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Unlike in 2000, Democrats currently have an Electoral College advantage, but INOKIYAD. Despite our current advantage, the president should be whoever gets the most votes nationwide.

Nationwide Obama beat Romney by 3.9% or about 5 million votes. Obama's margin of victory was greater than 5% in states with 272 electoral college votes. So Democrats have a small but potentially meaningful advantage in the Electoral College through 2020.

In both Colorado and Pennsylvania, Obama beat Romney by 1.5% more than the popular vote margin of 3.9%. These critical swing states (i.e. the tipping point states in 2012) are democratic-leaning compared to the nation as a whole. So even if Romney had won nationwide by 1% (some 1.3 million voters), he probably still would have lost the election.

Given trends in swing states, it's likely that the Electoral College map will become more and more difficult for Republicans going forward. After the 2012 election, Nate Silver noted that

a large number of electorally critical states – both traditional swing states like Iowa and Pennsylvania and newer ones like Colorado and Nevada – have been Democratic-leaning in the past two elections. If Democrats lose the election in a blowout, they would probably lose these states as well. But in a close election, they are favored in them.
- 538. "As Nation and Parties Change, Republicans Are at an Electoral College Disadvantage," 11/08/2012.
This is why some Republicans are trying to change the Electoral College rules in their Democratic-leaning states. Instead of running with their current scheme, which will lead to chaos and be wildly unpopular with voters, Republican state legislators should join their Democratic counterparts and help create the National Popular Vote.

This can be accomplished without amending the Constitution and abolishing the Electoral College (EC). States, with at least 270 votes in the EC, need to agree to the "National Popular Vote interstate compact" to give their EC votes to the winner of the national popular vote.

This reform is half way to implementation. States with 132 EC votes have already agreed (CA, DC, HI, IL, MD, MA, NJ, VT and WA) and are now waiting on their compatriots.

5:26 PM PT: That's the last time I post here.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I don't see a whole lot of urgency for NPV... (0+ / 0-) long as the winner of the EC continues to also be the winner of the popular vote—which is the case.*

    An NPV would definitely be the way I would go if I were rewriting the Constitution today, but overall, unless the Republicans start messing around with the Electoral College in an effort to set it up so they can win the presidency even if they lose the popular vote by millions of votes, the Electoral College will still be highly likely to produce the same winner as the popular vote.

    I haven't yet seen a convincing case that the Democrats' EC advantage going into 2016/2020 isn't also a popular-vote advantage—where there's a chance that they lose the popular vote and win the EC. If that is the case, then I think we should be pushing for NPV, because having a government of, for, and by the people is more important to me than my party winning. But thus far, it doesn't appear to be the case.

    * The electoral college winner in the Bush/Gore 2000 race would have also been the winner of the popular vote, had the Supreme Court not stolen the election. I suppose there's an argument that the EC was what put the Supreme Court in a situation where they could steal the election, but to my mind that hypothetical has way too many variables.

    "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

    by JamesGG on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 09:53:58 AM PST

  •  What about voter suppression? Would it be fair to (0+ / 0-)

    give a state's electoral votes to the loser of that state's election? What if the difference in the popular vote was less than the number of votes suppressed? Wouldn't a national popular vote compact increase the incentive to accelerate voter suppression in some states?

  •  we have an electoral college advantage (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and a popular vote advantage. and both are gowing.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 09:58:48 AM PST

  •  this whole discussion of EC vs. popular swing (0+ / 0-)

    totally ignores the fact that the president meticulously shaped his strategy for the EC, not a popular landslide. if it was determined by a popular vote, the strategy would shift, and the president would have smoked them in that metric as well. hell, if they tried the EC by congressional district, i think you'd see an obama win there (as proof, i submit the skill with which obama beat clinton in those very primary states by gaming out, district by district, how to squeeze the most delegates with the most efficient amount of effort).

    change the rules of the game, and people will change the strategies. what we need to be worrying about is whether the next dem candidate will be half as smart and skilled, strategically, as the obama team has been with delegates, elections and the EC.

  •  EC is an outdated joke. (0+ / 0-)

    The fact that someone can become president by winning that and losing the popular vote is offensive to me.

    At that point it's not about an election, it's about gaming the system.

    And with the up and coming Republican plans to do just that, anyone who supports the EC is voluntarily making themselves part of the problem.

    Obama won the popular vote, no problem. And in most cases it won't be an issue. But when it is, we all have to deal with the consequences.

  •  INOKIYAD? yes it is (0+ / 0-)
    Unlike in 2000, Democrats currently have an Electoral College advantage, but INOKIYAD. Despite our current advantage, the president should be whoever gets the most votes nationwide.
    ... or rather... it's ok unless you also are willing to toss the Senate representation rules as well.  The SENATE is REALLY INOKIYAD.  Idaho just as influential as California?  That should not be.

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