Tag Archive: Popular Vote


“The Republicans have successfully persuaded much of the public they are the party of Joe Six Pack and Democrats are the party of Jessica Yoga Mat.” — Historian Mark Lilla in his book, “The Once and Future Liberal.”

All was quiet on the Electoral College front six years ago.

Barack Obama waxed Mitt Romney 332-206 in the Electoral College, easily winning a second term as the 44th President of the United States.

In particular Obama was victorious in critical swing states: Florida, 29 electoral voters, Iowa, 6; Michigan, 16; Ohio, 18, Pennsylvania, 20 and Wisconsin, 10.

Four years later Hillary lost all of these swing states: Florida, 29, Iowa, 6, Michigan, 16, Ohio, 18, Pennsylvania, 20 and Wisconsin, 10.

Was the problem four years later, the Electoral College or the message/candidate/campaign?

In 2012, Obama amassed 332 electoral voters. Four years later, Hillary garnered only 232 electoral voters, a delta of 100 electoral votes.

In 2012, Mitt Romney recorded only 206 electoral votes. Four years later, Donald Trump won 306 electoral votes, yep a differential of 100 electoral votes.

Once again, was the problem four years later, the Electoral College or the message/candidate/campaign?

Three of these critical swing states – Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin — were center pieces of the once-impregnable Midwest “Blue Wall”:

Alas, Hillary never stepped foot in Wisconsin during the June-November general election season.

Is the ultimate problem, the Electoral College or Electoral College user error by Hillary?

To The Electoral College Barricades!

“If you look at the map of the United States, there’s all that red in the middle where Trump won, I win the coast. … I won the places that represent two-thirds of America’s gross domestic product. So I won the places that are optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward. And his whole campaign, ‘Make America Great Again,’ was looking backwards.” – Hillary Clinton, India Today Conclave

Never could understand the “political strategy” associated with arrogantly dismissing literally millions of people – “The Basket of Deplorables” – as the red in the middle or the fly-over states. Maybe a little more TLC for these people could have made a difference, a big difference?

Almost DailyBrett has already lost track of how many post-2016 complaints he has heard about the Electoral College. Likewise your author has endured an earful, championing the simple majority vote to determine the next occupant of the White House.

Before one goes any further into the debate, there is the lingering question of the 12th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (1804). The amendment codified the Electoral College: Two senators per state and the total number of House members per state based upon population – add them together – win the state and electors come along for the ride. The first to 270+ electors becomes the president-elect.

And for those who are blue – oh so blue – about the Electoral College, how difficult is it to eliminate the 12th Amendment to the Constitution?

Let’s see to amend the constitution – only 27 times to date – you need two-third votes in both houses of Congress followed by ratification by at least 38 states. Good luck.

Or there is the possibility of a Constitutional Convention proposed by two-thirds of the 50 state Legislatures. To date, precisely zero Constitutional Amendments have made it through this process. Forget it.

Just for conversation, the Electoral College requires candidates to devote an inordinate amount of resources to the swing states, the competitive jurisdictions that are persuadable in order to win the election.

If the 12th Amendment is overturned – just as the 19th Amendment (prohibition) was repealed by the 21st Amendment (amber ale please) – the emphasis on the swing states would be replaced by campaigns targeting the big states.

Candidates and the media pools would be flying over Iowa (6 electoral) votes and visiting California (won by Hillary), Texas (won by The Donald), New York (won by Hillary), and Florida (won by The Donald).

Does that mean the Democrats would win each-and-every time? Consider that Trump won seven or the 10 largest states by population in 2016. Hillary won the total popular vote by 1.9 million. She edged The Donald in California by 3.45 million votes.

Would changing the rules produce a different winner?

Maybe, maybe not.

First, there is the little matter of changing the pesky 12th Amendment.

Too bad the 12th Amendment didn’t outlaw IPAs. Whattaya think, Joe Six Pack?

https://www.economist.com/briefing/2018/07/12/americas-electoral-system-gives-the-republicans-advantages-over-democrats

https://www.economist.com/special-report/2018/07/12/donald-trump-is-causing-change-in-the-democratic-party-too

http://www.businessinsider.com/hillary-clinton-says-trump-won-backwards-states-in-2016-2018-3

https://www.politico.com/mapdata-2016/2016-election/results/map/president/

http://time.com/4486502/hillary-clinton-basket-of-deplorables-transcript/

https://constitutioncenter.org/interactive-constitution/amendments/

https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/constitution

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_las_Barricadas

 

Considering all the consternation about the Electoral College, one must ask why it isn’t ranked in the BCS (Bowl Championship Series)?

The BCS (at least at the moment) seems to be obsessed only with Alabama, Florida, Kansas and Oregon. That’s just four mere states with a grand total of 51 electoral votes.

bcstrophy

Heck that’s nothing compared to the Electoral College, which features inordinate attention on 10 states (and maybe more): Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Hampshire, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Colorado and Nevada or 131 electoral votes.

The BCS is predicated on a bunch of computers and two polls: The Harris Interactive College Football Poll and the USA Today Coaches’ Poll.  That’s it? Some computer hardware and two lousy polls, and the BCS is labeled as a “controversy”?

Conversely, the Electoral College is absolutely overrun with polls, both nationally and state-by-state. And the Electoral College can more than match the BCS when it comes to computers chomping on statistics. Regressions anyone? How would you like your Likert Scales prepared?

The BCS is designed to provide us with two worthy contestants for college football’s national championship. Big deal. The political process has already given us the final two contestants about six months ago. Barack Obama even spent his wedding anniversary night with Mitt Romney.

The BCS was founded in 1998 to determine the national championship (and will essentially go out of business when a four-team national playoff ensues in 2014). The Electoral College is enshrined in the US Constitution, providing for the indirect election of the nation’s chief executive. It seems that our Founding Fathers did not have unlimited faith in the men of America (alas, women were disenfranchised at the time), and wanted the wise electors to make the ultimate decision. The forerunner for this system was Medieval Germany where the peasant’ votes were represented by the nobles and they in turn made the wise decision relative to a chief executive.

Every Sunday, ESPN keeps us in suspense for about 10 minutes about who will be the latest Deep South/Midwest team to leap-frog small market, West Coast Oregon in the BCS standings. Heck when it comes to getting screwed, college football has nothing on politics. One thing to say about college football is that one team must put up more points on the scoreboard in every game in order to win and (maybe) move up in the BCS standings.

Want to lose the popular vote and still win? Try out American politics. It has happened thrice in our history as Rutherford B. Hayes “won” over Samuel J. Tilden in 1876; Benjamin Harrison “defeated” Grover Cleveland in 1888; and George W. Bush “bested” Al Gore in 2000 even though the majority of voters went the other way. There are no “hanging chads” in college football.

Now some political science fiction fans are conjecturing that Romney could win the popular vote (e.g., the battle) and lose the Electoral College to Obama (e.g., the war). There is also talk of a 269-269 tie, which would throw Democratic lawyers into a tizzy and the presidential election into the Republican dominated House of Representatives.

electoralcollege

If you are an eternal optimist and have more than a modicum of faith, you can root for the BCS to get it right and invite the two best SEC teams to once again contest for the national championship. The rest of the nation can settle for the New Mexico and Idaho Famous Potatoes Bowls.

Who knows for sure, we may have an outright winner in both electoral votes and popular vote for the third election in a row.

Even with these potential happy results (at least to some), there are still big-time issues with both the BCS and the Electoral College. Fortunately for college football fans, a genuine four-team playoff is coming in two years. Will it solve all the problems and end all of the arguments? Of course not, but that is what makes college football downright mesmerizing.

For the big state fans, they will continue to call for the direct election of the president via the popular vote (concentration on New York, Florida, Texas, California) as opposed to the Electoral College (saturated coverage of New Hampshire, Iowa, Colorado and Nevada).

The big state folks should beware of what they wish for: A never-ending litany of attack ads cluttering their airwaves and computer screens for nearly a year at a time. Guess, the BCS is looking better and better with each passing day.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electoral_College

http://www.bcsknowhow.com/bcs-formula

http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2012/10/23/with-election-close-prospect-rises-that-electoral-college-winner-won-popular-vote-winner/nKvUAubKM1kcb6ewxshSzO/story.html

http://people.howstuffworks.com/question4721.htm

http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4ADRA_enUS373US374&q=When+does+the+four-team+college+football+playoff+begin%3f

 

 

 

 

 

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