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Old 02-24-2019, 05:04 PM   #1
Dumpington
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Getting rid of the Electoral College

Way back in 1984, President Ronald Reagan won 525 electoral votes, breaking the previous record of 520 electoral votes won by Richard Nixon in 1972! The best showing by a Democratic presidential candidate in that same time-period was Bill Clinton's winning 379 in '96. In all three of the above cases, it was an incumbent president running for re-election, just like Donald Trump will be in 2020.

The Democratic Party is FURIOUS right now with the Electoral College, and many in that party are outspoken about getting rid of it and replacing it with the popular vote ONLY deciding presidential races! The problem with this is that to make that change, they'd have to change the entire U.S. Constitution, and they simply don't have the political muscle to make that happen (and if they ever DID, they'd no longer be worrying about the Electoral College!)

Knowing this, those Democrats in certain blue-states are adopting what they're calling the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, with several liberal states already promising to give their electoral votes to whatever candidate wins the popular vote. If ALL states had agreed to this before November of 2000, for example, Al Gore would have been elected president instead of George W. Bush! And if this compact had been approved nationwide before November of 2016, Hillary Clinton would be the president instead of Donald Trump!

The PROBLEM with this approach, at least for Democrats, is that their candidates tend to do WORSE at re-election time than do Republican presidents! For example, when George W. Bush ran for re-election in 2004, he won 15 more electoral votes along with 11,577,160 MORE popular votes than he'd carried four years earlier! Compare that with Barack Obama, who was re-elected in 2012 with 33 fewer electoral votes along with 3,580,921 FEWER popular votes nationwide!

I'm going to go out on a limb here and project Donald Trump as doing considerably BETTER the second time around (as Bush did). Let's say he finishes in 2020 winning the exact same states that he carried in 2016, along with a majority of the popular vote, as well. That's 304 electoral votes right there, 34 more than are necessary to be elected president!

Now, the blue state of Colorado has just voted to go along with this National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, which means that Colorado's nine electoral votes would now go to Trump, even if that state's voters preferred Kamala Harris, Joe Biden, Corey Booker, or Bernie Sanders, etc. etc. etc. Trump's total now jumps to 312!

But, wait a minute, eleven OTHER states have ALSO signed-on to award their electoral votes to the popular vote winner, and ALL eleven of them went to Hillary in 2016! Which means that Trump would ALSO get California's 55 electoral votes, Hawaii's 4, Washington state's 12, Illinois's 20, New York state's 29, New Jersey's 14, Maryland's 10, Massachusetts' 11, Vermont's 3, Connecticut's 7, Rhode Island's 4, and the District of Columbia's 3.

And just like that, Trump's electoral vote total soars to 484! Now if Oregon, Minnesota, Nevada, Virginia, New Hampshire, & Maine ALSO all pass this National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, Trump stands to break Ronald Reagan's all-time electoral vote record without even winning any additional states the second time around!
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Old 02-25-2019, 10:34 AM   #2
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The PROBLEM with this approach, at least for Democrats, is that their candidates tend to do WORSE at re-election time than do Republican presidents!


Hmmmm. Who was the last president to not get re-elected?
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Old 02-25-2019, 08:05 PM   #3
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Wrong Element writes: "Hmmmm. Who was the last president to not get re-elected?"

Only TWO incumbent presidents during the past fifty-years have failed to win re-election: Jimmy Carter in 1980 and George H.W. Bush in 1992.

Five incumbent presidents during that same time-period have successfully won a second-term: Nixon in '72. Reagan in '84, Clinton in '96, George W. in '04, and Obama in '12. Barack joins Jimmy & Bush-41 as being one of only three presidents to win FEWER popular votes the second time around!

Obama in '08: 69,499,428
Obama in '12: 65,918,507 (that's over three-&-a-half million fewer votes)

And, interestingly enough, Hillary Clinton won even FEWER popular votes in 2016 than Barack Obama won in 2012 (64,855 fewer, to be exact!)
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Old 03-04-2019, 05:39 AM   #4
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Old 03-04-2019, 06:05 AM   #5
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I'm not sure about doing away with the EC, but I do think it should be proportional, as it is in some states, not winner take all.
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Old 03-04-2019, 06:05 AM   #6
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I don't think the Electoral College is going to go away. There was a reason it was put into the Constitution. There was concern about major cities having more people, therefore, swaying elections from concentrating on all areas. It was and still is a legitimate concern.
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Old 03-13-2019, 12:18 AM   #7
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🙀Dream on.

Getting rid of electoral college would require a constitutional amendment. That's a two-thirds vote in both the House and the Senate and the ratification of three-fourths (38) of the 50 states. I donít see it happening. So until Hell freezes over, a US president can still be elected into office while losing the popular vote. Itís happened twice in my lifetime and highly likely to happen again before I retire in 20+ years. 🌷Kant
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Old 03-13-2019, 01:59 AM   #8
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Individual states can decide to split electors along proportional voting in that state. Two have. This would move toward a more representative split.
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Old 03-13-2019, 02:06 AM   #9
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The Electoral College should be set up just like the Senate, two people from each state to represent the state. The present method gives too much power to states with higher populations.
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Old 03-13-2019, 07:48 AM   #10
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I'd argue it gives too much power to states with lower populations. California has almost 70 times the population of Wyoming but only 18 times the electoral votes. So a vote for President in Wyoming carries over three times as much clout as one in California. That is why the Republicans like the electoral college so much: it gives outsized weight to small, rural states that are mostly on their side.

And that Obama got fewer votes in his re-election is absolutely meaningless with respect to any of this. Given Trump's approval ratings, there's no way he's going to improve upon his showing last time.
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Old 03-13-2019, 11:05 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sharingfantasies View Post
I don't think the Electoral College is going to go away. There was a reason it was put into the Constitution. There was concern about major cities having more people, therefore, swaying elections from concentrating on all areas. It was and still is a legitimate concern.

This isn't really true, because:

1. There wasn't any such thing as the popular vote when the Constitution was ratified; and

2. There weren't any "major cities" to speak of either.


And if there's one thing that's obvious about the way about elections are conducted in the U.S. currently, it's that only a few areas do get any attention from presidential candidates. Eliminate the Electoral College, and you'll get as many candidate visits to Wyoming as you do at present: none.



It's funny: I'm always seeing people claim that the Electoral College is great because it ensures that smaller states get a say, but what if you're one of the millions of Republicans who lives in California, or one of the millions of Democrats who lives in Texas? Where's your "say" under the current system?
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Old 03-13-2019, 11:09 AM   #12
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That is why the Republicans like the electoral college so much: it gives outsized weight to small, rural states that are mostly on their side.

This is obvious, but no one likes to admit they want to rig the system to benefit them. So you end up with all these high-minded excuses for why we need the Electoral College, when the real motive is pure self-interest.

God forbid you have a system where 1 vote anywhere you are in the United States = 1 vote.
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Old 03-13-2019, 11:48 AM   #13
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It's funny: I'm always seeing people claim that the Electoral College is great because it ensures that smaller states get a say, but what if you're one of the millions of Republicans who lives in California, or one of the millions of Democrats who lives in Texas? Where's your "say" under the current system?
It isn't...that's why if your only options are opposition and Trump?

Just stay home, and I did.

Got so many mindless slogan bumper sticker types pissed...not a single one of them could give me a reason why I should wast the fuel/time to write in Micky Mouse.
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Old 03-13-2019, 07:44 PM   #14
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above average writes: "I'm not sure about doing away with the EC, but I do think it should be proportional, as it is in some states, not winner take all."

Right now, Maine & Nebraska are the ONLY two states that allow their electoral votes to be divided by who wins each U.S. House district in their respective states. For example, in 2008, Barack Obama won the congressional district that encompasses Omaha, while John McCain carried the remainder of Nebraska, and so the Cornhusker state went to McCain, 4-1 (instead of 5-0, as would have happened had it been winner-take-all). And in 2016, Donald Trump won in Maine's 2nd-congressional district while Hillary won the state; thus Mrs. Clinton won 3-1 in electoral votes in Maine (instead of 4-0). But those are the ONLY two states that break it down by congressional district!

Kantarii writes: "Getting rid of electoral college would require a constitutional amendment."

Exactly right! All of these little states with only three electoral votes are NOT going to support a constitutional amendment that leaves them virtually powerless at presidential election time!

KeithD writes: "Individual states can decide to split electors along proportional voting in that state. Two have. This would move toward a more representative split."

That's true, Keith. But if huge Democratic Party states like California or New York copy Maine & Nebraska, that will GREATLY BENEFIT Republicans, while if big G.O.P. states like Texas & Florida go that route, it GREATLY BENEFITS Democrats! Either everybody needs to do it simultaneously, or it won't happen.

YDB95 writes: "I'd argue it gives too much power to states with lower populations. California has almost 70 times the population of Wyoming but only 18 times the electoral votes. So a vote for President in Wyoming carries over three times as much clout as one in California."

Yes, and according to our U.S. Constitution, Wyoming has two U.S. Senators, just like California! Do you seriously believe that Wyoming should be given only one senator and California given seventy? Yeah, good-luck getting smaller states to play along with that!
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Old 03-14-2019, 07:43 AM   #15
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Do you seriously believe that Wyoming should be given only one senator and California given seventy? Yeah, good-luck getting smaller states to play along with that!
Literally no one said that. Not me, not anyone else.
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Old 03-14-2019, 07:29 PM   #16
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YDB95 writes: "Literally no one said that. Not me, not anyone else."

But the logic to what you're claiming is exactly the same in both instances!

California's got 55 electoral votes. Wyoming's got THREE electoral votes! It's all there in the U.S. Constitution. Electoral votes = each state's number of U.S. senators + each state's number of U.S. House members. You're saying that California's being ripped-off because it has seventy-times the population of Wyoming, but only 18-times the electoral muscle. But that's how it's ALWAYS been, going all the way back to George Washington.

When our U.S. Constitution was first being written-up, the population-heavy states (like New York) wanted a legislature based on the bigger states having more political power than small-population states (like Delaware). Smaller states wanted a level playing field with each state having equal representation. What we ended-up-with was a U.S. House based on population-size and a U.S. Senate where all states were equal.

Modern liberals feel cheated because pretty much ALL of their political strength is bunched up in the big cities, primarily in New York & Los Angeles, where vote-counting can often be manipulated by political machines. Every corrupt high-crime precinct in America today is a liberal Democratic Party stronghold.
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Old 03-14-2019, 07:56 PM   #17
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Even if I agreed with your last paragraph there (which I note you don't offer any support for whatsoever), are you saying you think it's OK that smaller states get heavily weighted in the electoral college? You're fine with what can only be called a technical violation of one person, one vote?

What the founding fathers thought is beside the point. They also thought women deserved few rights and non-whites deserved none. I'm asking what YOU think.
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Old 03-15-2019, 12:02 AM   #18
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Would it be better to get rid of the popular vote and just go with the electoral college? Just asking.
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Old 03-15-2019, 12:58 AM   #19
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Would it be better to get rid of the popular vote and just go with the electoral college? Just asking.
That's what we've already got.
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Old 03-15-2019, 01:26 AM   #20
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That's what we've already got.
My bad, what I was trying to say was, why do we even bother tracking the popular votes in the first place beyond the assumption that every personís vote counts?
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Old 03-15-2019, 01:42 AM   #21
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One (qualified) person/one vote is pretty much a principle that most Americans (falsely) assume is basic to the American system and principles, even though it isn't. It's an ideal that most Americans would likely say is central to our political philosophy. The Electoral College system was necessary to get the nation set up but is obsolete to the principles most Americans arguably believe is basic to our system now. Any move toward voting equity on an individual voter basis would sell here to anyone who wasn't benefitting from the inequity of the current system.
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Old 03-15-2019, 05:08 AM   #22
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One (qualified) person/one vote is pretty much a principle that most Americans (falsely) assume is basic to the American system and principles, even though it isn't. It's an ideal that most Americans would likely say is central to our political philosophy. The Electoral College system was necessary to get the nation set up but is obsolete to the principles most Americans arguably believe is basic to our system now. Any move toward voting equity on an individual voter basis would sell here to anyone who wasn't benefitting from the inequity of the current system.
This is what happens when undesirables are in power. Former Democrat Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton thought the Electoral College system would work for her. Nope.

It might interest you to know POTUS Trump has heavily criticized the Electoral College system himself.
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Old 03-15-2019, 05:51 PM   #23
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YDB95 writes: "You're fine with what can only be called a technical violation of one person, one vote?"

Yes, I fully believe in the concept of one person, one vote, just as I believe that it's INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT that we protect the integrity of our elections with things like voter-photo-ID laws! To claim that one group of people is TOO STUPID to acquire a photo-ID is what former President Ronald Reagan once called: "the soft bigotry of low expectations."

As it currently stands, when the electoral college meets a month after the first Tuesday of November in a presidential election year, each presidential elector gets ONE VOTE! Our nation is, after all, a constitutional republic. If we were a democracy like ancient Athens, everybody would gather together in one place on election day and raise their hands to indicate whom they were supporting. We're way beyond that now!

Kantarii writes: "Would it be better to get rid of the popular vote and just go with the electoral college? Just asking."

We use the popular vote in all fifty states (and D.C.) to determine WHICH candidate's slate of electors will represent his-or-her state when the electors gather together in their respective state capitals to cast their votes.

TontoedRanger writes: "Former Democrat Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton thought the Electoral College system would work for her. Nope. It might interest you to know POTUS Trump has heavily criticized the Electoral College system himself."

Good points. Winning the popular vote in a nationwide election is like winning bragging rights, but holds no legal value whatsoever. EVERY person EVER elected president of the U.S. has won in the ELECTORAL COLLEGE, from Washington to Trump!

Equally meaningless is winning with a much higher percentage vs. winning with a lower percentage. For example, Ronald Reagan captured 58.77% of the popular vote in 1984 - compare that with Bill Clinton winning only 43.01% of the popular vote in 1992. But guess what? BOTH men were still president!
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Old 03-15-2019, 08:45 PM   #24
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YDB95 writes: "You're fine with what can only be called a technical violation of one person, one vote?"

Yes, I fully believe in the concept of one person, one vote, just as I believe that it's INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT that we protect the integrity of our elections with things like voter-photo-ID laws! To claim that one group of people is TOO STUPID to acquire a photo-ID is what former President Ronald Reagan once called: "the soft bigotry of low expectations."
First of all, Reagan was as racist as he was dumb, so you might want to find another poster boy for your cause on this one. (I can't deny reciting that name is a great way to rally the troops on the right, though.) Secondly, there is literally no evidence whatsoever that photo-ID laws are necessary: they wouldn't stop the few cases of voter fraud that have been uncovered, and there's no evidence that any meaningful number of people who aren't eligible to vote have been trying to do so. What there is evidence of is that a substantial number of elderly minority voters don't have - and probably can't get - photo IDs that would qualify under the proposed laws because their birth certificates are unverifiable if they exist at all, among other things. Elderly minority voters - guess which party they mostly support? That is the goal of Voter ID laws, nothing more, and unfortunately nothing less.


Quote:
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As it currently stands, when the electoral college meets a month after the first Tuesday of November in a presidential election year, each presidential elector gets ONE VOTE! Our nation is, after all, a constitutional republic. If we were a democracy like ancient Athens, everybody would gather together in one place on election day and raise their hands to indicate whom they were supporting. We're way beyond that now!
Way beyond that now? By using a system that was designed 230 years ago, and where the whole point was not giving the citizenry the final word on who got elected because they didn't trust us to get it right? That - plus the preservation of slavery - was the whole point of the Electoral College. Certainly it wasn't moving "way beyond" democracy, which barely existed in 1787 anyway.

And yes, each elector gets one vote. But as noted above, some of those electors have up to 70 times as many votes behind them as others. To me, that's a pretty clear violation of one-person-one-vote.


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Good points. Winning the popular vote in a nationwide election is like winning bragging rights, but holds no legal value whatsoever. EVERY person EVER elected president of the U.S. has won in the ELECTORAL COLLEGE, from Washington to Trump!
Since it sounds like you're getting most of your facts from an encyclopedia as you go along, you might want to look up John Quincy Adams.


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Equally meaningless is winning with a much higher percentage vs. winning with a lower percentage. For example, Ronald Reagan captured 58.77% of the popular vote in 1984 - compare that with Bill Clinton winning only 43.01% of the popular vote in 1992. But guess what? BOTH men were still president!
True but irrelevant. The issue is still, is the Electoral College un-democratic? (Small-d democratic, note.) Since it has led to the candidate who lost the popular vote being elected twice in the past twenty years, I think it pretty clearly is.
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Old 03-16-2019, 01:09 AM   #25
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It might interest you to know POTUS Trump has heavily criticized the Electoral College system himself.
You apparently haven't noticed that the doofus Liarinchief Trump has been on at least two sides of every issue at one time or another.
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