Comments

1

Rather than change the constitution, I would prefer that a candidate can deliver broad-based appeal with policies and action and ideas that the red states could sign up for. How are we ever going to get past the blue/red divide if we try and circumvent the constitution at the expense of the least populated states. I hate the electoral college because is keeps republicans in power, but they stay in power, hate messages aside, by appealing to people and their values. If the democrats could deliver a message that the red states believed in, we wouldn't need to abolish the EC.

What planet am I living on, right?

2

You assume Hillary would have won but under different rules Trump would have run a different campaign.

Eliminating the current system will give corrupt local and state authorities incentive for massive, unlimited fraud.
At present there is no reason to game the system past 50% + 1 vote.

4

If you totally eliminate the electoral college, voters in every state but the big three become pointless and powerless, which was part of the whole "representation" thing that those pesky small states demand in return for their taxation.

So a more practical and doable solution is to do away with the "first past the pole" voting systems and move to a system that splits the electoral votes along the lines of the popular vote. States like Maine already do this.

So the smaller states still have representation, but it is more in line with the population of those states, and people who vote against the larger party in their state do not have their votes totally wasted.

5

Where @4 by "more in line with the population" you mean precisely the same +2 bonus for Montana as we have today? Proportional instead of winner take all has merit, but wouldn't change that tilt at all.

6

If you totally eliminate the electoral college, voters in every state become far more valuable.

Right now, there is absolutely no need for candidates from either party to go to most states. Why spend any kind of time in, say, Idaho, or one of the Dakotas, or Mississippi? It's a waste of time and money for a Democrat, who will never come close to winning, and just as big a waste of time for a Republican, who's a lock to win, so why bother?

But if we switch to the popular vote, suddenly those states and other small states DO become competitive and worth a visit.

7

@5: I know it upsets you that those dirty fuckers who do not live in coastal cities also get representation in government, but you are never going to totally steal that away from them, so you are going to have to compromise at some point.

8

@7 So the fact that a voter in South Dakota has something like 30X the proportional representation of a voter in California hasn't been more than a compromise?

When does South Dakota get to compromise?

We've paying for those states for decades and they never heed this supposed compromise you ask of us. Why is that? Why do we ALWAYS have to compromise?

9

The electoral college is going nowhere. The time squandered writing this ignorant crie de coeur could have been more profitably spent with a fleshlight and a dollop of lube. Amending the Constitution requires the cooperation of small states. The small states that, under the current system, enjoy a degree of power that is out of proportion to their populations. Does the deluded author believe these small states have any incentive to amend the constitution to render their states utterly powerless? If I am the resident of such a state, I have, on the one hand, the abstract appeal of "making my vote count". And I have, on the other hand, the certainty that the cost of making my vote count will be to make my entire state's votes utterly valueless.

I love Elizabeth Warren, but this was an unfortunate instance of pandering, and you can be sure she knew that.

10

@8: Because the alternative is the person in South Dakota not having any representation.

I know you don't care because that person is not you, but so be it.

11

@4 Oh no! To get the most votes candidates will have to go the the places with the most people!

I really don't see how anybody in good faith could argue for the electoral college in this day and age. It maybe made sense back when the original 13 colonies each had their own separate cultures and histories and arguably sovereignty, but that in no way applies today. The sovereignty issue was settled with the Civil War, and most of the states added in the 19th and 20th centuries are completely arbitrary entities created by the federal government with no particular pre-existing cultural identities.

There is absolutely no compelling reason why the 500,000 people who live in Wyoming get a huge amount of extra representation compared to, say, the 500,000 people who live in Sacramento. If we're going to argue it's because they have a different lifestyles or values or whatever, well why not grant extra representation to ethnic and cultural minorities? I can't really think of an argument for extra representation for people in small states that wouldn't apply 1000% more for African Americans or Native Americans. How do we think that'll go over with the typical defender of the EC?

12

Ironically, it's typically democrats who ensure enough funding and support goes to the less populated and less well-off areas of the country; whereas republicans give away that money to the wealthy and big corporations and leave the poor to die.

The electoral college isn't the problem though. It's merely exposing the real problem. The real problem is the ever expanding powers that congress essentially gives away to the president. It's congress who should be holding the reins of power, not the president. What should really be done is to bring the executive power back down to earth.

13

@10 "No representation?" How do you figure that? If we're talking the a presidential election determined by popular vote, they'd get the exact same representation as any other US citizen.

Making the Senate proportional would be dicey without making a bunch of extra senators, but that not necessarily what's being discussed here.

14

@ 9,

It’s not amending the Constitution; it’s changing the laws at the state level, and it’s super close to completion, with just a few more states to go and no amendment necessary. Read the article.

15

With the despicable (s)Electoral College nullified, we’ll never have to endure another disastrously stupid, racist, sexist Rapeublinazi president and their sadistic, cruel, evil regimes.

Just imagine a better world in which Al Gore became president instead of that beady-eyed, spiteful moron Caligubush. And of course the King of Lies currently illegitimately squatting in the White Trash House would never have been allowed to disgrace and humiliate us every day.

16

@4

If you eliminate the Electoral College it takes the power away from the states and gives it to the citizens.
One citizen one vote.
Every citizen in every states vote would finally matter.
With the Electoral College, Republicans in California have no say in the presidential election in the same way that Democrats in red states have no power. If you eliminate the Electoral College and go with the popular vote, then everyone has equal power.
You have effectively taken the power away from the state and given it to the citizen.

17

@ 7,

We’ve had to endure their grossly incompetent, destructive, kleptocratic Republican presidents most of our lives. The white trash have had their fun, and now they can blow it outta their racist asses.

18

@14, It's not really that close. It's picked up the large blue states who are the ones that will benefit the most from it, but in order to actually reach 270 votes it would need to pick up some large red states or swing states. The red states obviously aren't going to go for it because the current system massively favors Republicans, and the swing states are the ones that currently get pandered to so they're also going to be a tough sell. I do agree it's more likely than amending the constitution though.

19

Another solution is to reapportion congress. The size of the electoral college isn't fixed; congress can decide to change the size of the House of Representatives with each census. Up through 1911, as per the Constitution congress increased the size of the House as population grew, and then arbitrarily stopped doing so, and since 1930 the size of congress has been locked at 435 members[1]. This is in violation of the Constitution, which mandates one representation for every 30,000 citizens.

If congress were reapportioned properly, the electoral college would be a lot more reflective of the population, and the problem would pretty much disappear. Also, more populated states would no longer be dominated politically by the Wyomings & North Dakotas whose political power is way beyond their population.

[1] Except for a brief time following the admission of Hawaii and Alaska, where congress was 437 members

20

The only way to argue against the electoral college is to argue that there are principles more important than one person one vote. And the way this is usually done is to invent arbitrary classes of people (i.e. people in small rural states) that need... well, nobody ever says exactly what.

If "the cities" lording it over "the country" is bad, then why is "the country" lording it over "the cities" ok?

This sort of bullshit is pharmaceutical grade special pleading.

21

Democrats should avoid bringing up the Electoral College because it hurts them in the long run. Democrats underestimate voters and potential voters by assuming that average Americans lack critical thinking skills. To assume that because Hillary got more popular votes therefore she would have won the election if there was no Electoral College is incorrect - The Electoral College process requires candidates to campaign in Swing States and win a majority spread - Candidates play by these rules. If it was a popular election, Trump would have campaigned differently, racking up total number of votes in high population pure red areas while Hillary would concentrate on NY, IL, CA ... but hold on a sec... Trump would also be working toward votes in these areas where he has a lot of supporters who do not turn out to vote because they live in pure blue states. These are heavily populated blue states Trump would be shaking for votes, Hillary would be doing the same in the south but with less gains as population levels are lower and there is a greater hidden pocket of vote that works toward the GOP advantage. Trump spent zero time campaigning in NY, CA, IL in the general election. Imagine if he did... He would have wiped the floor if the rules of the game were to get more total votes. Again, Democrats would be at a significant disadvantage. Trump won the Electoral race..Trump would have worked as hard to win the popular race (by actually campaigning in big blue states) instead of going to small swing states. I know a lot of people in IL who support GOP who dont go out and vote because it is a waste of time according to them since they are in a deep blue state. It is also true of Dems in red states, however there are less populations in the red states. Hillary would get more dem votes from Alabama if she went there, but not as much as Trump would in NY if he spend a good chunk of time and actually tried in that state. He would not win the majority in that state, but if he needed to get a good amount of votes in these blue states there is certainly a large population of discouraged voters who would cast their vote for Trump --- If those were the rules --- But our founding fathers were smart... They came up with an election system that represents the US population in a fair way, rather than having a popular sectional political climate. Democrats -- Look up the word Critical Thinking -- It would be a good thing to start utilizing if you want to win middle class voters back.

22

@21 FTW

Democraps whining about the EC is an exercise in whiny bitch poor loser.
Ditto whining about the "Russians".
Grow up.

23

"If you totally eliminate the electoral college, voters in every state but the big three become pointless and powerless, which was part of the whole "representation" thing that those pesky small states demand in return for their taxation."

Can someone maybe explain the logic in this statement to me? Like, I'm not even trying to argue or get in a flame war with him, I'm just genuinely confused by whatever the actual argument is, or why/how leveling the field to give every single vote equal weight could be seen as inferior to the current model. I understand small state voters might not get the same level of attention from candidates that they currently enjoy, but their votes will remain every bit as meaningful as those cast by anyone from any other state, regardless of size.

24

@13 Switch to the popular vote and I will run on a campaign that the current residents of CA, TX, FL, and NY do not have to pay Federal Income Taxes and the other States will make up the difference. Bam! First Place Baby!

25

@21, 22,

If eliminating the EC would be such a godsend for republicans, why aren't they championing the cause? Let me guess, so virtuous and civic minded are you shitheads, that you're doing this in the entirely righteous interest of us "Democraps"?

26

Yes, because direct democracy would work so well.

27

Where do people find the time and energy to insist they know things they don’t when this information can be readily found on the internet

The ec was created for a bunch of reasons that seemed important at the time but none of those reasons are so people in shithole states get an outsized role in electing the president

https://www.factcheck.org/2008/02/the-reason-for-the-electoral-college/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2016/12/12/a-key-reason-the-founders-wanted-the-electoral-college-to-keep-out-demagogues-and-bullies/

28

May this truly be the end of the grossly outdated electoral college and the GOP as well.

@7 Stop if you start seeing stars, Teddy.
@15 & @17 Original Andrew for the WIN! Bravo and well said. Kudos!
@21 & @22: Methinks your sorry little MAGA caps are on too tight, and otherwise functioning brain tissue is starting to leak out. See comments @15 & @17.

29

How is calling states you don't like shitholes a viable argument for changing the US Constitution? And yes, getting rid of the electoral college does require an amendment to the Constitution.

30

@1 -- You have it backwards. The electoral college allows the Republican Party to tailor their message towards a minority of voters.

@2 -- The current system gives a greater incentive to fraud, it is just that the fraud is focused on a handful of swing states. The last election is a good example. Clinton won the popular vote by 3 million. That is a lot of votes. It would take quite an effort to cheat on that many votes (you would have to cheat in various cities all over the country). On the other hand, she lost Michigan by 10,000 votes. Someone in Michigan had a lot of incentive to cheat, since just a little bit of voter suppression could switch the state, and thus the election. What is true of Michigan is true of Florida. A few dozen votes is all it took in 2000 to swing the election. That is a huge incentive to cheat.

31

@4 -- Read @6. Your hypothesis is ridiculous. It would be stupid for politicians to focus on just the big states to win an election. In every close election the candidates need votes from all over. You really have it backwards, in that politicians right now focus on only a handful of states, because those states are swing states. Some of those states are small, some are big. A state like Idaho, for example gets ignored, while a state like Florida gets a shitload of attention. In an election based on a popular vote, candidates would visit both states.

32

Below is from Tara Ross, who has written several books on the Electoral College. Please excuse the the #'s, /#'s and etc.

I’m not big on Tweetstorms, but I suppose if I am ever going to do one, now is the time. 🙂For those who don’t know me: I am the author of several books about #ElectoralCollege. Been studying it since 2001. Yesterday, E. Warren came out against the E.C., as you’ve prob. heard /1
She said: “My view is that every vote matters and the way we can make that happen is that we can have national voting and that means get rid of the electoral college -- and every vote counts.” The audience broke out in applause. /2
Well, no wonder. Most have spent a lifetime hearing that the #ElectoralCollege is evil (slavery) & outdated (we have airplanes/Internet now!). None of it's true, but people have heard it so often that they simply don't know. Here is the truth: /3
The Founders created the #ElectoralCollege because they knew several things we have forgotten: (1) Simple democracies are dangerous. Bare or emotional majorities can tyrannize even large minority groups. Two wolves & a sheep voting on what’s for dinner is not a good system. /4
(2) They understood: Humans fallible. Power corrupts. Ambition, selfishness, greed are dangers. Some claim Founders were elitists who didn’t trust the people. NO. They didn’t trust ANYONE. Not the people, not elected officials, not states or feds. Checks & balances on EVERYONE /5
Carol Berkin states this wonderfully, noting that delegates to Const’l Convention were the most likely men to be elected to 1st Senate or as 1st President….. Yet they still sat and debated how to put checks and balances on those offices bc THEY DIDN’T TRUST THEMSELVES either./6

ElectoralCollege serves us well: It has several benefits that go unrecognized: 1st: It makes it harder to steal elections. Can’t steal election unless you steal votes in right state @ right time AND national election fairly close. /7

With a National Popular Vote system, obviously, any vote stolen anywhere affects national outcome. This is true even if the vote is easily stolen in a very safe blue or red state. This is a dangerous situation that the #ElectoralCollege protects us from today. /8
2nd, the #ElectoralCollege rewards coalition-building. Perhaps that sounds weird, after 2016? But NO ONE focused on coalition building that yr, not really. The result? A close election: One party lost. The other mostly avoided losing. But, yes, there was a coalition. & it won./9
Coalition that won in 2016 = group of voters who are tired of being ruled by DC elites. They don’t feel heard. They see DC insiders living by one set of rules while we live by another. They are tired of being told what to think. Tired of being called names simply bc disagree /10
Some of this coalition voted for Trump enthusiastically. Some held noses & voted. But the coalition all agreed he was most likely to upset status quo in D.C. So they voted for him. Right now, Dems are very focused on eliminating #ElectoralCollege that caused them to lose /11
Better off focusing on why they lost in first place. How can Dems reach out to those who have been feeling ignored? How can they find middle ground? How can they focus on things that bring us together instead of things that drive us apart? How can they regain voters’ trust? /12
How can they run campaign more like FDR? If Dems find that nominee, they will win in a landslide. Similarly, Rs don’t have to be stuck in world where barely win. They, too, should find middle ground. How can they build coalitions? Earn trust? Reward = Reagan-like landslide /13
I wish that everyone would quit going off into their partisan corners. Quit pointing fingers at the other side. Quit blaming #ElectoralCollegefor your party’s own failures. What did your own party do wrong or right in 2016? /14
1st party to take hard look inward & fix its own flaws will start winning again. In landslides. We’ve been here before. Aftr Civil War, country was sharply divided bw North & South. Because of #ElectoralCollege, both political parties were forced to move past that division /15
Pretty much whether they wanted to or not! Dems in South simply couldn’t win w/o reaching a hand across the aisle. Rs could win in reliance on their safe areas, but just barely. Both sides had incentives to look at own mistakes, figure out how to build better coalitions. /16
By the 1930s, of course, Dems were winning in repeated landslides. The lesson? Remember that we live in a big, diverse country! Don’t force people into one-size-fits-all thinking. THAT is the lesson the #ElectoralCollege has taught over and over again, throughout our history. /17
Getting rid of the system now, when we are so angry and divided…. Well, it’s the worst possible solution. We’ll be stuck in this angry place forever. We are better off trying to remember why we have the #ElectoralCollege in first place. End of tweetstorm. /18

33

@31 See 24. You could win an election by catering to the major city needs and neglect the rest of the country and win.

@30 you are assuming that you knew that Michigan was going to be close. All the pre election polls had Clinton at 3-5% favorite. Also you dont know what states are going to be close:

Three closest states in recent elections:
2016: MI, NH, PA
2012: FL, NC, OH
2008: MO, NC, IN
2004: WI, IA, NM

34

Well, I'm convinced. Obviously the best for of government is minority rule. The smaller the minority the better. That dumbass George Washington had it all wrong, we do need a monarchy.

35

@11 -- Nailed it. We have an electoral college because the first states were, well states. They were essentially countries. It was similar to the EU. It makes sense for say, Luxembourg to have certain powers that go beyond just being part of Europe.

But the country doesn't operate that way anymore. Even if you think it does, the new states -- which largely determine the electoral college -- are arbitrary. There are two Dakotas, for example. If there was one, then there would be fewer electoral votes. It is pretty easy to see how the map could be drawn differently, thus favoring Democrats. For example:

North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska as one state. In land mass this would be smaller than Texas; in population this would still be tiny.

Wyoming and Montana become one state. See above.

California splits into two states (north and south). From a population standpoint, both are still very large; from a land mass standpoint they are average.

Florida splits into East Florida and West Florida (as it was in the past).

Puerto Rico becomes a state.

All of these are reasonable changes. All of them could have happened along the way. If the country was drawn up this way, no one would think it was freaky, or weird. We would still have fifty states, yet the electoral map looks very different. Republicans get six fewer electoral votes from western states. Democrats pick up a couple from California and four from Puerto Rico. That is a swing of 12 electoral votes, but the big change is Florida.

East Florida goes to Republicans, and West Florida goes to Democrats in every close election. East Florida has 1 or maybe 2 representatives, which means that West Florida has at least 25. That means that Democrats win the last seven elections. Even the 2004 election, when Bush actually had more popular votes than Kerry, is won by Kerry.

In short, Democrats actually have an electoral college advantage. This would prompt Republicans to actually start arguing to get rid of the electoral college or maybe split up some of those big Western States. That is the big problem -- state borders are largely arbitrary. What makes a state is largely arbitrary. Yet the system is based on it.

36

@24 -- You must not be very good at math. The top four states account for about a third of the population. What your describing would result in a gigantic landslide (the type we haven't seen since the 1800s).

You also aren't very good at logic. If you want to game the system, then the current one is better. Focus your effort on swing states -- make those same sort of promises -- and you can win. You actually need fewer votes to win. That is the nature of an electoral systems that favors a minority.

@33 "You could win an election by catering to the major city needs and neglect the rest of the country and win. "

You must not be very good at math either. Look, you don't get it. Most of you don't get it. The entire country doesn't live in big states, nor does the entire country live in big cities. If it did, then the electoral college would be meaningless, just as it is meaningless in many elections. But the combination of a deeply divided electorate and a small advantage to Republicans (based on rather arbitrary decisions made along the way) have created the current mess. Entire cities -- entire states -- are ignored, while candidates cater to a handful of areas. Not only is Boise ignored, but all the small towns in Idaho are ignored. In contrast, people spend a huge amount of time all over New Hampshire (or a minimum, a huge amount of money).

In a popular election, people would campaign the way they do for those swing states. It is the way that people campaign for governor. When Inslee campaigns, for example, he visits all those small towns and cities on the east side of the mountains. He may not win them all, but he sure as hell doesn't want to get trounced. His ability to occasionally "break serve", so to speak, is key to his winning. That is the way that folks would campaign, but on a national level.

37

@36 lol if you can't realize I was exaggerating than you need a little help... that being said, those 4 states have a combined population of 108 million so one would be pretty close to 50%.

"If you want to game the system, then the current one is better. Focus your effort on swing states -- make those same sort of promises -- and you can win."

With the electoral college, you can't make crazy promises to swing states if those promises hurt other states or you will lose. The electoral college makes candidate's provide moderate positions and compromise instead of crazy left or right proposals. Presidential candidates cannot campaign like governors and that is a really dumb comparison and if they did they would visit the largest city in each state for the most exposure.

38

@10 "Because the alternative is the person in South Dakota not having any representation."

No, the alternative is fair and proportional representation.

The current reality is that 3 out of ten voters in California ALREADY have no functional representation. But they aren't your so you don't care.

39

@29, i'm the only one calling shithole states shitholes and I am not calling to change the constitution, I am just pointing out the actual reasons we have an electoral college based on actual historical facts and not whaterver post hoc bullshit excuses people keep bringing up here, as in “no, we do not have an electoral college so [your shithole state] gets to pick the president because the fundamentals of a given election cycle put [your shithole state] in the hot seat”, which -- if you think about it for a second -- would be a really dumb reason to have the electoral college


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