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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Good Thing We Won That Civil War

Posted by on Tue, Oct 16, 2012 at 4:26 PM

Over at TPM, Josh Marshall looks into the possibility of Mitt Romney winning the popular vote, but losing the electoral college. Not likely, but if it does happen, the latest Gallup regional numbers give a hint as to how:

East - Obama +4
Midwest - Obama +4
South - Obama -22
West - Obama +6

Personally, I hope Romney wins the popular vote but loses the electoral college, because that's the only way we'll ever do away with the fucker. When it happened to Al Gore in 2000, it was wisdom of the founders and all that. But should it happen to a Republican, no doubt they'll go completely apeshit over some Kenyan Socialist Islamic conspiracy or something.

Make it a direct popular vote and presidential candidates will finally start paying attention to voters in the entire country instead of a handful of swing states. What could be so bad about that?


Comments (34) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
Goldy, it is a good thing we won the war.

The problem is that the good guys lost Reconstruction.
Posted by Mostly Because They Conceeded The Point on October 16, 2012 at 4:33 PM · Report this
Daddy Love 2
"South - Obama -22"

But of course race has nothing to do with it.
Posted by Daddy Love on October 16, 2012 at 4:37 PM · Report this
Naw even if that happens the EC will stay
Posted by Seattle14 on October 16, 2012 at 4:42 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 4
What could be so bad about that?

Look, the Electoral College was created so that the monied elites could remain in control of the country.

Once you start down the path to true democracy, you might have to actually Listen to the Citizens.
Posted by Will in Seattle on October 16, 2012 at 4:46 PM · Report this
sperifera 5
Las Vegas television watchers have already seen more than 72,000 presidential commercials. There are some advantages for not having the candidates campaign here...
Posted by sperifera on October 16, 2012 at 4:59 PM · Report this
Complaining about the electoral college is to Democrats what voter fraud is to Republicans--a hypothetical boogeyman that almost never influences an election, but used by partisans to undermine confidence in election outcomes.

There are plenty of real things to worry about--and the electoral college is not one of them. Any energy spent on eliminating the EC would be better spent on educating or registering voters.

Posted by RDM on October 16, 2012 at 5:03 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 7
@6 I'm sure President Gore agrees with you.
Posted by Will in Seattle on October 16, 2012 at 5:09 PM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 8

This may be a news flash to you but The South has the highest percentage of African American population.…
Posted by Cascadian Bacon on October 16, 2012 at 5:10 PM · Report this
Interesting. Let's bring Jimmy Carter back!
Posted by Samanthal on October 16, 2012 at 5:15 PM · Report this

Hypothetical it is not. The Electoral College has sometimes directly changed outcomes, compared to the popular vote.

And EVERY time, the Electoral College changes the way the campaigns behave. They focus on a few states, not because they truly represent America, but because they happen to have a roughly 50/50 split of Democrats and Republicans. It's essentially random. (Consider this thought experiment: Could you redraw state boundaries so that literally no voter in what is currently a swing state ends up in a new swing state? Answer: Yep.)

And EVERY time the Electoral College gives a small but significant advantage to small state voters, due to the Electoral College votes attributable to Senators. We literally don't have one EQUAL vote per person, when it comes to electing Presidents. (Currently, that gives Republicans a headstart of about 10-20 electoral votes.)
Posted by Moag on October 16, 2012 at 5:18 PM · Report this
Gay Dude for Romney 11
Yes Goldy, let the most populated states decide elections forever. That's what the non-electoral system would do. Who cares what they think in fly-over country anyway.
Posted by Gay Dude for Romney on October 16, 2012 at 5:20 PM · Report this
The one good thing about the EC is that it provides a loophole that could be used to significantly reform the electoral system without requiring a constitutional amendment. The idea is basically that everyone votes for party/candidate who's EC electors agree to abide by the results of a (better designed) voting system. This is/was the basic strategy taken by the "americans elect" political party. Their proposed electoral system was crap, but I liked their strategy.
Posted by drewm1980 on October 16, 2012 at 5:27 PM · Report this
Pridge Wessea 13
@11 - why should a resident if Wyoming have more say in who the President is than a Californian?

@8 - And your point is what, that blacks in the south don't hold a majority and have been systemically prevented from exercising their constitutional rights by a state government that should be protecting them? That this polling only serves to reinforce that point?
Posted by Pridge Wessea on October 16, 2012 at 5:33 PM · Report this
nicholaus 14
A fantastic video about the Electoral College.…
Posted by nicholaus on October 16, 2012 at 5:45 PM · Report this
venomlash 15
@11: "Yeah! Screw majority rules! Why should ten million people have more say than one million?"
Doesn't it sound dumb when you read it over again?
Posted by venomlash on October 16, 2012 at 5:47 PM · Report this
Pridge Wessea 16
@15 - No dumber than "Gay Dude for Romney."
Posted by Pridge Wessea on October 16, 2012 at 5:51 PM · Report this
Gay Dude for Romney 17
@15: They why not just do away with the Senate and just have the House if you want to go down that path?
Posted by Gay Dude for Romney on October 16, 2012 at 5:58 PM · Report this
Goldy 18
@11 Yeah, God forbid we elect our president by the person instead of the square mile.
Posted by Goldy on October 16, 2012 at 5:59 PM · Report this
@11, that doesn't even make any sense. I'm not one of your many bashers, as far as I'm concerned you can be gay dude for whoever you want to vote for. But seriously, man. Think about what you posted: "Let the most populated states decide elections forever" THEY DO IN THE CURRENT PROCESS. Look at the population centers, and the corresponding EC vote count assigned to thoses states. Popular vote means that each vote counts equally, not that my vote in Colorado counts half of what one vote in Ohio counts. Each vote should count equally.
Posted by catballou on October 16, 2012 at 6:11 PM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 20
The Electoral College will be taken out of the Corporations COLD DEAD HANDS!!!
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on October 16, 2012 at 6:19 PM · Report this
I call bullshit on the "...paying attention to voters in the entire country..." line. Why? Explain please. Presidential candidates don't campaign in Wyoming and won't campaign in Wyoming. I don't live in a swing state, have never lived in a swing state, and I've always found it pretty easy to learn about a candidate without receiving robo calls.
Posted by BLUE on October 16, 2012 at 6:35 PM · Report this
mikethehammer 22
As long as we're talking reform, it's utterly ridiculous that any first term president seeking a second (which is to say every first term president) spends the latter 1/3 of his presidency campaigning. What about a single 5 or 6 year term?
Posted by mikethehammer on October 16, 2012 at 7:33 PM · Report this
NotSean 23
My idea:

Keep the electoral college but divy up the electors more proportionally.

'Representative'-based electors to be awarded based on the portion of the state's popular vote which each candidate received.

The candidte which wins the state gets BOTH of the two 'senate'-based electors.

You're welcome America.

Posted by NotSean on October 16, 2012 at 7:46 PM · Report this
wingedkat 24
Eeeeh, yeah, I don't really like the electoral college, but I *get* it. Ok, so NE is a weird place where my vote may actually count. It did last time.

But still, I've voted against "fly over country" norms most of my life, and I get the need for an electoral college. It is actually important that the rural vote get some attention, and it would be ignored if we went to a stricly popular system.

Which is not to say there aren't other systems which would work better (multiparty approval voting, hello!), but there are some which would work worse too.
Posted by wingedkat on October 16, 2012 at 7:47 PM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 25
All Southerners have been "systemically prevented from exercising their constitutional rights" by the Yankee Occupational Government.

That is exactly what they want. For their brand of government to be forced upon everyone else.
Posted by Cascadian Bacon on October 16, 2012 at 7:52 PM · Report this
Teslick 26
21: I agree. Not that I'm opposed to abolishing the Electoral College, but instead of swing states, the candidates will just focus on the top 10-15 most populated cities.
Posted by Teslick on October 16, 2012 at 7:53 PM · Report this
pfffter 27
Foolishness. Pure foolishness. If we had parliamentary elections, then direct popular vote majority would make more sense. But we don't. Any talk of abolishing the electoral college is jackassery.
Posted by pfffter on October 16, 2012 at 10:14 PM · Report this
Pridge Wessea 28
@25 - How does that explain why the South as a whole hates Obama? Oh right, it doesn't, you're just herping your derp.
Posted by Pridge Wessea on October 16, 2012 at 10:49 PM · Report this
What would be so bad about that, except for the huge increase in dependence on money to run a campaign in all states? And, oh god, think of the recount expenses.

I like the electoral college. I don't like the concept of a faithless elector (though none have ever influenced an election). So, specifically, I like the winner-take-all nature of (most) state electoral votes.

Wanna be in a swing state so you feel more important? Invite more people from the other party to your state. Otherwise, enjoy being rewarded for your state's solid partisan support through the lack of campaign ad carpet-bombing.
Posted by madcap on October 17, 2012 at 3:13 AM · Report this
I've heard about abolishing the electoral college as far back as I was cognizant of such a thing and people bring it up at every presidential election and as soon as the election is over it's never talked about again until the next presidential election. Abolishing it is not a priority and likely never will be.
Posted by Weekilter on October 17, 2012 at 6:11 AM · Report this
@6 - Turn your argument around, though: its a device that almost never changes outcomes except when it does. And the result of that change is to undermine legitimacy which is the whole point of having elections.

I think your analogy between E.C. and Voter Fraud is pure bogus, by the way.

As long as we are wishing for improbable constitutional reforms, I'd like to call for the abolition of the Senate.
Posted by Alden on October 17, 2012 at 6:48 AM · Report this
The electoral college is fine. What exactly do you think will happen if The Bot loses the electoral college but wins the popular vote? Apart from some whining, nothing. His supporters will get over it because they will have to.
Posted by Patricia Kayden on October 17, 2012 at 11:23 AM · Report this
npage148 33
IDK, it's kinda nice living in NY and never having to worry about voting in a presedential election. If we got rid of the EC, then I'd have to go vote. Or at least stop voting green party
Posted by npage148 on October 17, 2012 at 11:28 AM · Report this
Yeah, boy wouldn't it have been so great if after Bush v Gore we had to hold a nationwide recount instead of only in Florida. Wouldn't that have been fun?
Posted by Root on October 17, 2012 at 2:51 PM · Report this

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