Why a republican can be president, the american electoral college

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as im sure many people know the american electoral college is fucked up, and thats a polite description. im sure many people think obama has the next election in the bag, i mean how could he lose, the republican candidates are clearly batshit insane or just plain incompetent. well let me explain to those of you who do not understand how the american president is decided.

once the candidates have been decided they go around america campaigning and spending their money....ohh who are we kidding, they go to florida. see the problem is most of the states already have a big margin to either the republicans or the democrats, it changes occasionally but for the most part 35-40 states are decided before the election. generally the republican states are safer (mostly in the south, for example the republicans get a free 38 votes from texas in 2012 without lifting a finger) but the democrats have their own strongholds.

one of the biggest reasons there is no incentive to actually go and campaign in these states is because of the winner takes all system. only 2 states, maine and nebraska do it differently. they instead give 2 electoral votes to the popular vote winner and 1 vote for the winner in each congressional district. both of these states however are very republican and the first time a vote was spilt was in 2008 with obama gaining 1 vote in nebraska.

now onto why a republican can win. in 2012 it is pretty much already decided that only 13 states actually matter. the democrats will almost certainly win 196 electoral votes and the republicans are even more certain to get 181. the race is to 270, which means it is possible for the democrats to win with only 4 of those 13 swing states, or the republicans to win with 5 of those states. if the republicans win florida, pennsylvania, ohio and michigan then they only need to win 1 of a remaining 7 states that will push them over 270, with only 2 states not having enough electoral votes to let them win.

because of the way this system works it is entirely possible for a republican to win the election with say 45% of the popular vote. this is because you can win by 1 vote in wisconsin and 500000 votes in minnesota and still get the same amount of electoral votes from each state

TLDR: the electoral college could fuck america up

I think Obama has the next election because the Republicans haven't won against an incumbent Democrat president since 1886

usmarine4160:
I think Obama has the next election because the Republicans haven't won against an incumbent Democrat president since 1886

*cough, cough* Jimmy Carter *cough*

OT: Yes, we all know this already. That is why more states need to implement election reform, so the ghost of the 2000 presidential election debacle does not rear it's ugly head again.

BreakfastMan:

usmarine4160:
I think Obama has the next election because the Republicans haven't won against an incumbent Democrat president since 1886

*cough, cough* Jimmy Carter *cough*

OT: Yes, we all know this already. That is why more states need to implement election reform, so the ghost of the 2000 presidential election debacle does not rear it's ugly head again.

i feel it should not be left to the states. something as federally important as the presidential election should have the standards and system decided at the federal level.

BreakfastMan:

usmarine4160:
I think Obama has the next election because the Republicans haven't won against an incumbent Democrat president since 1886

*cough, cough* Jimmy Carter *cough*

OT: Yes, we all know this already. That is why more states need to implement election reform, so the ghost of the 2000 presidential election debacle does not rear it's ugly head again.

Yeah well, we won't be making that mistake again :P

reonhato:

BreakfastMan:

usmarine4160:
I think Obama has the next election because the Republicans haven't won against an incumbent Democrat president since 1886

*cough, cough* Jimmy Carter *cough*

OT: Yes, we all know this already. That is why more states need to implement election reform, so the ghost of the 2000 presidential election debacle does not rear it's ugly head again.

i feel it should not be left to the states. something as federally important as the presidential election should have the standards and system decided at the federal level.

I don't think so either. I agree that it should be something decided at the federal level. Unfortunately, it most likely won't, when you get right down to it. :/

There a good video that has been posted a few times before showing that in the US system it is mathematically possible to win a majority of the electoral votes with just over a quarter of the popular vote.

The video also makes the point of the error rate in the electoral system given that the winner of the popular vote has lost three times. It works out to an error margin of a touch over 5%, which in the world of error margins is quite large.

Aside from the actual method the big losers are really the States with large margins of victory. The system screws them over because the swing states get preferential treatment and a whole lot of tax payer dollars spent on them to buy votes.

It is beyond my mortal abilities to reason why Americans put up with such a horrible system. Then again they put up with terrible healthcare, openly corrupt politicians and massive wealth disparity so maybe they just like things being shitty.

pyrate:
There a good video that has been posted a few times before showing that in the US system it is mathematically possible to win a majority of the electoral votes with just over a quarter of the popular vote.

These video's should be bloody manditory to include in the opening post when the electoral college is brought up >.>

-------

My opinion... mad... its fucking insane... why the fuck do you have this bullshit? Oh yeah, your federal set up... what bullshit xD

Good luck... as this system kills you off as a country.

reonhato:
Snip

-_-

Uhhh...

Yes, your entirely factually correct. The current American system hinges on a few "swing vote" states and each has "strong hold states" and all the rest. Yes, the system has problems and we can argue all day about which one (change how the states get senator's, make senator have to vote how the state tells them to while the votes of the house is decided by the people, remove the whole thing for direct democracy, etc.). However, your constant drum that "Republicans are evil and should step out of the way for Democrats to sweep the nation" is starting to sound delusional.

The system you spoke of has been abused by both Democrats and Republicans, while your wording implies the Republicans do it more or even exclusively. Both sides have rigged the system, neither is more or less guilty. The Republicans get a free 38 votes from Texas "from not lifting a finger" but the Democrats get a free 55 from California "from not lifting a finger." Why would a Republican in office destroy America? The one who is going to be nominated (Romney, assuming he doesn't die) isn't going to do crap. He is to moderate and flips his opinions on the drop of a hat. No major changes will come from him being in office, good or bad.

One part of democracy your not seam to be getting is that you can be in the minority. That's the risk you take, being considered wrong by a larger amount than those that think your right. Right now, the majority of Americans are leaning more and more to the right. That isn't good, that isn't bad, that just is.

And yet it has only "failed" us twice. Whoopidy-fucking-doo. Now I think the system is messed up and that states should change their system so that the votes are divided up based on the popular vote, but that will never fucking happen as it would mean that states where the congressional majority is one party would have to give up part of the vote to a party they don't support. Doing this at the federal level would require a constitutional amendment, which aren't all that common right now. Plus you'd have to make people care about it, specifically politicians, who are already profiting from the current system. No party wants to change the system because it would mean that they'd have to try harder, and what politician in their right fucking mind wants to work harder for the same result. It may benefit the people as it would mean that every candidate would have to try to appeal to the entirety of America rather than the independent voters of a few swing states, but considering that there are so few occasions where the candidate that wasn't the winner of the popular vote won, the same guys would still keep winning, and even those failures to win the majority of the popular vote can usually be attributed to other factors or the system that is already in place leading to the candidates not caring about winning the popular vote and just campaigning to win the electoral college.

tldr; A change would be nice, but it's not happening and it probably wouldn't matter.

pyrate:
There a good video that has been posted a few times before showing that in the US system it is mathematically possible to win a majority of the electoral votes with just over a quarter of the popular vote.

The video also makes the point of the error rate in the electoral system given that the winner of the popular vote has lost three times. It works out to an error margin of a touch over 5%, which in the world of error margins is quite large.

Aside from the actual method the big losers are really the States with large margins of victory. The system screws them over because the swing states get preferential treatment and a whole lot of tax payer dollars spent on them to buy votes.

It is beyond my mortal abilities to reason why Americans put up with such a horrible system. Then again they put up with terrible healthcare, openly corrupt politicians and massive wealth disparity so maybe they just like things being shitty.

Here is my possible solution to the matter that won't redistribute senators or even change how the system works while increasing it's ability to fill out it's original intent. Senators votes are choosen by the state governments, and only the house's votes are chosen via the popular vote. The people of smaller states who only have a single Rep's voting power is cut to a third while bigger states such as california will barely notice a difference, which makes up most of the math problems the electoral college has. It will also grant States much more power in the affairs of the Federal government, which they had until the passing of the 17th amendment.

reonhato:

BreakfastMan:

usmarine4160:
I think Obama has the next election because the Republicans haven't won against an incumbent Democrat president since 1886

*cough, cough* Jimmy Carter *cough*

OT: Yes, we all know this already. That is why more states need to implement election reform, so the ghost of the 2000 presidential election debacle does not rear it's ugly head again.

i feel it should not be left to the states. something as federally important as the presidential election should have the standards and system decided at the federal level.

Then why only the presidency? Why not with senators, Representative and Governors? Don't they hold large power as well? Shouldn't they be decided through the electoral college as well?

Revnak:
And yet it has only "failed" us twice. Whoopidy-fucking-doo. Now I think the system is messed up and that states should change their system so that the votes are divided up based on the popular vote, but that will never fucking happen as it would mean that states where the congressional majority is one party would have to give up part of the vote to a party they don't support. Doing this at the federal level would require a constitutional amendment, which aren't all that common right now. Plus you'd have to make people care about it, specifically politicians, who are already profiting from the current system. No party wants to change the system because it would mean that they'd have to try harder, and what politician in their right fucking mind wants to work harder for the same result. It may benefit the people as it would mean that every candidate would have to try to appeal to the entirety of America rather than the independent voters of a few swing states, but considering that there are so few occasions where the candidate that wasn't the winner of the popular vote won, the same guys would still keep winning, and even those failures to win the majority of the popular vote can usually be attributed to other factors or the system that is already in place leading to the candidates not caring about winning the popular vote and just campaigning to win the electoral college.

tldr; A change would be nice, but it's not happening and it probably wouldn't matter.

Actually, its failed us 4 times. John Qunicy Adams, Benhamin Harrison, Rutherford B. Hayes and George W. Bush were all elected despite not winning the popular vote.

Keeping in mind that we have 44 presidents (43 if you don't feel like counting William Harrison, who spent only a month in office),that's just over a 9% failure rate.

usmarine4160:

Yeah well, we won't be making that mistake again :P

What's wrong with Jimmy Carter?

maddawg IAJI:

reonhato:

BreakfastMan:

*cough, cough* Jimmy Carter *cough*

OT: Yes, we all know this already. That is why more states need to implement election reform, so the ghost of the 2000 presidential election debacle does not rear it's ugly head again.

i feel it should not be left to the states. something as federally important as the presidential election should have the standards and system decided at the federal level.

Then why only the presidency? Why not with senators, Representative and Governors? Don't they hold large power as well? Shouldn't they be decided through the electoral college as well?

Revnak:
And yet it has only "failed" us twice. Whoopidy-fucking-doo. Now I think the system is messed up and that states should change their system so that the votes are divided up based on the popular vote, but that will never fucking happen as it would mean that states where the congressional majority is one party would have to give up part of the vote to a party they don't support. Doing this at the federal level would require a constitutional amendment, which aren't all that common right now. Plus you'd have to make people care about it, specifically politicians, who are already profiting from the current system. No party wants to change the system because it would mean that they'd have to try harder, and what politician in their right fucking mind wants to work harder for the same result. It may benefit the people as it would mean that every candidate would have to try to appeal to the entirety of America rather than the independent voters of a few swing states, but considering that there are so few occasions where the candidate that wasn't the winner of the popular vote won, the same guys would still keep winning, and even those failures to win the majority of the popular vote can usually be attributed to other factors or the system that is already in place leading to the candidates not caring about winning the popular vote and just campaigning to win the electoral college.

tldr; A change would be nice, but it's not happening and it probably wouldn't matter.

Actually, its failed us 4 times. John Qunicy Adams, Benhamin Harrison, Rutherford B. Hayes and George W. Bush were all elected despite not winning the popular vote.

Keeping in mind that we have 44 presidents (43 if you don't feel like counting William Harrison, who spent only a month in office),that's just over a 9% failure rate.

Actually I don't count John Quincy and only thought there was one other (John Quincy's being elected was based on a property of the electoral college that was largely a good thing at the time). I suppose two victories can be equally attributed to voter fraud, though it really is impossible to tell which side was more fraudulent. Bush is the only one I'll say made it in solely thanks to the fudge-ups of the electoral college, but had it not existed I'm not certain it would have prevented the election from going to him if he had changed his campaign a bit (only a .5% difference in vote count with neither candidate having over 50%). The system should change, I just don't think it will change that much or that it will actually happen.

The reason why they probably won't get elected is because the front runners are all NUTS.

maddawg IAJI:

reonhato:

BreakfastMan:

*cough, cough* Jimmy Carter *cough*

OT: Yes, we all know this already. That is why more states need to implement election reform, so the ghost of the 2000 presidential election debacle does not rear it's ugly head again.

i feel it should not be left to the states. something as federally important as the presidential election should have the standards and system decided at the federal level.

Then why only the presidency? Why not with senators, Representative and Governors? Don't they hold large power as well? Shouldn't they be decided through the electoral college as well?

The President is being elected as the representative of the entire country. Congressman are representing your State or District.

Since the President represents the entire country it only seems fair that the rules of the election are the same everywhere.

Not G. Ivingname:

pyrate:
There a good video that has been posted a few times before showing that in the US system it is mathematically possible to win a majority of the electoral votes with just over a quarter of the popular vote.

The video also makes the point of the error rate in the electoral system given that the winner of the popular vote has lost three times. It works out to an error margin of a touch over 5%, which in the world of error margins is quite large.

Aside from the actual method the big losers are really the States with large margins of victory. The system screws them over because the swing states get preferential treatment and a whole lot of tax payer dollars spent on them to buy votes.

It is beyond my mortal abilities to reason why Americans put up with such a horrible system. Then again they put up with terrible healthcare, openly corrupt politicians and massive wealth disparity so maybe they just like things being shitty.

Here is my possible solution to the matter that won't redistribute senators or even change how the system works while increasing it's ability to fill out it's original intent. Senators votes are choosen by the state governments, and only the house's votes are chosen via the popular vote. The people of smaller states who only have a single Rep's voting power is cut to a third while bigger states such as california will barely notice a difference, which makes up most of the math problems the electoral college has. It will also grant States much more power in the affairs of the Federal government, which they had until the passing of the 17th amendment.

State politics should never be intertwined with Federal Politics.

You might have forgotten but the job of the Federal Government is to do what is best for the country as a whole, not do what is best for particular states that have leverage (which is the current problem with the EC). Having State Government, who has the job of doing what is best for the State, interfere in that process is a major conflict of interest.

Not G. Ivingname:

reonhato:
Snip

-_-

Uhhh...

Yes, your entirely factually correct. The current American system hinges on a few "swing vote" states and each has "strong hold states" and all the rest. Yes, the system has problems and we can argue all day about which one (change how the states get senator's, make senator have to vote how the state tells them to while the votes of the house is decided by the people, remove the whole thing for direct democracy, etc.). However, your constant drum that "Republicans are evil and should step out of the way for Democrats to sweep the nation" is starting to sound delusional.

The system you spoke of has been abused by both Democrats and Republicans, while your wording implies the Republicans do it more or even exclusively. Both sides have rigged the system, neither is more or less guilty. The Republicans get a free 38 votes from Texas "from not lifting a finger" but the Democrats get a free 55 from California "from not lifting a finger." Why would a Republican in office destroy America? The one who is going to be nominated (Romney, assuming he doesn't die) isn't going to do crap. He is to moderate and flips his opinions on the drop of a hat. No major changes will come from him being in office, good or bad.

One part of democracy your not seam to be getting is that you can be in the minority. That's the risk you take, being considered wrong by a larger amount than those that think your right. Right now, the majority of Americans are leaning more and more to the right. That isn't good, that isn't bad, that just is.

in the last 60 years the republicans have won california more than the democrats have, its only really in recent history that democrats have opened up a big lead to be considered safe.

yes it has been abused by all sides over the years. it has only been the republicans however who have continuously tried to enforce stricter and stricter voting requirements to try and prevent the safe states from becoming democrat. to say the republicans do not benefit more from americas system would be a bold statement.

Tanis:
The reason why they probably won't get elected is because the front runners are all NUTS.

the problem is that even thought most of us can see they are clearly nuts they only need to convince a very small portion of voters that they are not nuts to actually win the election.

based on 2008 numbers to win the 4 key states i mentioned earlier the republicans would need about 12-12.5 million votes at a minimum if they are spread out correctly. of course out of those 12ish million votes they probably already have 8-10 million people who are going to vote republican no matter what. so in the end the entire election comes down to 4 groups of 500k-1million voters in 4 key states and more money will be spent this year targeting those voters then has ever been spent before.

Yeah we have a similar problem in the UK, in that our Prime Minister (and therefore the rest of the actual executive branch) is elected by Members of Parliament. There are currently around 650 MPs in the House of Commons, and a very large number of those MPs come from 'safe seats' where only one party can ever win. Both the Conservatives and Labour have a great number of these seats (it's debatable whether the Liberal Democrats have any now), which effectively causes our general elections to end up focusing on a very small number of seats, somewhere just north of the midlands.

Pretty much the only way we'll ever truly solve our problem is by having a directly elected Prime Minister or President, thus separating the executive and legislative branches, as in the US.

Gerishnakov:
Yeah we have a similar problem in the UK, in that our Prime Minister (and therefore the rest of the actual executive branch) is elected by Members of Parliament. There are currently around 650 MPs in the House of Commons, and a very large number of those MPs come from 'safe seats' where only one party can ever win. Both the Conservatives and Labour have a great number of these seats (it's debatable whether the Liberal Democrats have any now), which effectively causes our general elections to end up focusing on a very small number of seats, somewhere just north of the midlands.

Pretty much the only way we'll ever truly solve our problem is by having a directly elected Prime Minister or President, thus separating the executive and legislative branches, as in the US.

while it sounds like a similar problem it really is not. i think the brits biggest problem is the FPTP system.

in the UK you have 650 seats, each seat is contended for and like you say a lot of them are safe and the PM is often decided by a limited number of them. the difference is that each seat has a chance to go to each party, so 1 seat might go to labour and the seat right next to it might go to the liberal democrats, even if they are in the same counties. in america during an election each state is separated into congressional districts. the problem is that the electoral votes for president in all but 2 states are all or nothing. so you can lose by 1 vote in the state of florida and instead of the votes going 15-14 they got 29-0 (needing 270 to win). this is why it is possible to win with something like 22% of the vote.

reonhato:
Snip

True, the Electoral College is much more screwed up. It would be like giving certain MPs more sway in choosing the government, which thankfully doesn't happen because all constituencies more or less have the same population number. Obviously not all states have the same population so there's your problem.

You're right FPTP is a big problem, and as a Liberal Democrat, I've wanted for a long time for us to get rid of it. Unfortunately however, we had a referendum on that issue last year and it was defeated, so the issue has been put to bed for probably a good 30 years now.

How do you propose solving the Electoral College problem? A directly elected President would make the most sense to me. Something similar perhaps to how France elect their President?

Gerishnakov:

reonhato:
Snip

True, the Electoral College is much more screwed up. It would be like giving certain MPs more sway in choosing the government, which thankfully doesn't happen because all constituencies more or less have the same population number. Obviously not all states have the same population so there's your problem.

You're right FPTP is a big problem, and as a Liberal Democrat, I've wanted for a long time for us to get rid of it. Unfortunately however, we had a referendum on that issue last year and it was defeated, so the issue has been put to bed for probably a good 30 years now.

How do you propose solving the Electoral College problem? A directly elected President would make the most sense to me. Something similar perhaps to how France elect their President?

for president of america it should actually be 1 vote per person, so whoever gets the most votes wins, simple and effective.

reonhato:
Snip

Hm, that's FPTP so I wouldn't advocate that. The french system uses rounds until one candidate gets at least 50% of the vote. While that's likely to occur on the first round anyway in American elections due to the two party system, as more voters opt for a third choice candidate, it would make sense to allow those voters to also choose between the two most popular candidates, should their preferred choice loose.

Gerishnakov:

reonhato:
Snip

Hm, that's FPTP so I wouldn't advocate that. The french system uses rounds until one candidate gets at least 50% of the vote. While that's likely to occur on the first round anyway in American elections due to the two party system, as more voters opt for a third choice candidate, it would make sense to allow those voters to also choose between the two most popular candidates, should their preferred choice loose.

yeah that would be better, i think its called instant-runoff voting in australia, its used here for our house of reps. i kind of forgot that more than 2 people actually run for president in america though so yeah.

reonhato:
Snip

Hah! It's an easy mistake to make though so I hardly blame you.

Gerishnakov:

reonhato:
Snip

True, the Electoral College is much more screwed up. It would be like giving certain MPs more sway in choosing the government, which thankfully doesn't happen because all constituencies more or less have the same population number. Obviously not all states have the same population so there's your problem.

You're right FPTP is a big problem, and as a Liberal Democrat, I've wanted for a long time for us to get rid of it. Unfortunately however, we had a referendum on that issue last year and it was defeated, so the issue has been put to bed for probably a good 30 years now.

How do you propose solving the Electoral College problem? A directly elected President would make the most sense to me. Something similar perhaps to how France elect their President?

Aren't our constituencies intentionally drawn to try and ensure each MP represents about the same number of people, so for example i live in Staffordshire and my MP covers at least 15+ smallish towns and villages over a decent area whereas my friend in Manchester's MP is responsible for a vastly smaller area but slightly more people. Which is why there's some talk of redrawing the lines? I'm honestly not sure and you seem to be one of those people who knows about stuff so now would you please do some teaching, and before you ask no you don't get the holidays.

jimborious:
Aren't our constituencies intentionally drawn to try and ensure each MP represents about the same number of people, so for example i live in Staffordshire and my MP covers at least 15+ smallish towns and villages over a decent area whereas my friend in Manchester's MP is responsible for a vastly smaller area but slightly more people. Which is why there's some talk of redrawing the lines? I'm honestly not sure and you seem to be one of those people who knows about stuff so now would you please do some teaching, and before you ask no you don't get the holidays.

You're right they are set out so that each MP represents roughly the same number of people.

The talk of redrawing the lines (the Boundaries Review) is both cutting the number of MPs (from about 650 to exactly 600) and redrawing the lines so that each MP represents about 70,000 people. We have to periodically review constituency boundaries because of variations in both population growth and decline.

Forget the holidays, I'll just take teachers' pay thank you very much!

I can't see an instance where Romney does not get the nomination and with either candidate we will get mediocrity. More attention should be paid to House and Senate races if one wants to get a closer look at what the political landscape will be like after the election.

Because of the state-by-state winner-take-all electoral votes laws (i.e., awarding all of a state's electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in each state) in 48 states, a candidate can win the Presidency without winning the most popular votes nationwide. This has occurred in 4 of the nation's 56 (1 in 14 = 7%) presidential elections. The precariousness of the current state-by-state winner-take-all system is highlighted by the fact that a shift of a few thousand voters in one or two states would have elected the second-place candidate in 4 of the 13 presidential elections since World War II. Near misses are now frequently common. There have been 6 consecutive non-landslide presidential elections (1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2008). 537 popular votes won Florida and the White House for Bush in 2000 despite Gore's lead of 537,179 (1,000 times more) popular votes nationwide. A shift of 60,000 voters in Ohio in 2004 would have defeated President Bush despite his nationwide lead of over 3 million votes.

The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps. There would no longer be a handful of 'battleground' states where voters and policies are more important than those of the voters in more than 3/4ths of the states that now are just 'spectators' and ignored.

When the bill is enacted by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes- enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538), all the electoral votes from the enacting states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC.

The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for President. Historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the President, including ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote and 48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state legislative action.

The U.S. Constitution specifically permits diversity of election laws among the states because it explicitly gives the states control over the conduct of presidential elections (article II). The National Popular Vote compact is patterned directly after existing federal law and preserves state control of elections.

Unable to agree on any particular method for selecting presidential electors, the Founding Fathers left the choice of method exclusively to the states in section 1 of Article II of the U.S. Constitution-- "Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors . . ." The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly characterized the authority of the state legislatures over the manner of awarding their electoral votes as "plenary" and "exclusive."

The constitution does not prohibit any of the methods that were debated and rejected.

In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state's electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided). Support for a national popular vote is strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group in virtually every state surveyed in recent polls in closely divided Battleground states: CO - 68%, FL - 78%, IA 75%, MI - 73%, MO - 70%, NH - 69%, NV - 72%, NM- 76%, NC - 74%, OH - 70%, PA - 78%, VA - 74%, and WI - 71%; in Small states (3 to 5 electoral votes): AK - 70%, DC - 76%, DE - 75%, ID - 77%, ME - 77%, MT - 72%, NE 74%, NH - 69%, NV - 72%, NM - 76%, OK - 81%, RI - 74%, SD - 71%, UT - 70%, VT - 75%, WV - 81%, and WY - 69%; in Southern and Border states: AR - 80%,, KY- 80%, MS - 77%, MO - 70%, NC - 74%, OK - 81%, SC - 71%, TN - 83%, VA - 74%, and WV - 81%; and in other states polled: CA - 70%, CT - 74%, MA - 73%, MN - 75%, NY - 79%, OR - 76%, and WA - 77%. Americans believe that the candidate who receives the most votes should win.

2,110 state legislators (in 50 states) have sponsored and/or cast recorded votes in favor of the bill.

The bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers in 21 small, medium-small, medium, and large states. The bill has been enacted by 9 jurisdictions possessing 132 electoral votes - 49% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.

NationalPopularVote
Follow National Popular Vote on Facebook via nationalpopularvoteinc

I never understood the whole electoral college concept. Like, at all.

Here in Canada, a somewhat similar system makes sense because technically we don't actually vote for a prime minister, we just vote on our MP for each area, and then the MPs later vote amongst themselves on who will be prime minister.

In America, though, you are specifically voting for one person because you vote on your Congress and Senate seperately from your presidency. Why, then, would you base such an election on a riding system? Who came up with this idea?

The Electoral College was specifically created by the Founding Fathers because they believed that direct democracy was too dangerous. It would be too easy for some demagogue to get a large number of people behind them and get elected. The risk, as they saw it, was that it would become too easy for a new Julius Ceaser or Oliver Cromwell to rise to power in the United States. The Electoral College and the selection of senators by state legislatures were both designed to prevent that from happening.

Of course, the idea was that a number of candidates (not just 2) would be running and that the vast majority of presidential elections were going to be decided in the House of Representatives where you had run-off votes until someone finally got more than 50% of the vote.

Just as a side note, the folks who wrote the constitution for the United States also had very dim views of political parties. They called them "factions" that would cause partisan bickering, demand politicians toe the party line rather than vote according to logic and reason, and end up creating gridlock and effectively making the government, well, ineffective.

Sadly, I think the calcification of the political system in the U.S. into a two-party concept is the primary reason the Electoral College isn't doing the job is was meant to.

pyrate:
There a good video that has been posted a few times before showing that in the US system it is mathematically possible to win a majority of the electoral votes with just over a quarter of the popular vote.

The video also makes the point of the error rate in the electoral system given that the winner of the popular vote has lost three times. It works out to an error margin of a touch over 5%, which in the world of error margins is quite large.

Aside from the actual method the big losers are really the States with large margins of victory. The system screws them over because the swing states get preferential treatment and a whole lot of tax payer dollars spent on them to buy votes.

It is beyond my mortal abilities to reason why Americans put up with such a horrible system. Then again they put up with terrible healthcare, openly corrupt politicians and massive wealth disparity so maybe they just like things being shitty.

The system is a relic from back before voting could be done electronically and votes had to be counted by people. People make mistakes, so (at the time) it was actually better to have a smaller group doing all the real stuff.

This issue I consider to be one of the two big problems with the American democracy, by the way. I think you really need representative democracy, i.e. one where the person with the highest number of popular votes actually wins. It's kind of odd to me that a country with democracy can elect somebody president when that person may actually have less individual votes cast in their favour than their opponent, but, eh.

reonhato:
as im sure many people know the american electoral college is fucked up, and thats a polite description. im sure many people think obama has the next election in the bag, i mean how could he lose, the republican candidates are clearly batshit insane or just plain incompetent. well let me explain to those of you who do not understand how the american president is decided.

once the candidates have been decided they go around america campaigning and spending their money....ohh who are we kidding, they go to florida. see the problem is most of the states already have a big margin to either the republicans or the democrats, it changes occasionally but for the most part 35-40 states are decided before the election. generally the republican states are safer (mostly in the south, for example the republicans get a free 38 votes from texas in 2012 without lifting a finger) but the democrats have their own strongholds.

one of the biggest reasons there is no incentive to actually go and campaign in these states is because of the winner takes all system. only 2 states, maine and nebraska do it differently. they instead give 2 electoral votes to the popular vote winner and 1 vote for the winner in each congressional district. both of these states however are very republican and the first time a vote was spilt was in 2008 with obama gaining 1 vote in nebraska.

now onto why a republican can win. in 2012 it is pretty much already decided that only 13 states actually matter. the democrats will almost certainly win 196 electoral votes and the republicans are even more certain to get 181. the race is to 270, which means it is possible for the democrats to win with only 4 of those 13 swing states, or the republicans to win with 5 of those states. if the republicans win florida, pennsylvania, ohio and michigan then they only need to win 1 of a remaining 7 states that will push them over 270, with only 2 states not having enough electoral votes to let them win.

because of the way this system works it is entirely possible for a republican to win the election with say 45% of the popular vote. this is because you can win by 1 vote in wisconsin and 500000 votes in minnesota and still get the same amount of electoral votes from each state

TLDR: the electoral college could fuck america up

There have been many criticisms of the current system from both sides of the fence, and it goes beyond the federal infrastructure down to how states and even towns run their voting and arrange districts. All commentary aside, the way how the system works allows for a small group of people to wield disproportionate power, an issue that comes up with arguements about how voting districts can either favor minorities in elections, or serve to limit their representation. It goes both ways.

In the end both sides favor the system as it's easy to manipulate voting blocks, they mostly fight over how the lines are drawn in the states.

That said, your central premise here is kind of flawed, acting like there is something wrong with a Republican being elected. Contrary to how the left wing presents things, there isn't any kind of substantial lead by one faction or the other, with the lines being drawn pretty much 50-50. This is why elections have been increasingly decided on a hairs breadth. Even when it comes to the popular votte, Obama was only leading by 7% and he is one of the more popular cantidates in recent memory, and he wound up in that position largely because of his anti-war attitudes, wars... especially long wars, are never popular with the general populance.

Ignoring the "knocks" on Republican cantitdates, this is going to be another nasty election because with only a 7% or so lead at the height of his post election popularity, a lot of Obama's failures and his general lack of success as a president are going to come back to haunt him. The bottom line is that he didn't do half of what he promised, and what he did do turned into fiascos like "Obamacare". Obama's primary value has been as a figurehead, appealing to the young. In the final equasion he's the kind of president that works well in a time of prosperity, as opposed to a time of crisis.

A lot of these "crazy" Republican cantitdates might not be telling people what they want to hear to the extent Obama is, but they are the sorts who are more willing to do the ugly things that people realize need to be done under the circumstances.

Obama's big strength, social policy, appeals heavily to Democrats, and a lot of what the Republican cantidates believe there are anathema to them, but that's just one aspect of things where the more pressing issues of the national debt and foreign threats both economically and increasingly militarily are coming to the forefront. Social policy can always be reformed, and in the end it doesn't much matter if the country it's passed in winds up collapsing.

As a result, I think the Republicans have a good chance here both in the popular vote AND in the electoral college. It shouldn't surprise anyone if they managed to win. Any way it goes I will not be surprised if this comes down to another recount election. I think an increasing number of Democrats are coming to the conclusion that Obama might be a decent leader, but he's not the leader we need right now.

Of course the problem with the Republicans is that they seem intent on electing the guy least likely to go up against Obama successfully. Romney seems to be increasingly at the head of the pack, and really while he might do a lot of the nessicary things, he seems like he's also the guy who is going to pour oil on the political fires of the country. I tended to support Gingrich, I hated the guy when I was younger, but I feel he's exactly the bastard the country needs right now, and he's not going to be quite as offensive to the other side, and I feel far less likely to pick political fights while he's in office.

In short, there are a lot of criticisms that can be made of the system, however in this upcoming election I don't think it's one where those problems are going to matter as much. It's going to be a big deal because of how divided the country is, and how Obama who started out with a slight lead has done very little to increase it. At the best he can be considered a placeholded president whose mistakes were not so extreme as to cripple the country further, but he's not one that actually accomplished much to deal with the current problems.

Therumancer:

reonhato:
as im sure many people know the american electoral college is fucked up, and thats a polite description. im sure many people think obama has the next election in the bag, i mean how could he lose, the republican candidates are clearly batshit insane or just plain incompetent. well let me explain to those of you who do not understand how the american president is decided.

once the candidates have been decided they go around america campaigning and spending their money....ohh who are we kidding, they go to florida. see the problem is most of the states already have a big margin to either the republicans or the democrats, it changes occasionally but for the most part 35-40 states are decided before the election. generally the republican states are safer (mostly in the south, for example the republicans get a free 38 votes from texas in 2012 without lifting a finger) but the democrats have their own strongholds.

one of the biggest reasons there is no incentive to actually go and campaign in these states is because of the winner takes all system. only 2 states, maine and nebraska do it differently. they instead give 2 electoral votes to the popular vote winner and 1 vote for the winner in each congressional district. both of these states however are very republican and the first time a vote was spilt was in 2008 with obama gaining 1 vote in nebraska.

now onto why a republican can win. in 2012 it is pretty much already decided that only 13 states actually matter. the democrats will almost certainly win 196 electoral votes and the republicans are even more certain to get 181. the race is to 270, which means it is possible for the democrats to win with only 4 of those 13 swing states, or the republicans to win with 5 of those states. if the republicans win florida, pennsylvania, ohio and michigan then they only need to win 1 of a remaining 7 states that will push them over 270, with only 2 states not having enough electoral votes to let them win.

because of the way this system works it is entirely possible for a republican to win the election with say 45% of the popular vote. this is because you can win by 1 vote in wisconsin and 500000 votes in minnesota and still get the same amount of electoral votes from each state

TLDR: the electoral college could fuck america up

There have been many criticisms of the current system from both sides of the fence, and it goes beyond the federal infrastructure down to how states and even towns run their voting and arrange districts. All commentary aside, the way how the system works allows for a small group of people to wield disproportionate power, an issue that comes up with arguements about how voting districts can either favor minorities in elections, or serve to limit their representation. It goes both ways.

In the end both sides favor the system as it's easy to manipulate voting blocks, they mostly fight over how the lines are drawn in the states.

That said, your central premise here is kind of flawed, acting like there is something wrong with a Republican being elected. Contrary to how the left wing presents things, there isn't any kind of substantial lead by one faction or the other, with the lines being drawn pretty much 50-50. This is why elections have been increasingly decided on a hairs breadth. Even when it comes to the popular votte, Obama was only leading by 7% and he is one of the more popular cantidates in recent memory, and he wound up in that position largely because of his anti-war attitudes, wars... especially long wars, are never popular with the general populance.

Ignoring the "knocks" on Republican cantitdates, this is going to be another nasty election because with only a 7% or so lead at the height of his post election popularity, a lot of Obama's failures and his general lack of success as a president are going to come back to haunt him. The bottom line is that he didn't do half of what he promised, and what he did do turned into fiascos like "Obamacare". Obama's primary value has been as a figurehead, appealing to the young. In the final equasion he's the kind of president that works well in a time of prosperity, as opposed to a time of crisis.

A lot of these "crazy" Republican cantitdates might not be telling people what they want to hear to the extent Obama is, but they are the sorts who are more willing to do the ugly things that people realize need to be done under the circumstances.

Obama's big strength, social policy, appeals heavily to Democrats, and a lot of what the Republican cantidates believe there are anathema to them, but that's just one aspect of things where the more pressing issues of the national debt and foreign threats both economically and increasingly militarily are coming to the forefront. Social policy can always be reformed, and in the end it doesn't much matter if the country it's passed in winds up collapsing.

As a result, I think the Republicans have a good chance here both in the popular vote AND in the electoral college. It shouldn't surprise anyone if they managed to win. Any way it goes I will not be surprised if this comes down to another recount election. I think an increasing number of Democrats are coming to the conclusion that Obama might be a decent leader, but he's not the leader we need right now.

Of course the problem with the Republicans is that they seem intent on electing the guy least likely to go up against Obama successfully. Romney seems to be increasingly at the head of the pack, and really while he might do a lot of the nessicary things, he seems like he's also the guy who is going to pour oil on the political fires of the country. I tended to support Gingrich, I hated the guy when I was younger, but I feel he's exactly the bastard the country needs right now, and he's not going to be quite as offensive to the other side, and I feel far less likely to pick political fights while he's in office.

In short, there are a lot of criticisms that can be made of the system, however in this upcoming election I don't think it's one where those problems are going to matter as much. It's going to be a big deal because of how divided the country is, and how Obama who started out with a slight lead has done very little to increase it. At the best he can be considered a placeholded president whose mistakes were not so extreme as to cripple the country further, but he's not one that actually accomplished much to deal with the current problems.

how you think any of the republicans are viable is beyond my understanding. their plans and ideas are just so bad and extreme.

even if you ignore all the social issues, and i guess i would not have the best insight into what a majority of americans actually want from that since america is so backwards compared to the rest of the west. if we just look at the economy alone, not a single one of the candidates has a plan that is even close to viable. they all result in higher taxes on the poor, less tax on the rich and massive cuts to revenue that simply cannot be covered by cutting spending, unless they are willing to literally cut the military in half.

i guess the funny thing is newts moonbase idea is actually one of his better ideas, even if some people think its an insane idea. america does not need the republicans to come in and dismantle everything obama has done, they do not need them to make massive changes to the tax code. what they need is cooperation in congress. that is how you will get the closed tax loopholes, the rise in capital gains tax, the more efficient spending. america does not need less government its needs efficient government, and when it comes down to it the republicans are the ones making the problems worse.

[quote="pyrate" post="528.355389.14120081"

Not G. Ivingname:

pyrate:
There a good video that has been posted a few times before showing that in the US system it is mathematically possible to win a majority of the electoral votes with just over a quarter of the popular vote.

The video also makes the point of the error rate in the electoral system given that the winner of the popular vote has lost three times. It works out to an error margin of a touch over 5%, which in the world of error margins is quite large.

Aside from the actual method the big losers are really the States with large margins of victory. The system screws them over because the swing states get preferential treatment and a whole lot of tax payer dollars spent on them to buy votes.

It is beyond my mortal abilities to reason why Americans put up with such a horrible system. Then again they put up with terrible healthcare, openly corrupt politicians and massive wealth disparity so maybe they just like things being shitty.

Here is my possible solution to the matter that won't redistribute senators or even change how the system works while increasing it's ability to fill out it's original intent. Senators votes are choosen by the state governments, and only the house's votes are chosen via the popular vote. The people of smaller states who only have a single Rep's voting power is cut to a third while bigger states such as california will barely notice a difference, which makes up most of the math problems the electoral college has. It will also grant States much more power in the affairs of the Federal government, which they had until the passing of the 17th amendment.

State politics should never be intertwined with Federal Politics.

You might have forgotten but the job of the Federal Government is to do what is best for the country as a whole, not do what is best for particular states that have leverage (which is the current problem with the EC). Having State Government, who has the job of doing what is best for the State, interfere in that process is a major conflict of interest.[/quote]

The fact that the state politics interfered with the federal government prevented the size of government from increasing to large. The point of the "senator's are not elected by popular vote" law was added to the constitution so that the federal government could not grow to a very large size. Before the 17th, the percentage of the GDP the government was paying for was only 2.5%, and the debt was only $2.8 billion (with inflation, $62 billion). Now federal government spending is 25% of GDP, while the debt is over $14 TRILLION.

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