TIE Fighters

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Robert Novak (and his tail-gunner Tim Carney) is up with his first electoral college map. The takeaway: If the election were held today, McCain would beat Obama by two electoral votes.

The electoral map looks nearly identical to 2004, with Iowa and Colorado swinging into the Democratic camp. Beneath the surface, however, we see Michigan and Pennsylvania becoming more competitive for Republicans.

The election will hinge on two regions: Lake Erie and the Mountain West. An Obama win in New Mexico or Nevada would be enough to tip the scales, but a McCain win in Pennsylvania could put the race out of reach. In the end, as always, it comes down to Ohio, where Obama's weakness among rural whites could send McCain to the White House. McCain 270, Obama 268.

Novak has been doing this a lot longer than those penny-ante bloggers, and longer even than Karl Rove, whose maps Hillary Clinton is promoting in a last-ditch gambit to convince superdelegates to overthrow Obama. The rationales for Novak's flips to the Democrats:

Colorado: Bush won here in 2004 by 100,000 votes out of 2.1 million, but Colorado has shown a tack to towards Democrats since then. In 2006, Democrats took over a Senate seat, the governorship, and a U.S. House seat. This year, Democrats are poised to pick up the second Senate seat. With the Democratic National Convention in Denver stirring liberal excitement, Colorado looks like one of Obama's best chances to win a Bush state.

Iowa: While Iowa is certainly its own creature politically, Obama's strong showing in early head-to-head polls ought to give Republicans reason to worry about the Heartland. Democrats picked up two House seats here in 2006, and Republicans have no chance to win them back. Senator Tom Harkin (D), a hardcore liberal, also has no serious challenger this year.

Michigan, according to Novak, could be tougher for McCain with Bob Barr stealing "gun-rights single-issue voters." More evidence, for me, that Barr will ruin McCain's life in "safe" states like Alaska and Montana, where the Ron Paul rEVOLutionaries are in the saddle, voters have an affinity for third parties (the Constitution Party controls the balance of power in Montana's state house), and conservative voters will assume they've got a safe throwaway vote. If the room for error is this narrow, a big Barr vote in one of those states would elect Obama.

UPDATE: Well, one reason to doubt early polls: A poll of Michigan that shows McCain leading has him winning 26 percent of the black vote. And it rises to 40 percent if Obama picks Joe Biden as his running mate. McCain won't break 10 percent of the black vote against Obama. He might not even break 5 percent.

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  1. I Have a dream
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    Hillary Blogs
    Obamas resume
    Want to know the difference between Clinton and Obama supporters
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    http://sensico.wordpress.com/

  2. I think Evans and Novak don’t know Michigan very well… the gun rights voters (largely in the UP) are also largely social conservatives as well, to say nothing of being about as well off economically as those in Appalachia. It’s an area that tends to elect a lot of moderate Democrats, and I don’t think Barr would siphon off much of a vote.

    However, Michigan, from polling, is firmly in the Obama camp if he nominates Hillary as his running mate. If she isn’t, he may end up losing the state by 4-6 points.

  3. Iowa: While Iowa is certainly its own creature politically, Obama’s strong showing in early head-to-head polls ought to give Republicans reason to worry about the Heartland. Democrats picked up two House seats here in 2006, and Republicans have no chance to win them back. Senator Tom Harkin (D), a hardcore liberal, also has no serious challenger this year.

    I read a similar analysis a week or so ago. Upon hearing that Iowa will “be in play” this election, again. I have decided to demolish all my TVs and radios after the conventions.

    It’s bad enough living through the caucus chaos. But, normally no one cares about Iowa when the caucus is over. Now, the pain is never ending.

  4. Too early. TOO EARLY!!!

    A great deal can happen in six months.

  5. Too early. TOO EARLY!!!

    A great deal can happen in six months.

    Yeah this is goofy. Lets see McCain and Obama debate once or twice before we start putting states on different sides.

  6. We need to ditch this electroal college nonsense, pronto.

  7. vcx | May 29, 2008, 11:10am | #

    You sure get around!

    Totally OT but Mike Church is on Sirius Patriot 144, talking Ayn Rand, Objectivism, playing clips of an old interview, and taking calls. (You can listen online.)

  8. One thing on the Spoiler/Kingmaker tact on Barr:

    I am sick of mentioning Barr to Republicans and hearing them get angry that the LP might “steal” their votes, as if these votes belonged to them in the first place.

    It makes sense that they think this way, I suppose, judging from the GOP’s record on private property as of late…

  9. I liked Barr’s response to the spoiler nonsense; that Obama and McCain are spoiling the election for him.

  10. If I weren’t so lazy I would start an archive of all the predictions made by pundits, bloggers, and journalists over the course of the election, or many elections. Then, after the election, I could point out all the fuckers who were so very, very wrong and send emails with links to them and their bosses or post them in comments every time they ever made another prediction.

    But as I said, I am too lazy to perform this valuable service. Who will do my dirty work for me?

  11. We need to ditch this electoral college nonsense, pronto.

    Yes, because I want a few dense, urban areas deciding every election from now on.

    Great Idea!

  12. Novak has been doing this a lot longer than those penny-ante bloggers, and longer even than Karl Rove, Thomas Jefferson, Jesus, Moses and G_d.

    Fixed πŸ™‚

  13. I second the snark of Taktix?.

  14. I really dug the Star Wars reference in the title of this post, Dave.

  15. Yes, because I want a few dense, urban areas deciding every election from now on.

    Sounds nearly as good has having some prariedog-huntin’ hick states with more cows than people deciding every election.

    Because it has served us so damn well so far.

  16. If a fair analysis said McCain was beating Obama by 100 electoral votes, or vice versa, this wouldn’t be a complete waste of time six months ahead of time. Since the margin is 2, I’m going to have to agree with LMNOP.

  17. Very cute. Intelligent, although snarky, comment is responded to with blatant geographical bigotry.

    Sounds nearly as good has having some prariedog-huntin’ hick states with more cows than people deciding every election.

  18. I support the electoral college without snark. We are a union of states. Thus, the states should vote for president.

    Now, if we can just get rid of that idiotic 17th amendment.

  19. Yes, because I want a few dense, urban areas deciding every election from now on.

    Because I live in an urban area, my vote is worth less than half that of a single citizen of Missouri. Somehow, that never seemed quite fair to me.

    I suppose if you think of rural/heartland folk as inherently more discerning and morally superior, or it suits your red/blue stance, or you just like the status quo, it might come in handy. But not for the unlucky schlubs who believe in “one person, one vote.”

  20. Lets see McCain and Obama debate once or twice before we start putting states on different sides.

    Even Rhode Island? Wyoming? Utah?

    I think it’s reasonable, at this point, to divide the country into McCain states, Obama states, and competetive states.

    Also, while predictions would be innaccurate, there’s nothing wrong with looking at the state of the race right now.

    Finally, I really like Episiarch’s idea.

  21. There’s no way Nevada and New Mexico go for McCain in a Democratic year. The downticket Republicans are going to get desparate over the summer, and that means we can expect plenty of immigrant bashing. The Hispanic backlash will seal the deal for Obama.

  22. Dave Weigel,

    I finally picked up your MajorAward? that I promised like a year ago. Are you going to be covering anything in DC this weekend?

  23. Rick H,

    People dont vote for president, electors do. People merely vote for electors. Your vote counts just as much towards electing your state’s electors as anyone else’s vote in your state does.

  24. Taktix?,

    I’ll be sure to use that next time it comes up.

  25. Sounds nearly as good has having some prariedog-huntin’ hick states with more cows than people deciding every election.

    Like Florida and Ohio?

    The pros and the cons on the electoral college vs direct popular vote are pretty weak, considering that the only time they differed in outcome, both were extremely close (Bush trailed Gore by what, 0.4% of the popular vote?)

  26. Yes, because I want a few dense, urban areas deciding every election from now on.

    Imagine, allowing people to decide an election in a democracy.

    Those places will all the people keep ruining things from the mountaintops, farmland, tundra, and desert.

    One USGS feature, one vote!

  27. I should say, the only time since 1900 they differed in outcome…

  28. I agree with Epi and joe.

    Back in 1994, I was watching a CNN show and predictions were being made and decided that CNN needed to keep track of the predictions for the house race (which was the big deal at the time) and fire whoever had the worst prediction. Relegation/Promotion, just like European sports. Sorry Eleanor Clift (who had the worst from that group, in that she predicted a Dem gain in seats, I think. I know she had the silliest prediction) but you work for some local political discussion show now.

  29. I’m ready to cut people like Taktix and Guy Montag off into their own republic. I’m tired of subsidizing their deviant lifestyles, having their votes count more than mine, and being ruled by rural hicks like their good buddy Dubya. If the Founding Fathers intended for a hickocracy, then screw them too; let’s cut the hicks loose and reboot.

  30. Barr winning the LP nom basically guaranteed an Obama victory, IMHO. I think he was on track to winning in any case. Novack’s map is overly favorable to McCain, especially if you factor in Barr. For one thing, New Mexico is clearly Obama’s. Rasmussen and Survey USA have polled it eight times since February; Obama won five of those polls, McCain one, and there were two ties. Ohio, Nevada, Indiana, and Virginia are also within his grasp. And, if Barr really gets traction, states as red as Alaska and Georgia might move into Obama’s column.

  31. Yes, because I want a few dense, urban areas deciding every election from now on.

    Oh yeah, fuck that whole thing where your vote actually counts. If we’re going to have a system where my vote doesn’t mean shit unless it’s for the most popular candidate in my state (which I assure you, it isn’t), then we should stop preaching about democracy. What a crock of shit. I think democracy is as stupid as the next guy, but if we’re trying to find something better, this is not it.

  32. I think Evans and Novak don’t know Michigan very well…

    fwiw, evans died 7 years ago. So who knows who now? πŸ™‚

    Seriously, ‘limo-librul taxachusetts dukakis-esque’ John Kerry won Mich in ’04, so I don’t see how that gets reversed this year, even when ‘clinging to their guns and god.’ Michiganders didn’t do that in ’04?

    And I agree that polling right now is crap, it’s too early – mostly because it *understates* Obama’s support in many places due to split attention toward Clinton. Polling puts the *upper* bound of mcain’s lead over obama at 4 points, and the same with McCain over Clinton.

    All in all, I think Novak got one right (one in a row! what a streak!) The two other states I think that are going to be close and could decide this thing if they flip are Missouri and Virginia.

    Both show decisive leads now for McCain. But Mo was split evenly in both the Republican (three-way) and Democratic (two-way) primary races, so there are a lot of swing voters available. Virginia has shown some outlying polls for Obama, so turnout appears to be the key.

    And both have people on the short list for Dem VP, which may be the difference maker.

  33. then we should stop preaching about democracy.

    The United States isn’t a democracy. Your schools have failed you.

  34. Because I live in an urban area, my vote is worth less than half that of a single citizen of Missouri. Somehow, that never seemed quite fair to me.

    What State are you in? MO has 9 House members and 2 Senators. The only thing in the EC that “dilutes” votes is the number of Senators being equal across all States adds 2 votes to really small States, like MT or WY, also that non-State of DC. Maybe you meant them? Those tiny populations get 3 EC votes even though they are a ways away from having a population big enough for a second House seat.

    Also, perhaps, you should speak to your State Overlords about getting proportional voting enacted there, os if your State votes against your district your vote does not get swamped before going to the EC.

  35. Why does the Northeast hate America?

  36. Novak’s not paying enough heed to the Bradley Effect.

    I don’t care what polls will say, I think McCain will win comfortably.

  37. Who else thinks that with an Obama nomination, the Greens/Nader will be lucky to pull 35 votes?

  38. I don’t care what polls will say, I think McCain will win comfortably.

    I agree. Also, if anyone does do my dirty work for me and records predictions, you are not to record my prediction unless I am correct.

  39. And the reality that we keep running from is that unless our state popular vote (in the EC system) or the entire national popular vote is decided by one vote, your vote didn’t matter anyway.

  40. e,

    I’m ready to cut people like Taktix and Guy Montag off into their own republic. I’m tired of subsidizing their deviant lifestyles, having their votes count more than mine, and being ruled by rural hicks like their good buddy Dubya. If the Founding Fathers intended for a hickocracy, then screw them too; let’s cut the hicks loose and reboot.

    Ah, the subtle stammerings of the latte sipping authoritarian class speaking as if they could toss their fellow citzens around as they do their hankies suring a sobb.

  41. I third the snark of Taktix?.

    Thank God it would be near impossible to ditch the Electoral College. And thank God the Founders were so prescient to include it.

  42. Your predictions are not unlike your lower intestine — stinky, and loaded with danger.

  43. Oh yeah, fuck that whole thing where your vote actually counts. If we’re going to have a system where my vote doesn’t mean shit unless it’s for the most popular candidate in my state (which I assure you, it isn’t), then we should stop preaching about democracy. What a crock of shit. I think democracy is as stupid as the next guy, but if we’re trying to find something better, this is not it.

    I love how people started harping on this whole popular vote crap once Bush II got elected. Suddenly, the system that worked for 232 years is broken because… because… it doesn’t express the will of (some) of the people! Because some whiny bitches don’t like the way elections turn out!

    Seriously, can anybody provide a compelling reason why the popular vote method is better, either philosophically or pragmatically?

    Claiming that “my vote counts less than half of some redneck’s” is bullshit. By that logic, your vote for senator counts less, too. Oh my god, Jamie in Montana has more proportional influence in voting for his senator because there’s less people there! That’s antithetical to the principle of one man, one vote because only 60,000 people can elect a Senator in Montana as opposed to the 2.1 million it takes in California! That’s the exact same argument. It sounds just as retarded and makes some of suspect you’re huffing paint fumes.

  44. Excellent comment Mr. T

  45. I get it
    So the electoral college simultaneously has no effect on the outcome of the election because it was only the 2000 election where the two figures differed, but THANK GOD we have it or else….. what again?

  46. Ah, the subtle stammerings of the latte sipping authoritarian class speaking as if they could toss their fellow citzens around as they do their hankies suring a sobb.

    i could!

    though i’m not sure what a sobb is. i’m also not entirely clear on “hankies.” it must be a rural thing.

    seriously though, direct democracy would suck. this EC stuff kinda sucks. it’s a choice between two kinds of suck. i’m sure dr. t can chime in about alternate voting methods that suck less.

  47. I agree. Also, if anyone does do my dirty work for me and records predictions, you are not to record my prediction unless I am correct.

    I did the dirty work on my own predictions. I said last year McCain would be the nominee around the 12th of Never. Hmm. Barring a rage-induced stroke or infarction, I think I blew that one.

    Despite (or because of) living with one, I don’t understand Republicans very well.

  48. dhex,

    I already chimed in about a method that sucks less. Are comments about proportional voting invisible around here or something?

  49. It wasn’t the only election were it differed. John Quincy Adams won in similar fashion.

    Ask yourself this, if Gore had lost the popular vote but won the electoral won (as many pundits predicted), would you be complaining about now?

  50. T,

    I was convinced of the same thing. Then again, I thought ‘The Cobra’ was going to strike at any moment and sweep the whole thing, all the way through Feb. or so.

  51. dr. t has, like, a whole bag of them. it’s like a necronomicon of voting methodologies.

  52. Colin,

    I would not be complaining about him winning the election, but I am pretty sure I would be complaining about him.

  53. crymethink:
    And the reality that we keep running from is that unless our state popular vote (in the EC system) or the entire national popular vote is decided by one vote, your vote didn’t matter anyway.

    Thanks for that. I’ve been saying this for years.

  54. it’s like a necronomicon of voting methodologies.

    KLAATU…VERATA…N-…necktie…nectar…nickel…it’s an n-word, definitely an n-word…it’s definitely an n-word.

  55. even if my vote was worth more in Wyoming, I can’t imagine moving there again just for that reason. We muddle along with the electoral college probably as well as anything else we might try.

  56. I’m ready to cut people like Taktix and Guy Montag off into their own republic. I’m tired of subsidizing their deviant lifestyles, having their votes count more than mine, and being ruled by rural hicks like their good buddy Dubya. If the Founding Fathers intended for a hickocracy, then screw them too; let’s cut the hicks loose and reboot.

    First off, we live (ostensibly) in a representative republic, not a democracy. The founding fathers were pretty clear on their views regarding democracy/mob-rule.

    Secondly, I say that only votes from dense urban areas will count is because, if the election were decided by simple majority, the candidates would only need to go to the few, densely-packed urban areas to campaign.

    Basically, you’d deny anyone not in a major city any voice in the election. Now explain to me exactly how that is more democratic?

    P.S. Calling me a backwards redneck betrays your ignorance, as my link, along with maybe a few clicks, will point out that I live in one of the more dense, urban areas of the country, and am far from the whiskey-swillin’ hick you claim me to be.

    If this is the level to which you conduct your research, I have little doubt your calls for direct democracy are founded on little more than a bumper sticker you saw this morning…

  57. The electoral college is stupid.

    But there’s no way to get rid of it. The small states that have more than their weight of electors, plus the swing states that get more than their weight of attention from the presidential candidates, would block any constitutional amendment changing it.

    We are stuck with it, so arguing about it is a waste of time and energy.

  58. So the electoral college simultaneously has no effect on the outcome of the election because it was only the 2000 election where the two figures differed, but THANK GOD we have it or else….. what again?

    If you get rid of the EC, you may as well just call the several States administrative districts of the federal government.

    Also, as to your “what again?” remark…well, would you rather recount an entire state (not good) or the whole nation (even worse)?

  59. I ask myself, would a direct election by popular vote result in higher voter turnout?

    Also, Taktix, I don’t think pandering to more different groups of people is a virtue of the system.

  60. Taktix,

    I have little concern where the candidates campaign (hell they could stay and talk to Washington DCites all year for all I care) rather than wander around Iowa, California, Texas, etc. What I care about is their positions they take and I vote accordingly. The only reason to remain with the electoral college is historical and, as AR points out, practical. Imagine how bad Florida was and then imagine that x 50!!!

  61. I ask myself, would a direct election by popular vote result in higher voter turnout?

    Doubtful. You’d pretty much have the entire population of small states not even bothering, knowing that a bourough of NYC could override them.

    Sounds like some people want to take the “States” portion out of “USA”.

  62. I’m tired of subsidizing their deviant lifestyles,

    When, Sir, have you EVER paid for my pr0n or purchased me an adult beverage, or chipped in on the tab on one of my race-immeterial-to-me dates, either directly or indirectly?

    And what kind of freak are you to be calling anybody else deviant?

    Oh, and I don’t even pay for my pr0n anyway.

  63. Basically, you’d deny anyone not in a major city any voice in the election. Now explain to me exactly how that is more democratic?

    well, in the sense that direct democracy is more democratic, it is more democratic. is it more fair, however? probably not.

    either way it kinda sucks.

  64. Taktix? | May 29, 2008, 12:20pm | #

    Secondly, I say that only votes from dense urban areas will count is because, if the election were decided by simple majority, the candidates would only need to go to the few, densely-packed urban areas to campaign.

    Basically, you’d deny anyone not in a major city any voice in the election. Now explain to me exactly how that is more democratic?

    A straight winner-take-all nationwide election would be no different than how we elect state-wide office-holders (senators, governors, etc.). Nobody’s vote would be denied; quite the contrary.

    Right now, the candidates only concentrate on close states. Rural voters in North Dakota are as ignored by the candidates as folks in Manhattan. It’s Florida and Ohio and Iowa and a couple other states. And, when they campaign in those few, close states, they mainly campaign in urban areas, because there are more voters there.

  65. Also, as to your “what again?” remark…well, would you rather recount an entire state (not good) or the whole nation (even worse)?

    I’ve been saying this for years… and we didn’t even recount an entire state last time (Gore just cherry-picked a few favorable counties). It would just be an absolute mess.

    fwiw, evans died 7 years ago. So who knows who now? πŸ™‚

    Despite you catching my slip-up, it doesn’t disprove my point… Evans wouldn’t know about the politics of the other 49 states, either, so Michigan’s just as much a mystery to him. Cheers πŸ™‚

  66. I say that only votes from dense urban areas will count is because, if the election were decided by simple majority, the candidates would only need to go to the few, densely-packed urban areas to campaign.

    Basically, you’d deny anyone not in a major city any voice in the election. Now explain to me exactly how that is more democratic?

    As opposed to what we have now, when places like Texas, California, and New York are basically ignored, because swining literally millions of votes there won’t change the outcome, while places like Iowa, New Mexico and West Virgnia get an enormous amount of attention, because their status as “swing states” means that even a few thousand votes could change the outcome.

  67. I’m frequently stunned by the comments around here disparaging the states’ role in limiting federal power. Either decide you love leviathan or not. If not, then every check we can establish and maintain protects all of our liberties all the more. Checking the power of the majority is a major theme in the Constitution.

  68. Rural voters in North Dakota are as ignored by the candidates as folks in Manhattan.

    Ding ding ding!

    Ayn Randian –
    I propose that voter turnout might be higher on account of people realizing that other people don’t do their voting for them.
    A democrat in New York may not go to the polls because they assume the state will go to a democrat.
    A republican in New York may not go to the polls because they assume the state will go to a democrat.
    Both of them would be right, and frequently are.

    Cut the crap about being a nation of states. We are hardly anything like that anymore, and if we’re going to elect someone who’s going to treat us like one giant nation then we might as well elect them that way. Otherwise we end up with lopsided policy proposals on the order of things desired only by people in swing states, completely ignoring the desires of states whose votes are predictable.

  69. Doubtful. You’d pretty much have the entire population of small states not even bothering, knowing that a bourough of NYC could override them.

    Is that why people in Minneola and White Plains don’t vote in New York statewide elections?

  70. So the electoral college simultaneously has no effect on the outcome of the election because it was only the 2000 election where the two figures differed, but THANK GOD we have it or else….. what again?

    Assuming this is in response to my comment, I was actually saying the arguments on both sides are overblown. That is, the people saying that switching to direct popular vote will result in campaigns spending all their time in New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago are missing the fact that a direct popular vote would have decided all the elections in the 20th century the same way as having the electoral college. Also, only about 10% of the population of the US lives in its three largest metro areas, so it’s not like you could totally ignore the rest of the country.

  71. It should also be on record that Ayn Randian is from Ohio

  72. Cut the crap about being a nation of states.

    yeah, smaller government. what a bunch of ‘crap’.

  73. As opposed to what we have now, when places like Texas, California, and New York are basically ignored,

    If only we could promote that AFTER the election.

  74. are missing the fact that a direct popular vote would have decided all the elections in the 20th century the same way as having the electoral college

    Again, this is assuming that the electoral system doesn’t have an effect on voter turnout or on how people strategically vote.

  75. yeah, smaller government. what a bunch of ‘crap’.

    Do we have to have the conversation again about how states can be just as tyrannical as the federal government?

  76. I like Chris Potter’s general point, but there’s a problem with this:

    That is, the people saying that switching to direct popular vote will result in campaigns spending all their time in New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago are missing the fact that a direct popular vote would have decided all the elections in the 20th century the same way as having the electoral college.

    The point here is that presidential campaigns will operate differently in their pursuit of votes, so we can’t just assume that the national popular- and state-vote totals would have been the same.

  77. yeah, smaller government. what a bunch of ‘crap’.

    Remember when the Electoral College kept the New Dealers from taking over?

  78. I don’t mean to say that I’m not for states being represented in a republic, etc etc, but it certainly doesn’t mean small government. Look at what we have right now. Is this small?

  79. Do we have to have the conversation again about how states can be just as tyrannical as the federal government?

    do the libertarians on the board need to be reminded that big “one-size fits all” government doesn’t please anybody?

    you think the Federal Government has too much power now? Just wait until you strip the states out of the process entirely. The 17th Amendment is bad enough.

    Shoot, maybe we can just direct elect the Supreme Court? Part of “checks and balances” is Federal Power checked against the States.

  80. Another effect of the electoral college is that it has the effect of reducing the impact of extremely homogeneous states. Utah and Nevada have roughly the same population, so if McCain wins Utah 80-17 but Obama wins Nevada 50-48, even though McCain won the popular vote between the two by a 64-34 margin, he nets no electoral votes.

    I’m surprised California and Texas haven’t arranged a voter exchange program, where millions of die-hard Democrats from San Fran settle in Austin in exchange for an equal number of die-hard East Texas Republicans moving to Fresno. It would promote red-blue understanding and reconciliation, and also help both states get more attention during the election season by making them less homogeneous.

  81. I’ve got no problem with geographic areas allocating their votes as a bloc, for exactly the majority-restraining reasons people mention.

    But why should 10 million voters in the empty part of the West be able to check a national majority, while a larger number of voters in other regions of the country cannot?

    Why should the division and number of the electoral votes among those voters differ from the division and number of electoral votes among the residents of Los Angeles?

    It’s not the princiople of checks on national majorities that’s the problem; it’s the fact that some electoral minorities get to exercise this power, and have their votes count for more, while others do not, based purely on geography.

    One citizen’s vote should not count more than another’s.

  82. The Electoral College serves as a minor check on the Federal Government. In that sense, it is a good thing, though it is really a rather insignificant check in the grand scheme of things. If we are going to get rid of anything, it should be the Federal Government, not the Electoral College.

  83. I don’t think that how we elect a president has anything to do with states checking the federal government. Care to explain how this is so? Why don’t we just give each state the same number of electroal votes since, you know, we are a republic of states and all?

  84. joe,

    If NY wants the prez candidates to campaign there, they cant award their electoral votes on a proportional basis. I doubt the GOP will stand in the way of that change.

  85. joe and Reinmoose,

    True, a direct popular vote could change voter behavior in theory, but I’m pretty skeptical of that. I doubt the average voter even knows what the electoral college is, frankly.

  86. Local governments can be, and frequently are, as un-libertarian and intrusive and the Federal government (if not more so). Many of the most ridiculous laws are city or state laws, not Federal ones.

    Limiting the size of the Federal government doesn’t neccessarily limit the size of the government overall.

  87. In the last 10 or so comments, the following states were named as receiving too much attention proportional to their size:

    Florida, Ohio, Iowa, New Mexico, West Virginia.
    Combined population: 36.95 million (wikipedia)
    Percent of U.S. population: 12.3%

    So how is it, exactly, that only 10% of the states, representing 12.3% of the population, garner disproportionate attention?

  88. For predicting the electoral college I’m enjoying these two sites:

    http://electoral-vote.com

    http://fivethirtyeight.com

  89. joe,

    Every citizen, who is also a member of the electoral college, has a vote that counts exactly the same. The rest of us have no vote.

  90. If NY wants the prez candidates to campaign there, they cant award their electoral votes on a proportional basis. I doubt the GOP will stand in the way of that change.

    The DNC would kick every single Dem legislator’s ass into the next century if they did that.

  91. Taktix –
    Reread that last comment. It won’t make as much sense as you thought it did when you posted it.

    You’d need to make a conclusion about how much attention they received in order to have any point.

  92. Pro Libertate and Ayn_Randian,

    BULLY! BULLY! BULLY! [open hand pounding on desk]

    So, how about you big government loving folks read those two guys and learn something? Especially those of you who claim an L/l as your party identifier.

  93. Reinmoose,

    Why don’t we just give each state the same number of electroal votes since, you know, we are a republic of states and all?

    You realize this was proposed, right?

    You do know the reason we have the system we do?

    Like the senate and the house, the electoral college is a compromise between small states and large states. Large states get the bulk on the vote but small states are disproportionately powerful.

  94. Reinmoose,

    That would be an excellent idea. Joe’s problem is that he seems to find democracy a virtue. I don’t find anything particularly appealing about the mob telling me what to do. Democracy has brought us minimum wage laws, rent control, car registration, smoking bans, and housing codes. At the extremes Democracy kept an entire race in human bondage here and overseas sent an entire race in to ovens. Anything that makes government more efficient or more “democratic” is something I am reflexively opposed to.

  95. robc,

    If NY wants the prez candidates to campaign there, they cant award their electoral votes on a proportional basis. I doubt the GOP will stand in the way of that change.

    But they would stand in the way of such a change in Texas. And for good reason – for any one state to do so greatly weakens the clout of the party that has majority support in that state. It’s a Mexican Standoff situation, which requires action to “disarm” both at the same time.

    The joe Plan: Keep the EC, apportion Electors by House seats, with each Elector chosen via the majority of each House district.

  96. Local governments can be, and frequently are, as un-libertarian and intrusive and the Federal government (if not more so). Many of the most ridiculous laws are city or state laws, not Federal ones.

    Yes, but choosing a new local government entail moving a few miles up the road, choosing a new federal government requires relocation to a new country…

  97. Chris P,

    joe and Reinmoose,

    True, a direct popular vote could change voter behavior in theory, but I’m pretty skeptical of that. I doubt the average voter even knows what the electoral college is, frankly.

    My point is that the candidates will be active in states where they have not heretofore been active, and THAT – not an appreciation for the subtleties of the Rube Goldberg device – will change voting behavior.

  98. More thoughts for the EC Haters:

    – Bob Barr can spoil the election for McCain by gaining a single state (let’s say Georgia); a nationwide popular vote is only going to permanently enshrine the two-party system. A third party in one state can make a difference; it’s doubtful that a third party that has to campaign across fifty states can make any difference.

  99. FatDrunkandStupid –
    But it’s already been established that we don’t have a democracy – so it couldn’t have lead to those things here

  100. robc | May 29, 2008, 12:54pm | #

    joe,

    Every citizen, who is also a member of the electoral college, has a vote that counts exactly the same. The rest of us have no vote.

    We have votes for the members of the electoral college. You know this.

    This is not how someone with a principled belief in his position argues.

  101. joe,

    You are phoning proportional voting in almost exactly one hour after the first time it was mentioned?

  102. joe,

    You realize Maine and Nebraska have already adopted the joe plan? I dont think you can take credit for it.

  103. Taktix –
    Reread that last comment. It won’t make as much sense as you thought it did when you posted it.

    You’d need to make a conclusion about how much attention they received in order to have any point.

    Someone above said that these 5 states received undue attention because they are small, but are swing states. I am making the point that they are underrepresented by the percentage of states.

    But this is irrelevant, as the other states have made their decision, putting these swing states into contention. And the states designated as “swing states” change every cycle anyway…

    Besides, direct democracy is for poopy-heads…

  104. Joe’s problem is that he seems to find democracy a virtue. I don’t find anything particularly appealing about the mob telling me what to do.

    Yes, you do. You would just prefer that it be a smaller mob, and one less representative of the American populace.

    Bully for you.

  105. Of course, if we’re really concerned about making our political system, two no-brainer changes we could make that would have decisive and immediate impact would be:

    1. Instant runoff voting

    2. Drawing House districts either by a politically neutral committee or a politically neutral computer algorithm. ie, end gerrymandering.

    Of course, politicians are going to blabber about “making sure every vote counts” while never addressing these two improvements…

  106. Taktix, a resident of the swing state Florida and Ayn Randian, a resident of the swing state Ohio, arguing against those states getting less attention.

    Fantastic

  107. joe,

    We have votes for the members of the electoral college. You know this.

    Not always. And we dont have to. I believe SC was the last state to go to having the EC chosen by a vote of the people. For a long, long time after every else had, they were still choosing them in their legislature. And, outside a few states, there is not requirement that an elector be faithful.

    This is not how someone with a principled belief in his position argues.

    Dude, once again your lack of sense of humor is showing.

  108. Joe’s problem is that he seems to find democracy a virtue. I don’t find anything particularly appealing about the mob telling me what to do. Democracy has brought us minimum wage laws, rent control, car registration, smoking bans, and housing codes.

    No wonder joe finds democracy to be a virtue!

  109. At the extremes Democracy kept an entire race in human bondage here

    Fat, Drunk, and Stupid is no way to go through life, son.

    How’z about you go to wikipedia, look at the population in the North, look at the population in the South, meditate on the Senate and Electoral College, and get back to us on slavery being a consequence of too much democracy.

  110. robc,

    Actually, Maine and Nebraska continue to have two Electors each based on their Senate seats.

    NOT the joe Plan.

  111. Ayn_Randian,

    Bob Barr can spoil the election for McCain by gaining a single state (let’s say Georgia); a nationwide popular vote is only going to permanently enshrine the two-party system. A third party in one state can make a difference; it’s doubtful that a third party that has to campaign across fifty states can make any difference.

    Not true. If we require a 50+% popular vote for the winner or the results are thrown into the house, then many, many elections would have been spoiled by 3rd party voters. More so than the current system.

  112. Reinmoose,

    I just moved here, since the last cycle, from the solidly blue state of Pa.

    I have been making the same argument, however, since the 2000 debacle…

    Nice try, Captain Geography!

  113. An alternative plan that I like re: district boundaries would be to ratify a constitutional amendment requiring all House districts to be rectangular in shape, excluding state boundaries. That is, district boundaries within a state have to be the sides of a rectangle.

    This rule would make gerrymandering very difficult, even if the current partisan processes were used to draw the boundaries.

  114. joe,

    Oh, I thought you were just modifying the current system. I didnt realize you were throwing out the 2 statewide electors. I like the Maine/Nebraska plan. I oppose the joe plan.

  115. Look –
    Since the current system works so well, let’s just keep it.
    After all, why not stick with the devil we know, right?

  116. I think it isn’t sensible to examine the electoral college [or the Senate system] without putting it in its historical context.

    The system was designed partially to placate the concerns of the smaller states and induce them to enter into a federal union with larger states. But it was also designed to avoid the emergence of a single metropole that would dominate the entire country, bleeding off resources into its own growth and creating a feedback loop.

    The example of the Roman Republic loomed large in their minds. Weighting the system slightly in favor of the smaller and more rural states at both the Presidential and Congressional level made sure that New York or Philadelphia or some other city didn’t dominate the government and use that domination to turn the federal government into a system of patronage for one major city [Tammany Hall for an entire nation].

    It’s related to why the citizens of DC got no Congressional representation.

    It’s possible that both the electoral college and the Senate system have outlived their usefulness, since the US obviously has developed a balanced urban culture and there is little chance of any one state or city growing into superdominance whether the electoral college sticks around or not. But it was a pretty good idea for the time and situation extant when it was first created.

  117. politically neutral committee or a politically neutral computer algorithm

    Right. The can be comprised of delegates for the Invisible Pink Unicorn and the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

    Afterwards, we can go out and chase after the purple dragon…

  118. Chris Potter,

    The KY supreme court did something similar, only more reasonable during a redistricting battle (I think 1990). They require a minimum number of counties to be split.

    Now, once that minimum is determined, which are split and how they are split is still up for debate.

    Gerrymandering still occurs, but crazymandering is verboten.

  119. You know, you can vote anyplace you like, all you need there is an address. You don’t even have to be there much.

    I still vote in the USA (TN) because I refuse to be a Northern Virginan.

    If only I could do that with State income taxes it would be so sweet.

  120. Fluffy,

    You just made all that up, right? I mean, that was the reasoning for the Connecticut Compromise and the bicameral nature of Congress, but I don’t think it had to do with the Electoral College, at least not directly.

    If Philadelphia or New York had become that large that it dwarfed the population of the rest of the country, it would have had a much higher electoral vote, as well.

    And DC doesn’t have a member of Congress because it wasn’t part of a state, and Representatives were to be apportioned among the states. It was more of a historical accident than anything else.

  121. It’s possible that both the electoral college and the Senate system have outlived their usefulness, since the US obviously has developed a balanced urban culture and there is little chance of any one state or city growing into superdominance whether the electoral college sticks around or not. But it was a pretty good idea for the time and situation extant when it was first created.

    Were D.C. to receive proportional representation (the next logical step after direct democracy), it wouldn’t take long for it to develop into the supercity you speak of…

  122. Reinmoose,

    States can be tyrannical. I can be tyrannical when exercising my patria potestas over my household. I’m not suggesting that all power be wielded exclusively by the states, nor is it true that state power is unchecked. The Constitution requires that the states maintain republican forms of government, and, of course, federal supremacy provides additional checks. Not to mention state constitutions, which further limit state governments.

    I’m pleased by the multiple occurrences of the term “bully” in this thread. It should come back into common speech. I’m bully on bully.

  123. Were D.C. to receive proportional representation (the next logical step after direct democracy), it wouldn’t take long for it to develop into the supercity you speak of…

    Shouldn’t that have already happened with respect to NE Virginia and SW Maryland? They have Congressional representation and a large number working in the national capital, yet I don’t see how they’re dominating the country through the popular vote.

  124. I am not arguing against states checking the federal government.

  125. PL,

    If you are ever in a Northern Virginia sports bar and hear fans yelling BULLY! and slapping the bar with their open hands, you can thank me for spreading the habit.

    But, I did rip it off from the Don & Mike show (now the Mike O’Meraha show).

  126. The joe Plan: Keep the EC, apportion Electors by House seats, with each Elector chosen via the majority of each House district.

    Hey, you stole my plan. πŸ™‚

    And for what it’s worth, if I am not mistaken it is well within Congress’ powers to pass a law to that effect. I’m not seeing too much movement there on what one would think was an obvious solution. Even for advocate of popular vote who should be able to back it as an interim measure.

    I’m not too sure anyone really gets that worked up about it until you get an actual Fla 00 style crisis.

    By the way, my plan goes further and would provide that the states would get to determine the apportionment of the two extra “Senatorial” electors (statewide winner-take-all, divide the state into two regions of equal population, rural-urban divide, whatever).

    I am still of the mind that tempering centralized power is a good thing. And even though I am less than convinced that the EC actually does a good job of it, I am hrdpressed to find an alternative.

  127. Too long of a thread to see if this has already been mentioned, but forget “leaning Dem” for Oregon — it has become solid Dem. Not saying that as an endorsement or a condemnation, just a fact.

  128. We really should scrap the Electoral College in favor of the Heisman Trophy voting system. So we’d have a limited number of people who could cast ballots (which would be a bit like the EC, but these people and their votes would not be tied to some sort of silly popular election). They would award first, second, and third place votes (scoring 3, 2, and 1 point respectively). The candidate with the most points wins.

    Now that I think about it, let’s just have the Heisman voters handle the presidential voting as well. And if they accidentally confuse the two ‘elections’ and we end up with a 22 year old running back in the white house, then we’re probably going in the right direction.

  129. robc, FatDrunkandStupid,

    My apologies. I’m ill today, and I went off on you unnecessarily.

  130. The joe Plan: Keep the EC, apportion Electors by House seats, with each Elector chosen via the majority of each House district.

    I could live with that, if I understand your meaning correctly.

  131. We could do it by the person with the most money. The thing that the Leftists (including RINOS keep ‘warning’ us about, but seems to fail quite frequently.

    just give rich a chance.

  132. Isaac,

    I don’t think Congress is allowed to monkey with the way states apportion their electors, as per Article II Section 1:

    Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

    So you’d need to have all the states do it individually, or have a constitutional amendment.

  133. John McCain is probably ahead in states like Montana and Alaska by at least 15% or more. If you honestly think Bob Barr is going to win enough votes in those states to allow Obama to overcome such a huge deficit, you are more deluded than I thought about Bob Barr’s popularity and the relevance of the Libertarian Party in this country.
    Repeat after me: The Libertarian Party is an irrelevant joke.

  134. The Potter plan:

    Have one fair-minded, intelligent, and patriotic citizen (namely me) decide who becomes president.

    Thoughts?

  135. Of course, I’m not sure if the courts would allow Congress to withhold highway funding or some similar nonsense to “persuade” states to adopt the apportionment method they want. Given the Court’s tendency to defer to the legislature, they probably would allow such a thing.

  136. B, repeat after me: “B is an irrelevant, cynical, anonymous commenter on a website. no one cares what B thinks.”

  137. Chris,

    With Article 2, Section 1 is mind, some state should go completely crazy with there methodology. Like cock-fighting. Or naked crisco wrestling. Not that I want to watch McCain/Obama/Barr/McKinney naked crisco wrestle.

  138. B,

    Repeat after me:

    The president of the USA is an irrelevant joke.

    That isnt what you said?

  139. joe,

    My apologies.

    No problem. You’ve said worse when healthy.

  140. With Article 2, Section 1 is mind, some state should go completely crazy with there methodology. Like cock-fighting.

    Heh. Or perhaps some cash-strapped state could auction off it’s electors, or award them as lottery prizes.

  141. Im surprised no one has pointed this out yet, but speckles is the worst way I can think of to differentiate states. I cant tell leaning GOP from solid GOP. It just looks like my monitor is dirty.

  142. Brian,

    I almost suggested lottery, but it didnt seem crazy enough.

  143. Chris,

    Excellent plan, with one key flaw. I must be the arbiter of selection. And, of course, only I can wield the appropriate level of libertarian autocracy, so we can just skip the election.

  144. I just read enough extra comments to see that joe changed my plan after he stole it.

    The problem with the joe Plan is that it would require a constitutional amendment. Those aren’t that easy to get.

    I realize that G Montag brought up the issue of proportion apportionment long before I did. I am merely proposing a specific method.

    As I see it any system of proportional representation is a hazard in this country. One only has to consider how badly the voters in Palm Beach County failed the literacy and aptitude test placed on the ballot by the Supervisor of Elections to see that expecting American voters to rank their preferences and correctly marking their ballots would be a disaster.

  145. So, should I give my state rep a call (he is running unchallenged, as usual, so he doesnt have anything to worry about) and have him propose that KY make money by having a lottery for spots in the electoral college? I know I would buy more tickets than I do powerball (I think I bought 1 last year when it was really big). Only open to KY registered voters, of course, there has to be some limitation.

    8 winners to be announced on election day.

  146. Not that I want to watch McCain/Obama/Barr/McKinney naked crisco wrestle.

    When the Potter plan is implemented, the Potter will order such an event. I promise. Of course, you can’t hold me to it, since I’m not elected.

  147. Sorry, Chris, you’ve been preempted.

  148. The problem with the joe Plan is that it would require a constitutional amendment.

    I think yours would too — see Chris Potter’s 1:38 comment. The Constitution gives the states the authority to decide how their electors will be appointed.

  149. Chris Potter @ 12:48pm is dead on. The effect of the EC is largely to reduce the significance of blowout states. This reduces the significance of local political machines and the value of pandering to the base. The level of pandering by region would remain more or less the same, but would shift from competitive to blowout regions.

    The rural vs urban argument is mostly a red herring since there’s a lot of small, relatively high-density states on the east coast and having the states’ electors vote as a block actually favors larger states, since larger blocks are more strategically significant – the larger the block, the more likely it is to impact the outcome in a winner-take-all system. If a block was no more influential than the sum of it’s parts, they wouldn’t be strategically useful. The effects of block voting and the disproportionate allocation of votes to small blocks work to counter each other.

    The most influential states in the EC system will be the largest competitive ones – if Florida’s electors are larger than the margin of victory ends up being, who wins Montana is irrelevant despite its disproportionate votes, even if it were competitive. Under geographic blocking with strictly population-based allocation of votes, it would be the same states, but they’d be even more important.

  150. I want New York’s electoral votes to be allocated to the candidate who promises to give us the most amount of federal money taken from other states.

  151. There is no preemption. I have an army of vicious ferrets that are currently being trained to munch on the genitals of any who dare oppose me.

    Well, at least that’s the next training item on the agenda. Right now we’re trying to housebreak them first, and let me tell you that is a pain in the ass.

  152. I don’t remember who mentioned instant runoff voting, but yes. I think third parties would do better too, if it was used for things other than president as well.

  153. Just had another great idea. I will use KY as an example. Instead of giving 6 electoral votes to the winners in the 6 KY house districts and 2 to the state wide winner, a la the Maine/Nebraska/Isaac plan, instead the state should draw up 8 “presidential elector districts”. That way, every 10 years, there will be 4 instead of just 3 gerrymander fights.

    State House
    State Senate
    US House
    Presidential Elector District

    In CA that wouldnt be too different from House districts, so it might not be so much fun, but in some states it could be interesting. The 3rd district doesnt take up all of Jefferson Co, KY now, so the electoral district for this area would take up even less of the county. Would it become a super democrat district and pull all the GOP parts of the county out or would they pull Dem areas of the county into the surrounding area to make a district the GOP could win, at the risk of making the others less safe?

  154. Chris,

    You’re absolutely right. I was thinking of Article 1 – Section 4, which does say “The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations,..”.

    I misremembered my COTUS. Yes I see that Congress’ power in this area is limited to itself, as it were.

    Shame on all the lawyers who failed to take me to task. It took a mathematician. πŸ™‚

  155. The electoral college is not the problem. The problem is the imperial presidency.

    The president is not supposed to be that important in our system of distributed responsibility with checks and balances. The deliberative body is supposed to set policy, the executive body is supposed to adminstrate, and the judicial body is supposed to referee. Of course it ridiculous to point out how the founding fathers set up the system, because that ain’t how it works today.

    There are two features of the current system that make the electoral college a much bigger problem than it should be. The first is the winner-take-all allocation of a state’s electoral votes. For most states, this makes the allocation of its votes a forgone conclusion. The second problem is manipulation of congressional districts into can’t-lose seats of power for incumbant legislators.

    The growth of the imperial presidency is driven by the view that the only effective way to change the direciton of government is by replacing the executive. This is the result of the fact that it is virtually impossible to replace the legislators that are supposed to be the most responsive to the will of the people.

    There are clear solutions to both of these problem, however, the people occupying the house, senate, and white house have absolutely no incentive to allow those solutions to be implemented.

  156. Also requiring a constitutional amendment, also a good idea: apportioning the Senate by PR by party.

    1) Third parties immediately become relevant. LP and Greens get about six seats, Constitution and Natural Law Parties one or two each. Just the New York Liberal Party and the New York Conservative Party would each get a seat, probably. Of course, the Democrats would probably split, but I doubt anyone would notice.

    2) The vote of every American would count equally in apportioning Senate seats.

    3) We have one chamber that doesn’t is free from parochial concerns. Less pork.

  157. joe,

    The hideousness of your plans is increasing as time goes on, as is the hunger of my ferrets for epididymes. Pray that the two don’t have a connection.

  158. My AttackCrows? and I laugh at your ferrets. HA!

    HA! HA!

    I declare the EC be the law of the land and that the several States decide how they elect the electors and how those votes be bound to the will of the People.

    If you don’t like the way your State does it, move to one you like.

    I so declare it done.

  159. Small states get two senators to prevent the big states from overwhelming them in legislative decision. The big states get lots of representatives to prevent from being held hostage to the whims of the small states.

    Parochial interests are the only reasons to have representatives and senators.

  160. Hey Ben, is it going to rain much next month?

  161. Michigan, according to Novak, could be tougher for McCain with Bob Barr stealing “gun-rights single-issue voters.” More evidence, for me, that Barr will ruin McCain’s life in “safe” states like Alaska and Montana

    I, seeing the 2nd amendment as the canary in the coal mine for the rest of our liberties, actually am a gun-rights, single-issue voter for all practical purposes, and I would never “as a protest” vote for an un-viable third-party candidate if I lived in a state where it might actually matter. McCain may have a C-minus from the NRA, but Obama has an F. My suspicion is that’s a pretty accurate characterization of both of their attitudes towards our liberties in general, and, while that really sucks, if one of the two of them is to be president, the choice is pretty clear.

  162. Guy, you will have to subscibe to my new, all-digital, Internet-accessible almanac when it comes on line. Not sure when that will happen though. Having some technical difficulties with my quill. For some reason, no one else can see what I write on my screen with it.

  163. Personally I’d scrap the EC and the popular vote both, and just let congress elect the president. Given the size of the population any individual vote has little effect on the outcome, and if it is close enough to count, the election would wind up in court where a judge picks the result.

    If people weren’t focused on an election where they have little or no influence anyway, they’d be more likely to focus on the election of their representatives, which are elected from jurisdictions that are small enough that the citizens can actually have some meaningful influence.

  164. Ben,

    You need a special blotter and ink for that. If you have an old stash of your original postage stamps I will be glad to send you one. Several uncut sheets will do fine.

    Please do not forget to include an autograph?

    Thanks in advance!

    Your biggest fan,

    Montag

  165. If you have an old stash of your original postage stamps I will be glad to send you one. Several uncut sheets will do fine.

    I’m sure I have some saved for a rainy day.

    Please do not forget to include an autograph?

    Certainly.

    I’ll send them along with the next horseman headed your way.

  166. So what is the most reasonable situation to cause a 269-269 tie? Flipping NH and NV, I guess?

  167. Ben,

    I’ll send them along with the next horseman headed your way.

    Thank you so much! I am just up the trail from Gen. Washington’s place, about 14 miles to the north. Makes it a bit closer for you. I shall have my scouts be on the lookout.

    BTW, this jar lightning stuff kicks ass! And, I use your stoves, exclusively.

  168. Mississippi, of all places, could be in play.

    In 2004, black voters made up 34% of the electorate in the Presidential elections, while white voters made up 65%.

    That year, John Kerry won 90% of the black votes, George Bush 10%.

    In addition, John Kerry won 19% of the white vote, while George Bush won 80%.

    That worked out to a 59-40 Bush victory.

    If three small changes in voting patterns happen, Obama wins Mississippi:

    1. Obama wins black voters by 95-5, rather than 90-10. It is likely that he will do so, given his performance in the primary.

    2. Black voters increase their share of the electorate from 34% to 39%. Given massive voter registration gains for the Democrats and a deflated Republican electorate, this is possible, too.

    3. Obama loses the white vote by fifty points, rather than sixty. This would mean that just 6-1/4% of 2004 Bush voters (among those who still turn out) vote Democrat this time.

    Those are all small numbers, and the Democrats just won a long-red House seat. There is a also a popular Democratic governor running for the Senate, and his opponent used to represent that very same long-red House district.

  169. The Electoral College almost served a practical purpose in 2000. In Florida, the election was contested. According to Florida State law, if the election results were not certified by a certain date, the Florida legislature was instructed to disregard the election (as it was uncertified by the deadline) and directly appoint Electors.

    State Legislatures still (in theory) have the ability to simply appoint Electors. Florida almost did it in 2000, but was interruped by the SCOTUS. That’s why I say “in theory.” I doubt they would ever be allowed to.

  170. So, are the Dems going to count MI and FL voters as 3/5ths each?

    Yes, I know it is one of those party club thingies and not a federal election. Just wondering.

  171. Personally I’d scrap the EC and the popular vote both, and just let congress elect the president.

    Isn’t this called “Parliament”?

  172. The joe Plan: Keep the EC, apportion Electors by House seats, with each Elector chosen via the majority of each House district.

    While you are at it, we should dramatically increase the number of House seats (and, in turn, Electors). The current number is arbitrary and extremely small.

  173. Isn’t this called “Parliament”?

    Yes

  174. Parliament, totally funkadellic man.

  175. 3. Obama loses the white vote by fifty points, rather than sixty. This would mean that just 6-1/4% of 2004 Bush voters (among those who still turn out) vote Democrat this time.

    The rest of your hypothesis is good; I’m not seeing this one though.

    However a similar dynamic does put VA in play

  176. Parliament, not a bad smoke either.

  177. As one of the two-bit bloggers mentioned in the original post, I note that I pointed out a few days back that Hillary would have a lock on this race if she were the nominee, which she won’t be. Everything about that is cool.

  178. I think democracy is as stupid as the next guy,

    Love the double-meaning/tautology.

    As for Obama’s strength among black voters, both my parents, long-time Republicans, are now Obama supporters. I’m just saying.

  179. “If three small changes in voting patterns happen, Obama wins Mississippi:”

    A 4th factor in helping Obama carry Mississippi is the Barr factor of taking votes away from McCain.

  180. 3. Obama loses the white vote by fifty points, rather than sixty. This would mean that just 6-1/4% of 2004 Bush voters (among those who still turn out) vote Democrat this time.

    Yeah, I don’t see white Deep South Republicans being more comfortable with Obama than Kerry.

  181. Somehow, John Kerry “seemed” more like a rich guy than any presidential candidate I remember in my lifetime. FWIW, this particular comportment carries some negative connotations, even though clearly the pres. candidates have money.

  182. Growing up in Chicago, it’s tough not to be a big fan of the electoral college. The biggest benefit of the electoral college is that it limits the amount of damage one party dominated areas can do, thereby drastically reducing voter fraud in National Elections in those areas.

    No matter how many votes the Republicans invent in Texas or the Democrats invent in Chicago, they’re limited to the number of electoral votes that state has; votes that were quite likely to be heading their way regardless.

    My only change might be to have electoral votes match population rather than representation in Congress (which helps smaller states because of the two senators they get).

    In swing states, fraud remains a big problem (we’ve recently seen problems in Wisconsin, Missouri, Ohio and Florida) but at least the divided nature of the state makes vote fraud more difficult.

  183. So, are the Dems going to count MI and FL voters as 3/5ths each?

    Bah! Horrible idea, but rather than being intended for dehumanization, the 3/5ths law was designed to prevent slave states from basically “buying” a larger majority in the legislature, seeing as their cruel, soulless masters got to cast their votes for them.

    It was a horrible thing to do, as was slavery, but I hate to see such misnomers…

  184. THE URKOBOLD BEGS TO DIFFER. ENSLAVING PEOPLE BASED ON THEIR RACE IS SILLY AND EVIL. ENSLAVING PEOPLE BECAUSE THEY’RE WEAKER THAN YOU AND YOU NEED CHEAP LABOR IS PERFECTLY FINE. THE URKOBOLD’S GOOD FRIEND MARTHA “SHIV” STEWART OWNS SEVERAL THOUSAND SLAVES IN AN UNDISCLOSED LOCATION IN OCEANIA. IT’S A GOOD THING.

  185. Guy Montag | May 29, 2008, 2:47pm | #

    So, are the Dems going to count MI and FL voters as 3/5ths each?

    Maybe. Then again, they might count them as 1/2 each, like the Republicans.

    Petard, this is Guy. Guy, Petard. I’m sure you two have a of hoisting to do.

  186. Whoops, that was me.

    Yeah, I don’t see white Deep South Republicans being more comfortable with Obama than Kerry.

    Kolohe, Chris,

    I agree that, of the three, that is the most difficult. On the other hand, that is a very small number of vote switchers.

  187. Republi-bot/joe,

    The Republicans allowed half the normal number of delegates from those states (and SC). Each of them was counted as a full vote, however.

    joe again,

    It might seem like a small number of switches, but keep in mind you’d have to make up for the Kerry-voting Repubs who vote McCain out of fear of a Dark President before you start working on that small number of switches.

  188. And to add to what Chris just said, as an analogy, the last few hundred feet of Everest takes all day to climb. And many fail and have to turn back.

  189. I’m voting for the first candidate who says “bully” in a major speech.

  190. Chris Potter,

    Kerry-voting Republicans? I don’t think there were any Kerry-voting Republicans in Mississippi.

    Obama has performed better among white SOUTHERN men than among white APPALACHIAN men.

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