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View Diary: NRO: Romney would have won if we had just changed the rules (154 comments)

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  •  I prefer the state as a whole (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TexasTom, kyril, Cartoon Peril

    congressional districts can be gerrym,andered to favor candidates. State boundaries are unchangeable.

    "Valerie, why am I getting all these emails calling me a classless boor?"

    by TLS66 on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 02:22:49 PM PST

    •  I should add (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happymisanthropy, kyril, Hannibal

      that I'd prefer the state as a whole if the national popular vote compact is not ratified, not as opposed to it.

      "Valerie, why am I getting all these emails calling me a classless boor?"

      by TLS66 on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 02:31:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Electing congresspeople from the state as a whole (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hannibal

      means minorities get NO representation, whether the minority is rural people (who have specific needs and do need representation) or POC, or whatever.

      Unless of course you do "instant run off" elections like in Australia and elsewhere.  Then you get six votes for reps for your state, and you can assign them as you wish -- say, three votes for the guy you REALLY want in the House, and the other three for your less favored candidates.  So rural people can focus their votes on a rural candidate, Latino voters on someone supportive of Latino needs, etc.

      --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

      by Fiona West on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 07:00:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I prefer instant runoff in general (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Fiona West

        It's just a fairer system of voting.

        As for the Presidency, it really ought to be by national popular vote.

        "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

        by kyril on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 09:42:30 PM PST

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        •  I prefer the electoral college, because that (0+ / 0-)

          means that the majority must also appeal to minorities, whether we're talking racial majority/minorities, regional populations (rural vs urbanized states), etc.  I think that's healthier.

          Without the electoral college, the Native American vote would be consistently overlooked, because it's small, and the fact that they're clustered in certain states like New Mexico and South Dakota would no longer be relevant.  The Jewish vote is, what, 5%?  If it doesn't matter that they have a big impact in New York and Florida, who cares about the Jewish vote?

          The black and hispanic voting blocs are bigger, and carry considerable weight.  Right now there's a coalition of white liberals, black people, and Hispanics, which won for Obama twice.  But I don't want to bet that coalition can never be split.  If a slightly saner Republican party managed, for instance, to win the majority of Hispanics, then we'd find out how much the black vote could get black concerns attended to, when they could no longer be a decisive force in New York, Pennsylvania, etc.  I doubt either you or I, or the black community, would like the answers.

          I believe that the only time a minority of the popular vote put someone in the White House was in the stolen election of 2000.  So the electoral college doesn't skew things too badly, as long as parties pay attention to the need to build coalitions.  And tHe answer to Florida in 2000 is to have paper trails for ballots, adequate supervision of vote counting, etc.

          --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

          by Fiona West on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 04:19:38 PM PST

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          •  Electoral Reality (0+ / 0-)

            The 2012 presidential election ignored all of New Mexico and South Dakota and New York.  None of the 10 most rural states (VT, ME, WV, MS, SD, AR, MT, ND, AL, and KY) is a battleground state.  80% of us were ignored.

            In the current system, battleground states are the only states that matter in presidential elections. Campaigns are tailored to address the issues that matter to voters in these 9-10 states.

            Safe red and blue states are considered a waste of time, money and energy to candidates. These "spectator" states receive no campaign attention, visits or ads. Their concerns are utterly ignored.

            The influence of ethnic minority voters has decreased tremendously as the number of battleground states dwindles. For example, in 1976, 73% of blacks lived in battleground states. In 2004, that proportion fell to a mere 17%.  Just 21% of African Americans and 18% of Latinos lived in the 12 closest battleground states.  So, roughly 80% of non-white voters might as well have not existed.

            The Asian American Action Fund, Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action, NAACP, National Latino Congreso, and National Black Caucus of State Legislators endorse a national popular vote for president.

            A nationwide presidential campaign, with every vote equal, would be run the way presidential candidates campaign to win the electoral votes of closely divided battleground states, such as Ohio and Florida, under the state-by-state winner-take-all methods.

            The itineraries of presidential candidates in battleground states (and their allocation of other campaign resources in battleground states) reflect the political reality that every gubernatorial or senatorial candidate knows. When and where every vote is equal, a campaign must be run everywhere.

            With National Popular Vote, when every vote is equal, everywhere, it makes sense for presidential candidates to try and elevate their votes where they are and aren't so well liked. But, under the state-by-state winner-take-all laws, it makes no sense for a Democrat to try and do that in Vermont or Wyoming, or for a Republican to try it in Wyoming or Vermont.

            With a national popular vote, every vote everywhere will be equally important politically.  There will be nothing special about a vote cast in a big city or big state.  When every vote is equal, candidates of both parties will seek out voters in small, medium, and large towns throughout the states in order to win.  A vote cast in a big city or state will be equal to a vote cast in a small state, town, or rural area.

            Candidates would need to build a winning coalition across demographics. Any candidate who ignored, for example, the 16% of Americans who live in rural areas in favor of a “big city” approach would not likely win the national popular vote. Candidates would have to appeal to a broad range of demographics, and perhaps even more so, because the election wouldn’t be capable of coming down to just one demographic, such as waitress mom voters in Ohio.

            Since 1824 there have been 16 presidential elections in which a candidate was elected or reelected without gaining a majority of the popular vote.--  including Lincoln (1860), Wilson (1912 and 1916), Truman (1948), Kennedy (1960), Nixon (1968), and Clinton (1992 and 1996).

            And, FYI, with the current system, it could only take winning a plurality of the popular vote in the 11 most populous states, containing 56% of the population of the United States, for a candidate to win the Presidency with a mere 23% of the nation's votes.

      •  The president only got 41% of (0+ / 0-)

        the vote from white people yet we know how the election came out. It doesn't seem as if minorities got no representation under the present system. The present system does require that minorities form coalitions to win.

        •  Minorities got representation in this election (0+ / 0-)

          because they're part of an imperfect but effective coalition of center/left whites, blacks, Hispanics, Jews, and increasingly Indians too.  I hope that will always be the case but am not sure we should bet the farm on it.

          Note that Obama won with 51% of the popular vote -- a very slim margin.  The electoral vote gave Obama a wide lead, however.  Why?  Because rightwing/racist whites essentially wasted a lot of votes in the South.  In states like Mississippi or Arkansas, they definitely had enough rightwing white votes to bury any non-white votes (or votes by women turned off by the Republicans, etc), and give the electoral votes to ROmney.  But then they kept piling on those rightwing/racist anti-Obama votes.  I read that in some southern states the white vote was 80-some or even 90-some percent against Obama.  But that couldn't produce any more electoral votes for Romney.  All those extra anti-Black Guy votes were just wasted.

          Anti-Obama votes, and rabidly anti-Democratic votes, aren't limited to the South, but they are in fact intensely concentrated in a limited number of core Southern states.  In other parts of the country, Obama did well enough that he balanced out the Rabid Factor and won.  In the electoral college, he won easily; in the popular vote, barely.

          I hope that the power of the rabid (and racist) right has peaked and will gradually decline; but they aren't going anywhere fast.  I admit that I'm glad the Electoral College gives us something of a sheild.  Just as the EC dictates that you must appeal to more than one racial/ethnic group, it also makes it almost mandatory that you be strong in more than one region.  The Rabid Right is definitely weakened by being so strongly concentrated in a limited number of Southern states.

          COnsider 2016 or 2020 or 2024.  Those will all be bitterly contested elections, with tremendous impact (especially on the climate change front).  It may well be that in one or more of those elections,  only the Electoral College will keep us from being swept over by the tide of fanatical conservatism centered in a core group of Southern states.

          I recognize that it's inconsistent for me to be pleased that the Electoral College strengthens the electoral impact of an ethnically diverse coalition, but also to be pleased because it LESSENS the impact of the rabid right.  I like that it advantages my side, and I like that it blunts the force of the other side.  Yep.

          Still.

          Today's aberrant Republican party is dangerously anti-democratic.  They're dedicated to gaming the system, from their pseudo-pious "voter fraud" campaigns to their shameless gerrymandering to the decades spent deliberately stoking white racial resentment.  ANd they serve the 1%, not the misinformed, manipulated people they claim to represent.  We need every shield we have against their deceit and their massive war-chests.

          So please:  Since we've gone along with the Electoral College for 2 centuries without disaster, let's keep it around for a while longer.  Even if I didn't think it had inherent virtues (which I do), I'd say -- don't kill it off right now.  LEt's see if we can get a ways further down the path to a genuinely multicultural society, and let's get a ways past the peak of the Rabid Right, before we mess with the Electoral College.  It's bias toward coalitions fits our needs as a party and our country's needs as well.  

          And we have a lot of things we need to do.  Give it 20 years -- they'll be busy years -- and we can talk about the Electoral Collage again.

          --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

          by Fiona West on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 05:42:36 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Since 1804 -700 attempts to change Electoral Coll (0+ / 0-)

            The presidential election system that we have today was not designed, anticipated, or favored by the Founding Fathers but, instead, is the product of decades of evolutionary change precipitated by the emergence of political parties and enactment by 48 states of winner-take-all laws, not mentioned, much less endorsed, in the Constitution.

            The National Popular Vote bill preserves the constitutionally mandated Electoral College and state control of elections. It ensures that every vote is equal, every voter will matter, in every state, in every presidential election, and the candidate with the most votes wins, as in virtually every other election in the country.

            Under National Popular Vote, every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election. Every vote would be included in the state counts and national count. The candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC would get the needed 270+ electoral votes from the enacting states.  

            The bill uses the exclusive 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.

            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 recent 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: AZ – 67%, 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.  Many believe George W. Bush's presidency, won by the Electoral College, while lost in the national popular vote, was a disaster.

            The bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers in 21 states with 243 electoral votes. The bill has been enacted by 9 jurisdictions with 132 electoral votes - 49% of the 270 necessary to go into effect.

            NationalPopularVote   
            Follow National Popular Vote on Facebook via NationalPopularVoteInc

      •  I'm referring to electing the President (0+ / 0-)

        not Congresspeople. Ideally, it would be by national popular vote.  However, if not, I'd prefer electors by state rather than congressional district.

        "Valerie, why am I getting all these emails calling me a classless boor?"

        by TLS66 on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 07:00:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree that by congressional district is a toxic (0+ / 0-)

          idea, because they are so badly skewed by gerrymandering.  I can hardly believe that this moderately functional democracy has existed for over 200 years and never developed a non-partisan method of redrawing district lines.  It's insane.

          --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

          by Fiona West on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 03:31:07 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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