Tag Archives: Electoral College

What needs to be done about the Electoral College

So once again there is, as always a call to end the Electoral College and replace it with just a national vote.

As if replacing one broken system with an even more broken system is a solution. Yes, the current system gives a bizarrely huge advantage to small states that have effectively zero population like Wyoming and the
Dakotas. But going to a pure popular vote will make all elections just pandering to the wants of the 10 largest cities in the country and will be just as off-kilter, possibly even more so, than the current situation. Both systems give too much power to one group or another and neither is a viable solution. Let’s not forget that the Founding Fathers recognized that there are supreme problems with democracy and the tyranny of the majority and that the more democratic you make a system the more likely you will have demagogues like Trump and Obama, not less.

But clearly, the system has given us hollow men with cults of personality for the last twelve years so it is clear that something is off and needs to be fixed. But complete democracy is not the answer.

To find a solution we need to go back to why it’s the way it is. Like so much of the Constitution’s creation, it was designed to allow for majority rule but allow for the minority rights to be protected. At the time of the first census, the smallest state was Delaware which had 1.5% of the population and 2.3% of the electoral votes. Now Wyoming has 0.17% of the population but .55% of the electoral college (from having the smallest state have 1.5 advantage over their population to now our smallest state having a 3.2 times advantage over what a pure democracy would give them).

We have too many states with next to no population and therefore a huge advantage in the electoral college.

On the other hand, we have a handful of massive states like Florida that make their swing state status make them disproportionately important.

So we need a system that both ensures states with smaller populations are not powerful and that huge swing states don’t control everything. The point is to force candidates to care about the largest swatch of the country if they want to get elected and reelected not just worry about their states and a couple of swing states (seen by Trump not caring if people die in blue states, and Obama foolishly dismiss the people who cling to their guns and Bibles). The point is to make sure that the President must care about the most states as possible. To do this we must have no bizarrely small states that one side can ignore, and no huge states that get all the attention.

And, while I know this is not popular (but one of the jobs of leadership is to explain to the public why the right solution should be popular—it is only unethical demagogues that pander to what is popular) by any means there is a way to solve this, here is what we need to do:

A constitutional amendment that states any state over 20 electoral votes has to split apart and any state under 6 votes has one census cycle to either get their population up or have to join with the lowest state that they’re next to…failure to do so will have their electoral college votes annulled.

The Dakotas become one state because it’s simply preposterous to think that a whole lot of nothing requires two full state governments. Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming the same. As with everything north of Massachusetts. Rhode Island and Delaware serve no conceivable purpose and we all know it. But California would be broken up into three states, one probably blue one red, and one swing, New York would be NYC and everything else. Florida two states because no single government should be responsible for that much crazy, and Texas would thankfully be broken up because I think we can all agree that shithole excuse for a state deserves to be knocked down a peg (also, as a Dodgers fan, I need to point out that every member of the Houston Astros needs to be publicly executed).

By doing this states will now be in a nice 6-20 vote margin which means that now middle red states are important enough for democrats to care and the huge bastions of liberalism are broken into areas that become an attractive target for conservatives…i.e. the candidates will have to moderate their view and policies and actually be president for ALL OF AMERICA, no longer will strategies that just focus the parts of the country they want to pander to and two or three swing states. A conservative will finally have to care about things that happen on the West coast, a liberal will have to look into the concerns of the people in the middle part of the country who are afraid of the fact that their ways of life will be done away with by technology in another generation.

The only other thing that probably needs to occur in every state should probably reserve two of their votes for statesmen chosen for their common sense before the primaries even begin with the right to vote their conscience. How many godforsaken presidents might we have been spared if that check existed?

Finally, these laws that some states are putting in that force electors to vote with the state vote have to be eliminated also by Constitutional Amendment (because the Supreme Court recently made the dumbest error in thinking that electors, not representative who are elected to use their best judgment, which they are). If a presidential candidate picks John Doe to be their elector in the electoral college and come the day of the election John Doe feels that he can’t vote for the candidate that choose him…there is probably a damn good reason, and forcing them to vote against their conscience is just endangering the nation.

…Oh, and while we’re on the issue of the size of states, every state should take a long hard look at the size of their counties. Most counties were set up with the idea that a person could reach a county seat within less than a day at the time they were founded. For most of the history of the country that was the distance a horse and carriage could go in a day. And in modern terms, that’s about 20-50 miles. There are places in the country where if you’re just driving a legal speed of 65mph you can cross four or five counties in a single hour. This was a practical size when your governance was limited by the speed of a horse…it is no longer necessary to have that. Every country has swaths of redundant public officials and corrupt officers who like to keep their own fiefdoms and do so because they are able to control such a small area with a small level of corruption. Two-thirds of the number of counties in America do not need to exist because a single county seat for four or five existing counties would probably be able to offer the same level of service for a fraction of the overhead price. The government should be local in many cases, but that is what cities are for.

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Filed under Election 2020, Elections, Government is useless

A look at the Electoral College

Most of us admit that the general election has started.  (I say most because those wacky Paulbots are still arguing Ron could get enough delegates and win the nomination…and they wonder why that clear analysis of basic realities makes the rest of us distrust their understanding of economics).   All sane people realize this is going to be Romney vs. Obama.

Which means that it is the Electoral College is almost all that matters now.  I say almost because turnout is also an important factor in swing states, and national polls can effect turnout.  They can also help influence fundraising (You don’t put up money for a complete loser if there is no hope whatsoever).  But the reality is that this is more or less all up to the Electoral College.

So where do we actually stand in the Electoral College?  Well Democrats keep railing about how Obama has the Electoral College locked up…but let’s actually look at some real numbers and facts.

According to RealClearPolitics the current count of electoral votes is Obama 227, Romney 170 with 141 in the toss up category.  Just in case you’ve forgotten it takes 270 votes to win.

Now there are some obvious problems with the RCP map right now.  For one it’s based on a majority of Registered Voter Polls not Likely Voter Polls. For those who don’t know Registered Voter Polls are almost always off from Likely Voter Polls (and 9 times out of 10 the likely voters are 2-3 points more in favor of the Republican than the registered voters).  Then there is the problem that when I do have likely voter polls it’s pretty much only one poll and I will admit that the more polls the better (which is why RCP is so good once all the major polls switch to likely voter pools)…but you have to make due with what you have.  And then there is the fact that there several of these polls that I am working with were taken before Santorum dropped out (give a 1-2 point boost to Romney post that) and he’ll probably get a small boost once Gingrich officially drops out (1 point maybe…which seems small…but a point can make all the difference…)

So, just looking at the current polls, admitting all of the flaws with looking at them, Romney is up in a lot of the swing states.


Oh and then there’s that other thing.  The one where you don’t actually have undecided voters on Election Day.  You have people who choose Obama, people who choose Romney and people who stay home or vote for a third party (both are pretty much the same thing).  And according to Dick Morris, based on a study he did for the Clinton’s back in the day, the undecided vote always breaks, almost 2-1, for the challenger against an incumbent president. So that would bring Romney’s tally up to 254 electoral votes (16 to go)

Now assuming 3% of the undecided vote will stay home or waste the vote, let’s look at how the vote breaks when you factor in that split of undecided votes fits into a few other swing states.

Now, splitting the undecided votes not only puts the other swing states I listed into the solid Romney camp but it appears to also put Pennsylvania barely into the plus Romney side (probably more solidly Romney as the most recent and reliable poll I can find on Pennsylvania is both pre-Santorum dropping out and a registered voter poll which actually means Romney should win by 2 to 3 points).  Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes would put Romney over 270.  The fact that Ohio is also in striking distance makes Romney’s options even stronger.

Now some psycho Paulbots and the liberals who love them will suggest, and pray for, that Ron Paul will continue his quest to be Fuhrer.  The Paulbots want this because they live in a deluded universe where they think their geriatric lunatic will resonate with the America public with his call for complete isolation in foreign policy (cause that always works) and an economic plan from 1880…and don’t forget the traces of anti-Semitism.  Woo-hoo!  The Democrats want this because they think that a Paul run will pull off votes from Romney and let their socialist candidate win.  Slight problem with this is that Ron Paul actually does better with Democrats than he does with Republicans.  Who would have guessed the guy who proudly once blamed 9/11 on America would resonate well with the Democratic base.  So in reality, if the little lunatic wants to make a third party run, let him, he will siphon off more votes from Obama than he will from Romney which makes this an even easier victory.

So right now the likely voter polls (and some competent guesstimation) actually show the Electoral College leaning in Romney’s favor.  Are the numbers close? Yes.  Is it still too far out to be secure in these numbers?  Yes.  Do we still have a long way to go?  Yes.  Should Romney just relax and take a few months off?  No.

This is not a slam dunk yet…I have hopes it will be, but winds currently blow in Romney’s direction.  And given that Obama is repeatedly showing he has nothing to run on and that his campaign is just going to get increasingly desperate as time goes on (I expect to see ads discussing Romney’s bigamist ancestors by mid July)…given that we should see $5 a gallon gas midsummer, a continuing slowing economy and more unemployment…given that I expect more shrill and hateful statements from Michelle revealing their utter contempt for this nation…given all that I don’t see the polls swinging in Obama’s favor.  This is becoming Romney’s race to lose.

Also I would point out that two of the states in the “Lean Obama” category, when you factor in the undecided vote, are not as strong in the Obama camp that he shouldn’t worry (especially when one is Romney’s home state and the other is the state of a leading contender for VP).

So, admittedly this is all very speculative at present.  Why go over it?  Because liberals know they have nothing to actually run on so they’re trying to kill the hope of Obama’s defeat early on and ruin Romney’s momentum.  Don’t fall for it.  Actual poll numbers show Romney is doing well.  This is not over, but it is in our favor not theirs.

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Filed under Conservative, Election 2012, Evils of Liberalism, GOP, Mitt Romney, Obama, politics, Tyranny