eliminates the "winner take all" aspect of the Electoral College and doesn't eliminate the unfairness, the lack of binding of electors to State choices.

And there are NEW downsides, the main one being that it's likely to make the Electoral College EVEN MORE unrepresentative because if you base it on congressional districts which are gerrymandered in most states, carefully drawn districts could award a strong majority Democratic vote to Republicans simply because the districts have been drawn to elect Republicans.

2) Conditional State to state pledges (by some, not all states) to award Electoral votes one way or another. the primary problem here is that you still have an unfair system and based on some states agreeing to award their votes popularly, you end up overrepresenting the states that refuse to join these pacts and then underrepresenting states that do join these pacts by removing those states "winner take all". In addition. instead of addressing the fairness aspect, it sets up a confusing system where candidates and voters can't know for sure the outcome of a certain vote because with some states some rules of counting would apply and for others the current Electoral Counting and rules would apply.

This does almost no good and seems to add new problems to our current system.


Just repeal it by constitutional amendment, and though that's hard (but it's not impossible). Most proposals to tweak the current system end up keeping some of its distasteful aspects and often makes those worse.

Furthermore, to those that say it will never change because states with power won't give up power to other states? Not necessarily. For example, women's suffrage was passed and that weakened male hegemony in voting.

A final warning:

Some of the ideas to change the Electoral College to a hybrid system (instead of pure popular vote) are merely right wing attempts to make the system more favorable to Republicans. The Republicans are at a disadvantage in the current system and a popular vote scenario. Their only advantage is to tweak the current system's unfairnesses to make it even more unrepresentative so that their lack of voting power has a better chance of netting them a Presidential victory.

Don't be fooled. Be skeptical of any proposal to modify the Electoral College in some weird way. The only alternative you can safely consider is the popular vote option and that's mostly because it is fair to individual voters and individuals need not be geniuses or constitutional experts to understand how it works.

Stay tuned.

71 replies, 3710 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 71 replies Author Time Post
Reply Only thing worse than The Electoral College are right-wing halfway measures to change it. (Original post)
CreekDog Nov 2012 OP
graham4anything Nov 2012 #1
SoutherDem Nov 2012 #3
SickOfTheOnePct Nov 2012 #7
graham4anything Nov 2012 #8
SickOfTheOnePct Nov 2012 #9
graham4anything Nov 2012 #10
SickOfTheOnePct Nov 2012 #11
graham4anything Nov 2012 #12
SickOfTheOnePct Nov 2012 #13
graham4anything Nov 2012 #14
SickOfTheOnePct Nov 2012 #18
kelliekat44 Nov 2012 #2
SoutherDem Nov 2012 #4
moondust Nov 2012 #5
CreekDog Nov 2012 #6
hughee99 Nov 2012 #23
moondust Nov 2012 #31
Son of Gob Nov 2012 #42
moondust Nov 2012 #43
Son of Gob Nov 2012 #44
moondust Nov 2012 #45
Son of Gob Nov 2012 #46
Hippo_Tron Nov 2012 #35
SickOfTheOnePct Nov 2012 #38
Hippo_Tron Nov 2012 #62
SickOfTheOnePct Nov 2012 #65
Hippo_Tron Nov 2012 #66
SickOfTheOnePct Nov 2012 #67
Hippo_Tron Nov 2012 #68
grantcart Nov 2012 #15
CreekDog Nov 2012 #16
grantcart Nov 2012 #19
CreekDog Nov 2012 #20
SickOfTheOnePct Nov 2012 #24
CreekDog Nov 2012 #28
JVS Nov 2012 #55
SickOfTheOnePct Nov 2012 #17
CreekDog Nov 2012 #21
SickOfTheOnePct Nov 2012 #25
CreekDog Nov 2012 #26
Warren Stupidity Nov 2012 #27
SickOfTheOnePct Nov 2012 #29
Warren Stupidity Nov 2012 #30
slackmaster Nov 2012 #22
Odin2005 Nov 2012 #32
NYC Liberal Nov 2012 #33
Hippo_Tron Nov 2012 #36
NYC Liberal Nov 2012 #37
Hippo_Tron Nov 2012 #50
NYC Liberal Nov 2012 #54
Hippo_Tron Nov 2012 #56
NYC Liberal Nov 2012 #58
Hippo_Tron Nov 2012 #59
NYC Liberal Nov 2012 #60
Hippo_Tron Nov 2012 #61
KharmaTrain Nov 2012 #34
SickOfTheOnePct Nov 2012 #39
CreekDog Nov 2012 #40
SickOfTheOnePct Nov 2012 #41
CreekDog Nov 2012 #47
SickOfTheOnePct Nov 2012 #49
CreekDog Nov 2012 #71
cherokeeprogressive Nov 2012 #48
democrattotheend Nov 2012 #53
cherokeeprogressive Nov 2012 #63
democrattotheend Nov 2012 #64
JVS Nov 2012 #70
WCGreen Nov 2012 #51
SickOfTheOnePct Nov 2012 #57
HooptieWagon Nov 2012 #52
markpkessinger Nov 2012 #69

Response to CreekDog (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 11:34 PM

1. Keep the system the way it is-

 

No change at all

Except add 3 to 6 new electoral votes for Puerto Rico

Making it 541 to 544

And it cannot be changed anyhow for 2016 or 2020

Keep it just the way it is

And don't forget 100% amnesty and citizenship in the next 4 years
More democrats more than ever never will anyone else win if one keeps focused on the prize

And the dream lives on

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to graham4anything (Reply #1)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 01:43 AM

3. Remember back in 2000?

When Gore won the popular and Bush the electoral college with the help of the Supreme Court some Democrats wanted the end of the electoral college and go to a popular vote.

Back then the answer was the confusion if the election was really close because it would cause recounts of all the states causing 50 situations like in Florida, Republicans back then thought the electoral college was the best thing since sliced bread. Now they want to change the way we elect presidents but not by popular vote but congressional districts. I guess if you can't win the electoral college or popular vote keep trying a way till you can get the outcome you want.

I agree with you, keep it the same except add Puerto Rico.

As to the House Districts, here in Alabama we went approximately 61% Romney and 39% Obama but due to the way the districts are drawn we have only 14% or 1 Democratic representative in the House. Our Congressional map looks like a 1 year old with a crayon drew it. Suggesting going to congressional districts would be the only way Republicans can win national offices until they change their ways.

They found out they can't buy elections, or prevent people from voting, so just rig the elections so the state legislatures not only fix the house outcome but the Presidential outcome also I for one am tire the the Republican BS.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to graham4anything (Reply #1)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 08:37 AM

7. The most new electoral votes that would be added for Puerto Rico would be 2

The House is currently capped at 435, so that won't change, absent a change in the law. The Senate would go to 102 v. 100.

Unless Congress changes the law capping the House, Puerto Rico's House reps will need to come from taking them from other states, and I'm not sure how that could be done until the next census.

Electoral College would go from 538 to 540.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SickOfTheOnePct (Reply #7)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 11:06 AM

8. No it would be 3 and Puerto Rico if state, would obviously get house reps

 

Congress needs to ratify anyhow so they would get their own house reps and it would be added to the house
and it would also effect DC-as they get the minimum amount of a state

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to graham4anything (Reply #8)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 11:10 AM

9. Please read what I wrote

I said the most NEW electoral votes added for Puerto Rico would be two, which is correct. No matter how many reps they end up with, unless current law is changed, the most NEW electoral votes would be two, for the two new Senators from Puerto Rico.

The new electoral college total would go from 538 to 540, and increase of two.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SickOfTheOnePct (Reply #9)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 11:15 AM

10. then DC would decrease to 2 so it would seem the law would change before that happens

 

DC gets the bare minimum of the lowest amount of the state

so it is doubtful the dems would let DC go from 3 to 2
(especially as DC is not even a state though they should be.)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to graham4anything (Reply #10)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 11:19 AM

11. You're still not understanding what I'm saying

And this has nothing whatsoever to do with DC.

No matter how many reps Puerto Rico ends up with, 4, 6, 9, whatever, the TOTAL number of electoral votes will only go up by two because current law caps the size of the House at 435.

Puerto Rico may well end up with (using the numbers above) 6, 8 or 11 electoral votes, but the TOTAL number of electoral votes will only only increase by two, from 538-540. The rest of Puerto Rico's EVs will have to be pulled from other states.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SickOfTheOnePct (Reply #11)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 11:21 AM

12. oh,sorry- I see...(then lets pull them from Wyoming and Kansas and SD and

 

other red states

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to graham4anything (Reply #12)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 11:23 AM

13. We can't do that n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SickOfTheOnePct (Reply #13)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 11:32 AM

14. I am making a joke

 

but they will have to come from somewhere

I have a feeling the law will change first
no state will want to give anything up

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to graham4anything (Reply #14)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 11:55 AM

18. Meh, I don't know

Some states give up electoral votes every 10 years after the census.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CreekDog (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 11:34 PM

2. Why don't they just say "each white vote = 100 other votes?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to kelliekat44 (Reply #2)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 01:49 AM

4. I agree except it should be white men.

Women, blacks, gays, and those of latino heritage except for Cuban would each get 1 vote. Maybe they should give a test like in the Jim Crow days to determine if you are allowed to vote or to prorate your vote.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CreekDog (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 02:58 AM

5. The popular vote option would work too much like a corporation.

All of Washington's political and economic attention would shift to the most (politically) profitable areas--big population centers where all the votes are! And not just during election campaigns. Rural areas would be left for dead because they'd have no political power at all.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to moondust (Reply #5)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 08:16 AM

6. because nearly all the US people live in cities

do you think it's fair that a candidate hasn't had a campaign rally in our first or second largest cities in ages?

The New York City and Los Angeles Areas are home to something like 1 of 6 Americans.

The 5 largest metro areas in the country have over half our population --HALF!

The idea that there's some sort of fairness that they are mostly ignored by campaigns is ridiculous.

ONE person ONE vote. not this nonsense.

YOUR ideal is to reduce the power of minorities, their votes are reduced if they are in big states (and most are) while increasing the strength of white voters.

In other words, your ideal is the antithesis of freedom and democracy.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CreekDog (Reply #6)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 12:11 PM

23. New York City and Los Angeles don't have rallies because their EV's aren't in doubt.

Instead, they have fundraisers where the candidates raise money instead of spend it.

Which 5 US metro areas have a combined population of about 155 million?

The Metro areas for Tokyo, Seoul, Mexico City, New York City and Mumbai is only about 110 Million.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to hughee99 (Reply #23)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 02:34 PM

31. And they would grow even bigger.

Politicians in Congress and the WH would eventually stop funding the maintenance of roads and infrastructure in rural areas because there would be nothing for them to gain from it ("return on investment"). As the rural infrastructure collapses, everybody ends up migrating to bigger and bigger population centers like New York, Chicago, and LA where roads and infrastructure would still be maintained and things like grocery stores and hospitals would still be accessible.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to moondust (Reply #31)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 05:18 PM

42. This is one of the most absurd things I've ever read.

Are you under the impression that State governments would cease to exist? That rural areas would no longer have Representatives in U.S. Congress? What in the Sam Hill are you blabbering about?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Son of Gob (Reply #42)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 05:27 PM

43. You can read?

Had me fooled.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to moondust (Reply #43)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 06:15 PM

44. Great comeback, what are you 12?

It's been a pleasure reading the ravings of an intellectual giant such as yourself. Any other pearls of wisdom you wish to impart from your bulbous cranium?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Son of Gob (Reply #44)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 06:34 PM

45. Do you have

absolutely anything to add to this thread besides arrogant insults? Anything at all?

Welcome to ignore, dumbass.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to moondust (Reply #45)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 07:02 PM

46. Your freeper like idiocy doesn't deserve anything less than derision and scorn.

Enjoy wallowing in your own ignorance, genius.

Have a nice day..

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to moondust (Reply #5)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 03:30 PM

35. Rural areas would still be represented in congress

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Hippo_Tron (Reply #35)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 04:33 PM

38. So they shouldn't have their concerns addressed by the President? n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SickOfTheOnePct (Reply #38)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 08:38 PM

62. Sure they do, just like urban areas deserve to have their concerns addressed

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Hippo_Tron (Reply #62)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 09:13 PM

65. I only asked because in your previous post

You implied that it would be fine to just ignore rural areas in electing a President, since they would have Congressional representation.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SickOfTheOnePct (Reply #65)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 09:41 PM

66. To be more specific, they're overrepresented in the United States Senate

And given the power that the Senate has to advise and consent to the President's appointments, it guarantees that the Senate will force the President to address rural concerns.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Hippo_Tron (Reply #66)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 09:45 PM

67. I disagree that they are over-represented in the Senate

They are represented exactly as the Constitution call for them to be.

If both houses of Congress were based on population, we wouldn't need both of them.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SickOfTheOnePct (Reply #67)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 09:48 PM

68. Don't really want to debate the overrepresentation thing, that's not really the point

The point is that the way the President interacts with the modern Senate, it's impossible for him to ignore rural concerns. Rural senators have the power to make his life a living hell if he does that.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CreekDog (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 11:35 AM

15. You have left out a key part of the "conditional state by state pledge"


The pledges only go into effect when there are enough states to capture the majority.

IE they pledge now but nothing changes until they have enough to guarantee that the electoral votes go to the person that gets the popular vote.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to grantcart (Reply #15)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 11:44 AM

16. i have an issue unless all states are included in the pledge

not just those states that participate.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CreekDog (Reply #16)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 12:04 PM

19. I am not following your logic


If a majority of the states agree to bind their Electoral Votes to the winner of the Popular vote and that guarantees that the popular vote now takes the White House

and 49 states agree to the condition

you would be against the proposal because Mississippi was against it?

Did I state your position correctly?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to grantcart (Reply #19)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 12:10 PM

20. Yes, that's what my OP says, and that's what the post you're responding to says

any agreement regarding awarding of Electoral Votes needs to apply to all 50 states for me to support it.

that's why the only thing I support is amending the constitution to replace the Electoral College with direction election by popular vote.

as i stated there are problems with the Electoral system even if you award it proportionally. all states aren't bound by law to do what their voters mandate.

i am absolutely against continuing the Electoral College, but I'll only accept options that replace it, unless the replacement is a matter of law which applies to the entire United States, is binding on all states and is free from the faithless elector potential.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CreekDog (Reply #20)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 12:14 PM

24. Then the only way to make you happy is a Constitutional amendment

The Constitution leaves it to the states to determine how they allocate their electoral votes, and there is no requrement that they all do it the same way. Two states already allocate theirs differently than the other 48.

I'm surprised that you would take the "the good is an enemy of the perfect" approach to this.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SickOfTheOnePct (Reply #24)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 12:28 PM

28. I'm not a 'good is the enemy of the perfect' kind of person, an EC-hybrid approach isn't *good*

it retains many of the other problems associated with the Electoral College (the popular vote issue is JUST ONE of my concerns, as my OP states quite clearly).

the EC system is bad enough, some agreement between a bunch of states but not all of them combined with faithless electors sets up the possibility of non-representative chaos, with little remedy.

the current practice is better than these alternatives.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CreekDog (Reply #16)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 04:24 AM

55. Then it will never happen because the small states needed to pass an amendment are the same who...

are over-represented in electoral college and the legislature. EC vs. popular has always been a fight between high population and low population. The pledge work because it allows the populous states to overcome an impediment to their representation by cooperating.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CreekDog (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 11:50 AM

17. Absent a Constitutional amendment to do away with the EC

the next best thing is proportional, the way Nebraska and Maine do it.

Winner of the congressional district gets that electoral vote, and winner of the state popular vote gets the two Senate affliated electoral votes.

I'm not in favor of getting rid of the electoral college but I believe that proportional allocation is preferable to winner take all.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SickOfTheOnePct (Reply #17)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 12:11 PM

21. no, not with gerrymandered districts it's not.

tons of states that vote Democratically would've sent nearly all of their votes to Mitt Romney (and he would have won) under that system.

that makes the system less fair, not more.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CreekDog (Reply #21)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 12:16 PM

25. I've been looking for an election map broken down by Congressional district

If you've seen one, I would love to have the link.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink



Response to SickOfTheOnePct (Reply #25)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 12:25 PM

27. Uh the election breakdown by congressional district is approximately the

Party alignment of the house. There are probably not a lot CDs that split their vote. The Republican Party gerrymandered every state they captured in 2010.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #27)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 12:29 PM

29. Could be

But I think there were probably large blocks of people that didn't want Mitt Romney to be President under any circumstances, but wanted to keep their Republican House member.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SickOfTheOnePct (Reply #29)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 01:36 PM

30. So actually this is a difficult question to fully answer.

See what the folks here have done: http://www.csc.ncsu.edu/faculty/healey/US_election/
The data is difficult, but consider PA here:


Obama wins this state, but loses by CD. The districts have been severely gerrymandered. I agree with the OP that only a direct vote reform, where each of us has the same voting weight as every one else, is a reform that is not subject to political shenanigans.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CreekDog (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 12:11 PM

22. I agree with the core point here

 

Everyone who has a plan to "fix" the problems that the EC causes is attempting to shift the balance of power in his or her favor.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CreekDog (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 02:38 PM

32. Take away 2 electoral votes from each state, that will make it more proportional population-wise.

And will weaken the influence of low-population red states like Montana and North Dakota.

I don't want it to be a simple popular vote because it would allow corrupt red-state Pukes to affect the election by stuffing ballot boxes in Texas and Utah, with the EC such BS is prevented.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CreekDog (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 02:45 PM

33. A straight popular vote is not fair.

A popular-vote-based system would be fair if the population were equally distributed. It isn't. The Electoral College is based on population to begin with, but the per-state structure forces candidates to visit areas other than the five or six major population centers. You say it's fair that if New York and LA have more people then they should get all the attention. But it's not, because the people of LA and New York have very different concerns and issues than people in Iowa and Ohio. There may be ~22 million people in the NY metro area, but the concerns of farmers in Iowa or auto factory workers in Michigan need to be addressed too. The president is president of the entire country, not just of the big cities (and I live in a big city).

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to NYC Liberal (Reply #33)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 03:43 PM

36. Your argument fails to take several considerations into account.

First of all there are diminishing returns. If presidential candidates only visited the 5 or 6 largest metro areas for the entire campaign, people who stop going to their rallies after a while because everybody who wants to go would've already been several times. Secondly, residents in these areas would tire extremely quickly of motorcades and police escorts holding up traffic.

Secondly, the media markets in these areas are frightfully expensive to advertise in. So yes there are more voters in these areas, but you have to pay a lot more to target these people.

Thirdly (and most importantly), there's no point in campaigning in the major population centers if the major population centers don't contain a lot of persuadable voters. I suspect that if we got rid of the electoral college, candidates might stop once or twice in New York or LA but not much more time than they would now.

Big cities like New York and LA are overwhelmingly Democratic. They may have a lot of voters, but they don't necessarily have a lot of persuadable voters. The swing votes these days are in the suburbs and the exurbs. This is where the campaigns are targeting their campaigns to already and this is where you'd continue to see candidates targeting their campaigns to without the electoral college. Only you'd see it all over the country rather than just in a handful of swing states.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Hippo_Tron (Reply #36)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 04:29 PM

37. But you wouldn't see it "all over the country" with a straight popular vote.

You just admitted as much in your post. Obama would not be visiting Oklahoma or Wyoming, and Romney would not be visiting Vermont or Hawaii, because those states are overwhelmingly Republican or Democratic. The Electoral College balances the uneven population distribution. It ensures that the interests of people in rural, agrarian areas are represented instead of allowing elections to be dominated by large population centers. Just because there are fewer people in Iowa than in New York doesn't mean their interests are any less important. The president represents all of them. The Electoral College requires candidates to garner support from across the country, not just in one region with a lot of people.

In a popular vote system, moderates and independents would be ignored. Candidates would become more extreme. Republicans would move to the right to get as many easy votes as possible in states like Texas and Idaho. Democrats would move to the left to get as many votes as possible in New York and California. Why would Obama spend time in "tossup" states like Ohio when he could just spend all his time in the northeast racking up tons of easy votes there?

Now, you might think that this is good since we are liberals here and we'd want a more liberal candidate. But having candidates run to the extremes on each side would only fracture and divide the country even further every four years. The Electoral College forces candidates to address the needs of a much more diverse base of voters and thus encourages moderate candidates that, if elected, can govern effectively because they aren't so extreme and weren't elected by a small portion of the country.

The Electoral College works. It's why we've had continuous, stable government for 220 years: because the entire country truly is represented when a president is elected.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to NYC Liberal (Reply #37)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 12:02 AM

50. I disagree, Democrats would visit Idaho and Oklahoma if there were no electoral college

All of a sudden they actually would have an incentive to visit these places. Tulsa, OKC, Boise and the surrounding areas all probably have a lot of moderate voters that they could court. They don't bother right now because the states they are in are so red. Omaha and Lincoln in Nebraska are moderate-to-liberal areas. But again, nobody bothers campaigning there because Nebraska is dark red on the whole.

They would sure as hell visit Texas and Arizona to rally the Latino vote.

Likewise with no electoral college I think Romney would've spent a great deal of time in places like New Jersey and California where there's a lot of Republicans but the states aren't in play so they don't bothers even trying.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Hippo_Tron (Reply #50)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 02:35 AM

54. Candidates would have no reason to appeal to moderates without the EC.

Under the EC system, it doesn't matter if Obama wins California by 1,000 votes or 100,000. That's why Democrats don't bother spending time in places like CA and NY where the margins don't matter. They know they'll win those states.

Under a popular vote system, the margin becomes relevant. It does matter if Obama wins California by 1,000 vs 100,000 votes. There are many more easy votes for Obama in California than in Idaho -- a) because there are more liberal Democrats in CA and b) because there are more people. Thus under a popular vote system, Obama would spend all his time in California and New York trying to get as many Democrats as possible out to vote instead of wasting time in Iowa convincing moderates who aren't even sure who they want to vote for. Why go to Iowa and spend money persuading undecided voters that they should even support you, when all you need to do is run to New York where there are tons of Democrats who don't need convincing, just some persuasion to go vote?

Likewise, Romney would have spent all his time in Texas where there are tons of conservatives.

A popular vote system would just result in a big GOTV campaign where each side runs to the extremes to make sure as much of their base in the large population centers votes. Romney might get a ton of votes from his base in Texas, but that only wins him Texas under the EC system. Same goes for Obama with California or NY.

A national popular vote system would result in candidates who were elected by the extremes of the country, which would be incredible divisive. The country may be divided now, but at least under the EC system the president has to win with diverse support from across the country.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to NYC Liberal (Reply #54)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 11:01 AM

56. Have you ever worked on a campaign? Doing ONLY GOTV makes no sense whatsoever

The formula for persuasion vs GOTV depends on how much your constituency differs from your party. If you're a Democrat in a red area, you spend most of your resources on persuasion. If you're a Democrat in a blue area, you spend most of your resources on GOTV. If you're in a middle of the road area, you divide them somewhere in between.

The President got just over 50% of the vote in this election, which indicates what we already knew. The United State is, essentially, one big swing state. It's right down the middle. In order to maximize their vote share, campaigns would devote substantial resources BOTH to persuasion and GOTV.

You're assuming for some reason that GOTV is always easier than persuasion. It's not. Turning out someone who is in your target demographic but never bothers to get off their ass and vote is not an easy task. It's much easier to win the vote of a pure undecided or someone who leans democratic that actually votes. Likewise, persuading a likely R is more difficult than turning out someone who generally votes D but sat out the midterms. That's why you do BOTH in order to maximize your resources.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Hippo_Tron (Reply #56)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 04:58 PM

58. You're missing my point.

Right now margins of victory in individual states don't matter. Whether Obama wins a safe state like California by a million votes or by 10 million, he gets all 55 electoral votes. But it's a safe state, so he doesn't need to spend time there to increase his margin. A popular vote system would mean that instead of having to spend time in states like Iowa, Obama would spend the vast majority of his time in California and the Northeast trying to get as many people there who already support him out to vote. Romney would do likewise in Texas and the South. Instead of having to appeal to a broad, diverse swath of the population, candidates would simply run to the extremes in regions where they already have heavy support. Obama would focus on getting 95% of the vote in California instead of 55%. That would make for an extremely divided country with a president who never has to garner support from across the country to be elected. Presidents would be elected by the major population centers and the regions where their solid base is concentrated.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to NYC Liberal (Reply #58)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 06:00 PM

59. No, you're missing mine

Attempting to get 95% of the vote in California is a really stupid way to try and win the national popular vote. Yes Obama would spend SOME time in California trying to get 60% instead of the 55% he gets by not campaigning at all. But he would not spend all of his time there because of DIMINISHING RETURNS. His time would be much better spent trying to win voters in swing areas like Iowa, Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, AND swing areas in red states like Omaha, Lincoln, Boise, etc. that currently get no presidential visits whatsoever.

You obviously do not understand the concept of diminishing returns, nor did you bother reading my explanation of how it works.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Hippo_Tron (Reply #59)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 06:29 PM

60. You're wrong. Obama won the majority of his votes from safe blue states this election.

A national popular vote would indeed encourage candidates to spend much more of their time in safe states in specific regions. Sure they would spend SOME time elsewhere to pick up some more votes. But it would completely change the dynamics of the election -- and not in a good way.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to NYC Liberal (Reply #60)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 08:37 PM

61. Yes we agree, they would spend "more of their time" in blue and red states

And frankly I think that's way more fair than the current system. Texas, New York, and California make up over a quarter of the nation's population. Under the electoral college they get jack shit from presidential candidates. Please tell me why that's fair?

Ohio and Iowa deserve attention from presidential candidates. We agree that under a popular vote system, they would get SOME of it. I think this is perfectly fair. They don't deserve to have nearly all of it, like they do now.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CreekDog (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 02:45 PM

34. Appropriate Electoral Votes By Givers & Takers...

...ya know...states that contribute more money to the federal government than they get back get more votes and those who receive the most aid would get the fewest votes. How "free market", eh?

I kinda get the feeling the freepers would go for this idea...



Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CreekDog (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 04:39 PM

39. Here are the states joining the "right wing attempt" to fix the Electoral College

Jurisdictions enacting law to join National Popular Vote Interstate Compact No. Jurisdiction Current
Electoral
votes (EV) Date adopted
1 Maryland 10 02007-04-10April 10, 2007
2 New Jersey 14 02008-01-13January 13, 2008
3 Illinois 20 02008-04-07April 7, 2008
4 Hawaii 4 02008-05-01May 1, 2008
5 Washington 12 02009-04-28April 28, 2009
6 Massachusetts 11 02010-08-04August 4, 2010
7 District of Columbia 3 02010-12-07December 7, 2010
8 Vermont 3 02011-04-22April 22, 2011
9 California 55 02011-08-08August 8, 2011


Not a single red state. Not one.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SickOfTheOnePct (Reply #39)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 05:03 PM

40. the congressional district allocation one is the right wing one

i support a pure popular vote approach, but I don't support alternatives unless all states are covered by it and it's a matter of law.

without that, this approach could fail by one state failing to perform as it has agreed (electors are often not bound by law), meanwhile my state will have given my votes to some other candidate expecting other states to have done as they promised.

there are so few guarantees with what you're posting and that's my issue with it.

all 50 do it by law or nothing or amend the constitution. half measures in this case are fraught with dangers, whereas with many issues I support half-measures, not when the risks are so high.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CreekDog (Reply #40)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 05:06 PM

41. In an all or nothing option

My choice would be to leave it as it is - Electoral College, with each state determining how they allocate their electoral votes.

To me, a flat out popular vote is a non-stater.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SickOfTheOnePct (Reply #41)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 07:55 PM

47. popular vote is non-starter to you because you don't like the idea?

or because you think amending the constitution to do that is impossible at this point?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CreekDog (Reply #47)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 08:11 PM

49. Both n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SickOfTheOnePct (Reply #49)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 12:56 PM

71. if you don't want the Popular vote to count, then why some hybrid?

you are making less than no sense.

probably because you don't know what you want.

Let's go over your complete confusion:

You want the popular vote to decide the presidency (wanting states to band together to decide on this basis)

You don't want the popular vote to decide the presidency (your posts to me saying you don't the popular vote to decide the presidency)


Look, nobody cares if you're confused. But there's good reason to not listen to you until you start making sense.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CreekDog (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 08:02 PM

48. Give each state 1 electoral vote, tied to that state's popular vote.

26 votes gets you the presidency.

That would force candidates to run in all 50 states and there would be no more "swing" states. 50 states + D.C. Win one more than half.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cherokeeprogressive (Reply #48)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 12:41 AM

53. That's a terrible idea

It is completely unfair to have states like North Dakota have the same amount of votes as California. That means people in California and New York would get a miniscule say compared to people in North Dakota and Wyoming. I think we should go the other way and get rid of the 2 extra EV's for a state's senators, so that the EC is more proportionate to the population.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to democrattotheend (Reply #53)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 08:57 PM

63. No it isn't. Why should 1 state get a candidate more than 25% to the finish line?

Having a federal government composed of 50 equal parts means no one state should get more of a say than any other. Each state votes for the candidate it prefers. That's the only way of making everyone's vote equal.

Let's say you voted for the winning candidate in your state. Good for you. Now, your state gets 1/50th of the electoral votes. Since this is a 50 state federation, each state should get an equal say.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cherokeeprogressive (Reply #63)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 09:11 PM

64. Because 1 state has a lot more people

I care a lot more about people being represented than states being represented. The idea of each state needing equal representation is an antequated idea that made sense back in the 1700's when the states had previously been independent colonies and people considered themselves primarily citizens of their state rather than the country.

I can't believe that any Democrat would suggest that states having an equal say despite vastly unequal populations is more fair than a system that ensures that everyone's vote had an equal weight.

If we did it your way, a person in Wyoming's vote would be 66 times more influential than a voter in California.

If you want to do it by state, award electoral votes proportionally rather than winner take all (but NOT by Congressional district, which is subject to gerrymandering).

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cherokeeprogressive (Reply #48)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 09:52 PM

70. "that would force candidates to run in all 50 states"

No. That would reward candidates for running in the 26 least populous states.

50 52 Wyoming 0.18%
49 50 Vermont 0.20%
48 49 North Dakota 0.21%
47 48 Alaska 0.23%
46 47 South Dakota 0.26%
45 46 Delaware 0.29%
44 45 Montana 0.32%
43 44 Rhode Island 0.34%
42 43 New Hampshire 0.42%
41 42 Maine 0.42%
40 41 Hawaii 0.43%
39 40 Idaho 0.51%
(I'm not editing out all this shit, look at the last numbers and do the math)
38 39 Nebraska 1,842,641 1,826,341 1,711,263 3 5 608,780 570,421 342,253 0.58%
37 38 West Virginia 1,855,364 1,852,994 1,808,344 3 5 617,665 602,781 361,669 0.59%
36 37 New Mexico 2,082,224 2,059,179 1,819,046 3 5 686,393 606,349 363,809 0.66%
35 36 Nevada 2,723,322 2,700,551 1,998,257 3 6 900,184 666,086 399,651 0.86%
34 35 Utah 2,817,222 2,763,885 2,233,169 3 6 921,295 744,390 446,634 0.88%
33 34 Kansas 2,871,238 2,853,118 2,688,418 4 6 713,280 672,105 448,070 0.91%
32 33 Arkansas 2,937,979 2,915,918 2,673,400 4 6 728,980 668,350 445,567 0.93%
31 32 Mississippi 2,978,512 2,967,297 2,844,658 4 6 741,824 711,165 474,110 0.95%
30 31 Iowa 3,062,309 3,046,355 2,926,324 5 6 609,271 585,265 418,046 0.97%
29 30 Connecticut 3,580,709 3,574,097 3,405,565 5 7 714,819 681,113 486,509 1.14%
28 28 Oklahoma 3,791,508 3,751,351 3,450,654 5 7 750,270 690,131 492,951 1.20%
27 27 Oregon 3,871,859 3,831,074 3,421,399 5 7 766,215 684,280 488,771 1.22%
26 26 Kentucky 4,369,356 4,339,367 4,041,769 6 8 723,228 673,628 505,221 1.39%
25 25 Louisiana 4,574,836 4,533,372 4,468,976 7 8 647,625 638,425 496,553 1.45%
24 24 South Carolina 4,679,230 4,625,364 4,012,012 6 9 770,894 668,669 501,502 1.48%


You could win an election with under 15% of the popular vote under your system. It's worse than the current system.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CreekDog (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 12:13 AM

51. Perhaps we can ween the US off the Electoral College by instituting an Electoral Junior College...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to WCGreen (Reply #51)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 11:04 AM

57. Just saw this, thanks for the LOL n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CreekDog (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 12:32 AM

52. I'm surprised the RW hasn't revived the 3/5 Compromise... nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CreekDog (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 09:50 PM

69. There is no reform possible of the electoral college ...

... We either have to throw the whole thing out, which would require a Constitutional amendment, or stick with it as it is.

One proposal Republicans have been trying to push (they tried to push it through in Pennsylvania) is to change it so that instead of a per state, winner-take-all allocation of electoral votes, electoral votes would be awarded by Congressional district. That, of course, would make the election of the President subject to the same kind of gerrymandering that has given us a Republican House.

The system is imperfect, but a constitutional amendment is tough, and as the OP points out, most of the proposals for changing the way the electoral college works are really nothing more than Republican schemes to skew elections in their favor.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread