Electoral College

Could Trump Lose the Way Gore Lost?

Electoral College math makes victory a challenge.

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Trump
OFA/ZOJ/Oscar Gonzalez/WENN/Newscom

New Hampshire is a tiny state with about 1.3 million people. California has eight counties with larger populations than that. But in presidential campaigns, size doesn't matter.

Donald Trump and Barack Obama will be in New Hampshire on Monday. The 39 million residents of California can only watch from afar.

In most political races, candidates spend the most time where they can reap the most votes. In presidential campaigns, however, they often seem to shun any place where large numbers of ballots are cast.

California, Texas and New York are the most populous states. But from the number of candidates they've seen lately, they might as well be Siberia.

The reason for this weird pattern is a weird institution—the Electoral College, which is what we actually use to choose presidents. Each state has as many votes as it has members of Congress, and 48 states are winner-take-all. Whoever can amass 270 electoral votes becomes president.

This unusual formula has the effect of steering candidates away from large states that have a strong bent toward one party or the other. Lose by one vote or a million votes in most places and you get the same electoral harvest: nothing. No one campaigns in California, despite its 55 electoral votes, because it's a haven for Democrats. No one wastes time in Texas, with 38 electoral votes, because it's almost impossible for Republicans to lose.

New Hampshire could go either way. So it's worth fighting over despite the meager reward at stake: four electoral votes.

A few big states, such as Florida and Ohio, find themselves swarmed with candidates and carpet-bombed with TV ads every four years because neither party can take them for granted. But in other vote-rich places, it's almost possible to forget there's an election. Worst off of all are low-population states that are reliably red or blue.

Democrats turned angrily against the Electoral College in 2000, when they discovered it's possible to win the popular vote and lose the election. They might have seen it coming. Back in the 1980s, Republicans were said to have a lock on the Electoral College because they had a clear advantage in 39 states that accounted for 441 electoral votes. Democrats wondered whether they would ever overcome that handicap.

They have. These days, it's Republicans who face a nearly impregnable electoral fortress. The 17 states that have voted for the Democratic nominee in each of the past four presidential elections command 242 electoral votes. The 22 that have gone Republican every time have only 180.

That's why you keep hearing about Trump's "narrow path to victory." He has to capture several states that Mitt Romney lost in 2012 to win, including Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Nevada and, yes, New Hampshire. Hillary Clinton just has to hold on to one of them to be practically assured of victory.

The Electoral College tilt means she could plausibly lose the popular vote and still take the oath of office Jan. 20. Trump couldn't. NPR calculated that in 2012, it was possible to win the presidency with 23 percent of the popular vote.

It's a strange mechanism that we accept only because it so rarely affects the outcome. The winner of the popular vote almost always wins the electoral vote. But as President Al Gore can attest, there are glaring exceptions to the rule.

The only reason for the lengthy postelection court battle in 2000 over how to count the votes in Florida was the Electoral College. Without it, the hanging chads in Palm Beach County would have been a trivial curiosity—because Gore got nearly 544,000 more votes nationwide than George W. Bush.

Traditionalists regard the Electoral College as a sacred creation of the Founding Fathers, whose genius must be respected. But the Framers really had only the dimmest idea what they were doing. Historian Carl Becker wrote in 1945 that "their grasp of political realities, ordinarily so sure, failed them in this instance. Of all the provisions of the federal Constitution, the electoral college system was the most unrealistic—the one provision not based solidly on practical experience and precedent."

Practical experience has shown that the only possible function of the Electoral College is to deliver the presidency to someone the American people have rejected. Democrats would be happy to abolish it. What would it take to get Republicans to agree? Something that could happen Tuesday.

© Copyright 2016 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

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140 responses to “Could Trump Lose the Way Gore Lost?

  1. If Hillary wins, the Republicans are gone for good. Buh-bye republitards.

    1. At this point in my life, I’ve seen the republicans and democrats “die” so many times, I’ve gotten used to it.

      I’m pretty sure they’ll “die” at least a few more after I die.

      1. Don’t be fooled; Weigel here hasn’t slept for days. He’s completely freaking out because he knows she might lose.

    2. ‘…The 17 states that have voted for the Democratic nominee in each of the past four presidential elections command 242 electoral votes. The 22 that have gone Republican every time have only 180.
      That’s why you keep hearing about Trump’s “narrow path to victory.”….’

      Chapman is assuming that those 17 states will go to Hillary, who is very unpopular among Democrats.

      Once you Libtards see NY go for Trump, the sweet tears of defeat will be pouring from your eyes.

      The fact that the media has Trump and Hillary neck and neck in states new swing like PA, VA and NV, it is clear that Trump is actually going to win those states. The media cannot allow Trump to be ahead of Hillary in polls in this last minute push.

      1. New York has about an ice cube’s chance in hell of going for Trump. PA, VA and NV will be close enough that the Democrat fraud machine will pull them out for Hillary.

        1. I always forget about the Democrat fraud machine. Damn!

        2. 538 rates Hillary has with a 75% chance to win PA.
          VA at 80
          Nevada is actually a tight race though.

          1. With this methodology, what could possibly go wrong?
            538 methodology

      2. Once you Libtards see NY go for Trump, the sweet tears of defeat will be pouring from your eyes

        Uh, no, that’s not going to happen.

        1. Even if NY does not go to Trump, PA will and have the same effect of yummy tears. The Dems losing states like PA, MI and OH means that the demographics of Democrat voters has changed.

    3. One; if Shrillary wins, the Democrats have to survive four to eight years of Shrillary, which ain’t gonna be easy. Her health may be dodgy, she is nowhere near as smart as she thinks she is, the Republicans (and a decent percentage of Democrats) loathe the ground she stalks on, and she breaks the law regularly in the firm belief that nobody will ever call her on it.

      Not a recipe for a smooth-running administration.

      Two; I just have a gut feeling that, whether Shrillary wins or not, the rabid fring of the Democrats is going to make vast charges of vote fraud, and demand investigation. And since it is mostly Democrats that indulge in that particular chicanary, that is gonna be nothing but trouble.

    4. If she wins, libertardians are also gone for good. Amnesty will make anything right of south american socialism impossible to elect, as only whites vote for right of center economic parties. Libertarians need to be pragmatic in this election if they want any hope of winning in the future, as a mestizo united states will never go for any form of libertarian/anarcho-capitalist ideas.

  2. But the Framers really had only the dimmest idea what they were doing. Historian Carl Becker wrote in 1945 that “their grasp of political realities, ordinarily so sure, failed them in this instance. Of all the provisions of the federal Constitution, the electoral college system was the most unrealistic?the one provision not based solidly on practical experience and precedent.”

    The opinions of historians are not anything better than opinions.

    In the first place, the electoral college was not conceived haphazardly or without discourse, one 70 year old quotation from one historian notwithstanding. The ability of a candidate to win the popular vote and lose the election is actually one of the intended features of the electoral college as conceived by the founders, not a bug only unearthed by the sophistication of modernity.

    And in the second, there being no precedent for something is not an argument against it. Contrary to Becker’s contention, there were other unprecedented provisions of the federal constitution as well – the unqualified right to free speech, free press, and to bear arms being arguably the most important. Our bicameral legislature itself was not unprecedented, but the manner by which senators were originally elected was also unique at that time.

    1. If you actually have an argument to make against the electoral college, then make it. There’s some good ones out there. Chapman, of course, lacks the knowledge or ability to make such an argument, but he could have quoted from others who have. Appeals to authority don’t cut it, especially when the authority has made an incredibly shitty argument in the first place.

    2. “…there being no precedent for something is not an argument against it.”

      In my experience the most common argument for doing something dumb is “That’s the way we have always done it.”

      1. I only partially agree. “We’ve always done it this way” is often resorted to by people unwilling or incapable of figuring out why the procedure was implemented and what, if anything does or does not justify continuing with the process as existing. I’ve also heard “We’ve always done it this way because…” followed by a perfectly cogent rationale.

        1. The reason something has been done a certain way for a long time is usually because it was found to work.

          1. In the original constitution, each elector voted for TWO people, with the unwritten rule being that the winning party would have someone vote for only one. In 1800, the fourth presidential election, Jefferson (president) and Burr (vp) each got 73 electoral votes, while Adams (presidential) and Pinckney (vp) got 65 and 64 votes (with one going to John Jay). So the Federalists (Adams/Pinckney) figured out how to avoid the tie, but the Democrat-Republicans (Jefferson/Burr) did not. I’m guessing drunkenness, but who knows. The result 36 ballots in the House, with Jefferson getting 8, Burr 6 and two abstentions for 35 votes (a majority required, not a plurality), and finally Jefferson 10, Burr 4, two abstaining for the majority win. That was fixed by the 12th amendment. So what goes on for a while can change, when it is demonstrated to be messed up enough!

            google “Election 1800” since the wiki link is too long!

    3. Many people don’t understand that the Constitution was written and ratified by representitives of the States. The smaller States wanted some extra power to go along with the new Constitution in order to ratify it so they got some extra votes in Presidential elections

      Also democracy is not mentioned in either the original document nor in any amendments .

      1. Because the US was never supposed to be a democracy, it was supposed to be a constitutional republic. The founders considered democracy nothing more than mob rule.

        1. Actually, it was supposed to be a Federation of Constitutional Republics.

        2. That is nonsense. Most (not all) founders rationalized/thought that pure democracy would result in factions (ie parties) and that once factions achieve a majority then decisions tend to get made towards the factional interest (against the out-minority) rather than the interest of the whole. Which is likely true – but only because ALL forms of government lead to the tyranny of ‘factionalism’. The founders who were the most likely to associate ‘democracy’ with ‘factionalism’ were also the ones who did not see any tendency at all towards aristocratic cronyism – where the ‘quality people’ would, once in office, feather their own beds in their own self-interest (and against everyone out of power) rather than the interest of the whole.

          And the biggest structural problem with the constitution is that it does not provide much check/balance against the latter. The House was supposed to serve that role as the noisy unstable large body that wouldn’t be able to do anything on its own – but that could withhold the purse. But as states actually started electing the House via democracy (roughly Jackson); it quickly became less representative. District size grew from the 30,000 (in the constitution) to 49,000 (by 1830) to 210,000 (by 1910 when House is frozen) to 720,000 (now). The very goal of making the House ‘workable’ eliminates the checks on incumbency that ‘democracy’ actually played.

          1. The Articles of Confederation were too weak but the idea that central power was intended to be weak was still integral to the US Constitution.

            The anti-federalists did not expect the government to do much of anything.

            1. Yeah – but it wasn’t actually ‘the states’ on their own that was the counterbalance. State-elected Senate only has foreign policy and judicial appointments as its unique power. I’d argue that the purse/House would have been a more significant restraint – and was intended to be. If we had the 30,000/district as originally envisioned, a House of 8000+ cannot possibly be corraled into legislating much at all – but it sure as hell would have a lot of spare critters for oversight of the exec and would leak every cronyist deal in the ‘imagination’ phase of it.

          2. Larger (more populous) districts also make gerrymandering a much more potent tool. Today, the voters don’t choose their representative so much as the representatives choose their voters.

            1. I agree that gerrymandering is a bigger problem with bigger districts. But I think the biggest problem with gerrymandering is that state legislatures have also gotten less representative. Basically, ‘the people’ are being squeezed out of all levels of government – and can’t gain standing in court to challenge any of it. And IMO the realization that that has been happening (for a long long time) is why there’s been popular pressure to have direct elections for the other branches (which can’t be gerrymandered).

              Also – I’ll bet there is a correlation here with what govt level people go to to ‘get something done’. The less representative the state legislature, the more likely it is that individuals seek redress at the federal level instead – esp since corporations have always sought the federal (and now global) level for themselves.

              The US House is the 2nd largest district (least representative/democratic) size in the world behind India which constitutionally capped its legislature size.
              California would be the 4th – behind Bangladesh – but less representative than China or the EU parliament.
              Texas is comparable to Japan or Korea (the 2nd least representative among industrialized democracies)
              And 8 states (including 5 of the 10 most gerrymandered states) are less representative/larger districts than the House of Commons (presumably the legislative model) is now.

          3. The founders who were the most likely to associate ‘democracy’ with ‘factionalism’ were also the ones who did not see any tendency at all towards aristocratic cronyism –

            They understood that perfectly well. They explicitly banned the granting of titles of nobility by the United States and even gave that stipulation it’s own clause.

            Article I, Section 9, Clause 8:

            No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States: and no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.

            The second part of the Clause is particularly interesting because it seems that Hilary Clinton has brazenly accepted presents from foreign states.

            1. I was thinking more of aristocratic as the Greek word (rule by ‘the best’). And the cronyism more along the lines of Hamilton’s bank and the protective tariffs created for its customers – or the early land grant deals and such. Looking at the money, the Federalist Party itself was mostly about cronyism and the supposedly nonpartisan ‘Era of Good Feelings’ was mostly a bipartisan trough feeding for insiders. Even the Jacksonian reaction to the latter was more about broadening the ‘spoils’ than it was about ‘the common man’.

    4. I do believe the Electoral College is a perfect institution(?), but I find it an invaluable tool against the advancement of a pure Democracy. Furthermore, I do not understand how a Libertarian could speak against the Electoral College for that very reason. The biggest enemy of freedom is a pure Democracy.

      1. Well, the biggest enemies of freedom are authoritarianism, tyranny, monarchy.

        … but Democracy is up there.

        1. The biggest enemies of freedom are complacency and fear.

    5. The electoral college is fine, but needs to be refined to a district based system that more represents our republic based government and the idea that the house of representatives votes for the president. It’s not fair that a state like PA is all one way or the other when 90% of the map is red. The primaries can still go on to pick the people the reps are obligated to vote for.

  3. It’s far more like Trump will lose the popular vote and win the electoral college than the reverse.

    But the Electoral College works just fine. The whole idea is for concentrated urban centers to not run roughshod over the smaller rural populations.

    I would be okay with having every state run it like Maine and Nebraska do, with each congressional district going winner takes all, but I’m not interested in a straight up popular vote. Anyway, your vote doesn’t matter. No single vote will every decide the election.

    1. No single grain of sand makes a heap, but without the grains of sand there can be no heap.

      Votes work the same way.

    2. The whole idea is for concentrated urban centers to not run roughshod over the smaller rural populations.

      I hear this defense of the EC and it current structure from republicans and just shake my head. Consentrated urban centers running roughshod over non urban areas is exactly what gives the democrats their EC advantage.

      1. Wyoming, Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana have just under four million people between them, and 15 electoral votes. California has ten times that population and only 55 electoral votes.

        1. Wyoming, Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana have just under four million people between them, and 15 electoral votes. California has ten times that population and only 55 electoral votes

          Yeah, but that’s not really the point. Whoever wins California is already 1/5 of the way to winning the election. Their opponent has a huge uphill battle to make up the difference in the EC, regardless of whether they get the entire Great Plains region. Even if the GOP wins the entire Solid South and Great Plains, they still have to pick up some key states in the Rocky Mountain area and the Rust Belt to win. The Dems don’t have that inherent disadvantage because they have the entire Left Coast and Mid-Atlantic all the way to New England, and PA hasn’t gone for the Republicans in nearly 30 years.

          If Trump manages to flip PA, then I’d be shocked if Hillary won at that point. But those are pretty long odds.

          1. There is nothing in the constitution requiring that California be winner take all.

    3. Most elections I am reminded of Illinois and why the Electoral College is so important. Illinois is rather unique in that one county, Cook (Chicago), which is heavily Democrat, often outnumbers the rest of the state, which is primarily Republican. Therefore, most state politics are controlled by one county. There were actually talks in Illinois at one point about forcing Cook County out and making them their own “state”.

      1. Ok, but Illinois governors are often Republican.

  4. Practical experience has shown that the only possible function of the Electoral College is to deliver the presidency to someone the American people have rejected.

    Hey! It’s for their own good!

    1. The popular vote in the Republican primaries delivered Mr Trump. Popular vote is foolproof.

  5. By the time I had read halfway through the blurb, I said, “I bet this is the work of that imbecile, Chapman.”

    1. General H. H. Wotherspoon, president of the Army War College, has a pet rib-nosed baboon, an animal of uncommon intelligence but imperfectly beautiful. Returning to his apartment one evening, the General was surprised and pained to find Adam (for so the creature is named, the general being a Darwinian) sitting up for him and wearing his master’s best uniform coat, epaulettes and all.
      “You confounded remote ancestor!” thundered the great strategist, “what do you mean by being out of bed after taps? ? and with my coat on!”
      Adam rose and with a reproachful look got down on all fours in the manner of his kind and, scuffling across the room to a table, returned with a visiting-card: General Barry had called and, judging by an empty champagne bottle and several cigar-stumps, had been hospitably entertained while waiting. The general apologized to his faithful progenitor and retired. The next day he met General Barry, who said:
      “Spoon, old man, when leaving you last evening I forgot to ask you about those excellent cigars. Where did you get them?”
      General Wotherspoon did not deign to reply, but walked away.
      “Pardon me, please,” said Barry, moving after him; “I was joking of course. Why, I knew it was not you before I had been in the room fifteen minutes.”

      — The late, great Ambrose Bierce

  6. How dare the rest of America rejects the will of NY, LA, and Chicago.

  7. Oh. Daylight savings time. Should’ve paced my beerings better.

    1. I hate daylight savings time.

      Instead of commuting in save darkness where headlights and streetlights illuminated the relevent parts of the road, I had to commute with low angle sunshine blinding me again.

      1. We’re off DST now. You could’ve driven to work earlier.

        1. I am familiar with pedantry.

          In common parlance, ‘daylight savings time’ is not, in fact, the clock we run on all summer, but the disruptive act of being forced to change clocks twice a year. Because that is when people see it.

          Either way, the idea is garbage, and should never have been implemented.

          1. We’re on standard time now (most of us in the US). We o on DST in the Spring. We just went “off” DST.

            The clock more closely matches the sun now

          2. The time we use now should be year round when I can sleep an hour later and the little racket making juvenile delinquents are forced to go inside earlier in the evening.

            1. I would vote for keeping DST year round. Why waste an hour of sunshine before I wake up?

    2. It’s not Daylight Savings Time.

      1. Solar Noon was at 1:21 PM yesterday (here). Today it is at 12:21.

    3. Since DST lasts longer, shouldn’t *it* be “Standard Time”?

  8. Buh-bye republitards.

    Don’t you get it? You can’t kill it. Cut off its head, and seven more grow back! You’ll never be free of it.

    1. If only we could elect the TOP DEMI-GOD to lead us to victory over the multi-headed beast of wreckers and kulaks.

  9. The whole idea is for concentrated urban centers to not run roughshod over the smaller rural populations.

    The denizens of large coastal metropolises are wiser, more rational, and generally better quality human beings than those ignorant mouth-breathing rubes in flyover country.

    Everybody knows that.

    1. Everybody being the ignorant mouth-breathing rubes huddling in fear in coastal metropoli?

      1. Don’t say that! The poor dears are very sensitive to slights against their characters. It sends them into fits of slobbering rage.

  10. Is Chapman agitating for (more) direct democracy?

    1. No, Chapman is drooling out some retardation to get his weekly check. What it says is of no consequence, the important thing is word-count.

      1. Too bad Reason can’t find some libertarian writers.

        1. The great thing about this election is we know who the LINOs and Libertarians are. The LINOs are
          publicly saying they voted for Hillary.

          Its all fun and games until its hard to be a Libertarian.

    2. He’s advocating for Hillary.

      Hillary will win most huge mega-cities like LA and NY City. The problem for her is that winning these cities does not mean she wins the whole state. This is why she will lose NY state, Pennsylvania, Nevada and other states the Democrats are counting on.

      1. You don’t know a whole lot about New York politics.

        NYC is all you need to carry the state. It’s got half the state’s population, and highly polarized returns.

        1. In 2014 NY decided to give its EC votes to the National popular vote.
          NY EC Votes
          Since the 2012 election was ~3M vote difference between candidates, NY would give all its EC votes to Trump if Trump carries the national popular vote.

          1. No, it voted to join the national popular vote compact – an interstate agreement which does not have force unless at least 270 electoral votes worth of states sign on to it.

            1. Ooops. Missed that. Thanks.

      2. Hillary leads Trump in NY state by 54% to 33%.

        1. Says the same types of polls that never saw Trump coming.

          Of course, NY City will go Hillary. NYC does not 29 EC votes make.

          1. The polls can be off by 4 or 5 points. They won’t be off by 19 points. Even professional con men have to make the con convincing.

            1. I think they con when its a close race. The Democrats do not even see NY going Trump coming at them. PA, FL, NV, OH, MI and some other states are getting most of the DNC’s attention. The Democrats just will not admit why Trump is winning over Hillary. When that answer is blue collar workers voting trump in greater numbers and substantially less Democrats voting for Hillary than expected then you have a possibility in NY for Trump.

              I would put money on it but not much money. Its a long shot. I would put a lot of money on PA, NV, FL, MI going Trump.

      3. Trump winning New York is the craziest prediction I’ve seen this year.

        1. Trump does a lot of things in NY and I predict that the Democrats have lost a bunch of blue collar workers this election. In NY, Romney lost ~2.1M to ~4.0M votes in 2012. There are ~12.5M registered voters in NY state as of Nov. 1, 2016.

          NY Registered voters

          I don’t think NY going to trump is crazy. Taxifornia going to Trump would be crazy.

        2. Trump being the Repub nominee was the craziest prediction this election cycle for osot people.

          1. …most people that is.

        3. Trump will win Canada!

  11. New Hampshire is a tiny state with about 1.3 million people. California has eight counties with larger populations than that. But in presidential campaigns, size doesn’t matter.

    Um, yeah it does you retarded fuck. California gets significantly more electoral votes than New Hampshire.

    Seriously, when your opening paragraph is that retarded, how do you expect people to take you seriously? You gotta pace your deep better, Chap-man. You can’t blow your load right out of the gate.

    1. I think the point is that if you divide the number of EC votes by the population, the people of NH have a larger voice in the election than the people of CA.

      1. If any state has an outsized representation in the election, it’s Iowa.

        1. Not even. Iowa is 30th in population. There are 20 other states with a lower population that still have four EC votes.

          1. But it’s influence in picking candidates is overwhelming during the primaries. Hence why we still have ethanol.

            1. Iowa doesn’t have a primary.
              -pedant

              1. “during the primaries” != “has a primary” /pedant

        2. I don’t know about IA being outsized for the general election but definitely the case for presidential primary.

      2. He said size doesn’t matter. He’s 100% wrong. Do people in NH have marginally more representation than those in California? Probably a little bit. But if he wanted to give the best example, he’d have used Wyoming or Vermont.

        I’d like to see all states do it like Maine and Nebraska. That would be preferable to our current system. But big states have nobody to blame but themselves. They let this happen when they allowed the HOR to be locked in at 435 people. If apportioned correctly liked the founders intended, electoral representation would be much more accurate.

        1. The problem with the EC is that it effectively disenfranchises 40-45% of the population in large states. Since most of those large states are democrat overall, it gives a structural advantage to democrats.

          That could be resolved by the simple reform of awarding electors at the congressional level, instead of winner take all at the state level.

          1. That’s why I’m partial to the Nebraska and Maine setup. Give each district its own electoral vote. And give the state’s overall winner the extra two. It’s a lot closer to better representation and stops disenfranchising people in places like California’s Central Valley and upstate New York.

            1. I suggest that the republicans in PA should push that option there. They have control of the state government and coul achieve it. Everyone knows that voter fraud in Philly gives the dems the state in the EC.

              In CA I think that an initiative on that issue could pass. If the reps were smart (a fantasy, I know) they’d heavily fund such an initiative in an off year election when rep turnout is higher.

              1. Republicans have tried to get a per-district EC initiative on the California ballot already. They didn’t even get that far. Democrats want more direct democracy, except when it might hurt them.

            2. If you go back to what the FF intended, the state lege could determine who got the extra 2.

              That’s always a question for representative democracy – does the representative have a duty to do as the majority wills or to do as he thinks the majority would will if they knew what the representative knows? When you vote for your representative do you vote for the guy who promises to vote however you want him to vote or the guy who promises to study the issues and vote in your best interest on the assumption that you’re too busy to study each issue and he therefore knows more about the issue than you do?

              I go with the second guy. You never know what issues might come up so you vote for the guy you trust to do the right thing. And most of the issues that come up are stuff you’re not that interested in and therefore don’t bother spending any time learning about. The guy who’s always polling the constituency to see how they want him to vote? Pfft, you could replace that guy with a bot. The whole reason you’re there is because on any given issue your constituency doesn’t know enough to form a valid opinion. Don’t ask me what I want – you know more than I do, you tell me what I should want.

  12. Is Chapman agitating for (more) direct democracy?

    The other day, NYT puked up a piece about the benefits of hereditary monarchy and why America should consider it. I suspect Chapman would be on board with having Hillary named queen, to be succeeded by America’s Princess, Chelsea.

    1. I really don’t understand how people as overtly vile and criminal as the Clintons have actual supporters. I understand wanting to oppose Trump, but to actually be a supporter of Clinton? How do you delude yourself into believing the Clintons care about anything other than their own power and graft?

    2. Had to look it up for myself.

      I think Nikolai just won the prize for dumbest idea this year.

      I can’t even begin to imagine the violence that would accompany any attempt to establish a monarch in the USA.

      1. I can help you.

        Imagine millions of people staring at television sets and their ‘smartphones’ while shoveling drugs and shitty food into their faceholes. Then imagine them watching a monarch be crowned as the constitution is burned. Then imagine nothing more happening except more of the same.

        There, now you have imagined exactly what would happen. You don’t really think there would be any reaction from the–snicker–“land of the free and home of the brave,” do you?

        You really don’t have to imagine it. Next January you will see the continuation of a hereditary duarchy, wherein the Bush & Clinton families have had functional control of the executive branch since roughly 1980.

        And Queen Hillary WILL be taking your guns. Nobody cares.

    3. The NY Times and Hans-Hermann Hoppe on the same page? Just another sign of the apocalypse, I guess.

  13. I’m old enough to remember when the media worried about ‘money in politics’? Remember that issue?

    Anyone notice that Hillary has raised and spent more than double what Trump has? It seems like, if the numbers went the other way, ‘money in politics’ would be a yuge story.

    1. Democrat money in politics is the good kind of money, not like that evil Republican money.

      1. That’s right. Tom Steyer = good; Koch brothers = bad.

    2. Just like we don’t see any war protestors when there’s a Democrat in the White House.

      1. Hey! Maybe dissent will be patriotic again!

        1. More likely dissent will go from being racist to being misogynist.

      2. To be fair, I didn’t see war protestors when Bush was in office either, and I was in college at the time. Even when I did hear about protests (at other schools, never my own) they never made the news because the news just didn’t care.

    3. “The Media” has been exposed as the public relations arm of the democrat party. Their ‘concerns’ should be dismissed out of hand.

    4. Anyone notice that Hillary has raised and spent more than double what Trump has?

      If you didn’t suspect that the whole ‘too much money in politics’ schtick was theatrics back when Ron Paul was still running and Barack and McCain were arguing over accepting public financing, you need to be hit over the head with a frying pan. That was just when the mask started slipping though (AFAICT/IIRC). It should’ve been blatantly obvious in this election’s primaries, when both Clinton and Sanders individually, running on platforms of getting corporations out of politics, raised more money than the top 3 GOP candidates combined.

      It has pretty decidedly become the tactic for effectively re-establishing a/the hereditary monarchy in a/our Federal Democratic Republic.

      1. Erp. Lost the first sentence of the last paragraph there; Also of note is that Clinton Campaign (Holy Crap is that photo terrifying) is two days out from either being Pres. or, effectively, becoming unelectable for the next several election cycles and still has >$50M cash on hand.

        1. $50M that she can funnel to other politicians.

  14. What’s the actual popular vote or support breakdown in California between Rep. and Den.?

    1. Electoral college map archive with Taxifornia: Dems 7.8M to Repubs 4.8M for 2012.
      EC map

  15. If “something” happens on Tuesday the Democrats will suddenly discover that they lllllllllllllllove the Electoral College. So don’t expect them to be in a big rush to cooperate with Republicans to get rid of it. You yourself made the point that it favors them in this election.

  16. If you get rid of the EC, you might as well get rid of state boundaries. The EC is partially representative of the nature that the president is elected to be the president of the States, not of the people of the Sates.

    1. And winner-takes-all relates to this — how?

      1. Winner take all is not at all what the founders wanted. They wanted the house to elect the president, which balanced power much more equally, so (in today’s terms), 90% of PAs districts wouldn’t get screwed because of Philly.

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  18. There is nothing in the Constitution that requires winner-take-all — you guys know that.

    1. Chapman probably doesn’t.

      1. The list of things that Chapman understands or has thought through deeply is pretty short.

    2. I would argue that winner takes all violates the intent of the constitution. The intent was to provide every region with a voice. It tries to minimize the tyranny of the majority. Winner take all by state moves us away from the intended goal.

      1. “I would argue that winner takes all violates the intent of the constitution.”
        So does the 17th Amendment, and that doesn’t even have to be argued.

        Fact is, in a republic/democracy/whatever, you end up with the government you deserve. Eventually.

  19. Worst off of all are low-population states that are reliably red or blue.

    I think you mean best off — a lot fewer stupid TV ads.

  20. But the Framers really had only the dimmest idea what they were doing. Historian Carl Becker wrote in 1945 that “their grasp of political realities, ordinarily so sure, failed them in this instance.

    The Founders knew exactly what they were doing. The Electoral College was not some democratic/republican master formula. It was a compromise to get enough small states to approve the Constitution without the big states walking away. It was a deal, and the best one that could have been made at the time.

    1. This is so true on a number of levels. Taken as a whole, the Founders were an amazing group of men who were both intelligent and shrewd. The Great Compromise, the 3/5th Compromise, the Electoral College, these were not pie-in-the-sky theoretical ideas. They were the best deals that they could make with each other, and with many others, who were perhaps, not so concerned with the welfare of a new nation.

      1. Pretty good for being some firsts in the World too.

  21. I’d be happy dissolving it if the requirement was changed to 2/3 of the popular vote

  22. RE: Could Trump Lose the Way Gore Lost?

    Having Trump the Grump lose to Heil Hitlary would be as bad as Heil Hitlary losing to Trump the Grump.
    We’re all fucked either way.

  23. Umm…538 puts the odds of Clinton losing the electoral college despite winning the popular vote at 11.4% — MUCH higher than odds for Trump to do the same, at 0.8%.

    Of course, some of that difference is due to the higher likelihood of Clinton winning the popular vote, but regardless, you’ve basically got it exactly backward in the article. (This is the difference between purely conceptual analysis vs. actually looking at what’s happening in the polls.)

  24. President Al Gore?

  25. The Electoral College should not be changed or abolished. It is not anti-democracy, it’s a different kind of democracy.

    We elect the President of the United States, not the President of 330 Million Americans. We should continue to elect the same as we have since 1789. This reinforces the federal nature of our republic.

    On a practical level, it also ensures a decision, with rare exeptions. In 2000, no one questioned who won in 49 states and the District of Columbia. Without the Electoral College, we would have faced a long, drawn out recount and series of lawsuits.

    A 500K vote difference nationally was a roundin error. It was not a rounding error when you look at individual states.
    Results in California or Texas would not be challenged under the Electoral College. Under a national popular vote, ever precinct needs a recount in a close election.

    Save the Electoral College, and kill the NPV Compact.

  26. Gore’s margin of victory nationally was less than half a percent of the vote total.

    The reason the Florida Fiasco wasn’t a nationwide fiasco is because of the Electoral College.

    1. Absolutely.

      The only reason for the lengthy postelection court battle in 2000 over how to count the votes in Florida was the Electoral College.

      You want to see a lengthy postelection court battle? Have the nationwide popular vote “won” by 10,000 votes. At least we didn’t have thousands of political party lawyers digging through 50 sets of state electoral law to find the weakest ones to attack with requests for recounts and disqualifications.

      Florida 2000 is the reason you want an Electoral College. The alternative to a fiasco is an actual disaster.

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