Electoral College (1 Viewer)

Claw

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As you all know, this has been a hot topic to say the least. Seen countless post of people on the left calling for the removal of it, and counter-arguments from the right arguing that the few large states would sway the election, and states like Louisiana would barely be represented in a popular vote.

I disagree with this logic completely, and think the exact opposite. In order try and see if I am right, I harshly put together the following. I'm am interested in a detailed discussion about this, and am curious if there are any flaws in my logic.

The EC weighs the larger states heavier than the popular votes does. The EV in the larger states (>15 EV) weigh higher than the total votes in about half of them, and the EV weigh higher than the any candidate totals in a given state for 100% of them. For instance, CA's 55 EV is 10.22% of the 538, whereas Hilary's 5.5M California votes total 4.59% of the 120M total votes. Even if Hillary took home every single vote in California, that would only come out to 7.08% of the total votes cast Tuesday. But since the Electoral College is the way it is, taking CA gave her 10.22% of the 538 EV, versus it accounting for 4.59% of the pool if it was a popular vote.

I quickly put this together to illustrate my point, though I did it mostly to satisfy my own curiosity so I could speak about it citing facts versus my own intuition. Look how the EV% compares to the percentage of the winning candidate's votes compared to the total. In every case, the EV% is greater. Please note that I only included the votes of Clinton and Trump, and left out votes cast to Johnson and Stein for simplicity.

The only glaring negative I see with doing away with the Electoral College all together would be the fact that the candidates would only focus their campaigns in the largest population centers, versus the rural areas while trying to win a state (which clearly worked for Trump in WI).

I would like to add that now it seems that HRC will end up winning the pop vote by ~350k. However, I honestly think that Trump would've won if there was no Electoral College, because the turnout would have been much higher in his favor. For instance, in states like LA, AL, MS, TX, etc, where everyone knows it'll turn red, they are as needed to go out and vote. The late push in the FL panhandle illustrates this perfectly. Hillary was up over 3% in Florida, but that changed as the CST peeps in the heavily red panhandle started getting off of work. They knew their votes counted, so they showed up in droves. Without Florida in an EC system, the republicans can kiss a win against anyone other than HRC goodbye (Trump would have still won this year.)
 

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Galbreath34

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You can't take pop votes now and project them, because they are votes within the electoral system. There's just not as much reason for someone for either side to get out and vote in TX or CA compared to PA or FL, hence the turnout percent being lower in the first two and higher in the latter two than their apportionment by population + 2 fixed electoral votes from Senate.

To those that say that increases motivation to vote nationally, that's not necessarily the case. If a candidate builds national momentum or a Democrat has 90% lock on West Coast and New England but terrible elsewhere, there's no point in anyone voting at all anywhere else in the nation. Those two regions with a very strong showing and motivtated turnout would be able to choose the president time after time. Getting 90% of Texas and the plains states just doesn't compare in power and raw numbers and involves winning a lot more states over.

I suppose if you're a my team screw the country Democrat, you'd be gung ho for it. Personally, though, I'm not sure that would be good for the country long term at all. If you're conservative you should be terrified of the tyranny of a popular vote Presidential election.
 

Alan

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SuperChuck (I think) had a thread (he was in the discussion) stating along the same lines about electoral vote being an equalizer. His post made me rethink my rather ill informed naive view.
 
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Claw

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You can't take pop votes now and project them, because they are votes within the electoral system. There's just not as much reason for someone for either side to get out and vote in TX or CA compared to PA or FL, hence the turnout percent being lower in the first two and higher in the latter two than their apportionment by population + 2 fixed electoral votes from Senate.

To those that say that increases motivation to vote nationally, that's not necessarily the case. If a candidate builds national momentum or a Democrat has 90% lock on West Coast and New England but terrible elsewhere, there's no point in anyone voting at all anywhere else in the nation. Those two regions with a very strong showing and motivtated turnout would be able to choose the president time after time.

I suppose if you're a my team screw the country Democrat, you'd be gung ho for it. Personally, though, I'm not sure that would be good for the country long term at all. If you're conservative you should be terrified of the tyranny of a popular vote Presidential election.
Thanks. I was thinking that too, but mistakingly narrowed the turnout influence to Florida this year. But it would be across the board, as you said, so it is impossible to compare the turnout post-mortem.
 
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Claw

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SuperChuck (I think) had a thread (he was in the discussion) stating along the same lines about electoral vote being an equalizer. His post made me rethink my rather ill informed naive view.
I must have missed that, but I'll try to find it. Thanks a lot.
 

RussTKD

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A friend of mine on another board just posted this:

Tidbit I read earlier:

NY (state):
29 electoral votes, ~20M population

MT, WY, ID, SD, ND, NE, KS, AK, AL, UT:
49 electoral votes, ~20M population
 

RJ in Lafayette

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It's antiquated, but will not change for generations. Too many states and the Republican Party have a vested interest in the status quo.
 

pmiceli

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Simple logistics would dictate where politicians would campaign under a popular vote.

Why spend money in small towns and rural areas when you get more bang for you buck in population centers?

Entire states would never see a presidential candidate or president on their soil.

That couldn't have a bad result right?
 

brockmeaux

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I wouldn't say go to popular vote only because in that case you are catering only to the coasts and the large metropolitan areas, but something should be done. If every state did proportional electoral votes, for example, everyone would be much better represented. My vote for Clinton in Louisiana didn't amount to a hill of beans in this election, but if instead of awarding Trump all 8 of our votes, his 58% got him 5 and Clinton's 38% got her 3, everyone in Louisiana would be much better represented.

It would also play in states like New York, California, and Florida to divvy up votes based on percentages instead of being these winner-take-all electoral mega jackpots. Not to mention it could actually be a system that would award electoral votes to successful enough 3rd party candidates. But that's part of why it won't happen, I guess.
 

CajunSaint

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It's antiquated, but will not change for generations. Too many states and the Republican Party have a vested interest in the status quo.

That is wrong. The democrats equally fear the pandora's box it would open. Sure they have a death grip on large cities now, but wait until those votes matter to the Republicans and they start pandering to their votes.
 

insidejob

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And just in case anyone is in the "Why don't we just get rid of the electoral college?" camp like many are questioning right now, I came across this piece this morning.

Good read. Not long either:

According to the National Archives, there have been more proposed constitutional amendments to change the Electoral College than any other topic (700 proposals in Congress in the last 200 years!). Gallup reports that only about a third of Americans support keeping the institution. And with Hillary Clinton possibly having won the popular vote on Tuesday despite losing to Donald Trump in the Electoral College, Democrats may begin to push for change again. So why is this still the system we have?
https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/most-people-hate-the-electoral-college-but-its-not-going-away-soon/?ex_cid=newsletter
 

egautr1

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Simple logistics would dictate where politicians would campaign under a popular vote.

Why spend money in small towns and rural areas when you get more bang for you buck in population centers?

Entire states would never see a presidential candidate or president on their soil.

That couldn't have a bad result right?
But that is the way it is now. How many times did Clinton or Trump come to LA???

I know Trump came at least once right after the floods to get some photo ops putting toy bunnies in a truck, but then when he left did he ever come back or even mention LA or the floods again????? Nope.
And Clinton didn't even bother to come because she knew that Trump would win the state regardless. She could have done everthing short of stopping the flooding herself and still would have lost LA.
It is the same in many other states. I am tired of hearing about the 'swing' states and how their votes are really the only ones that matter.
I too think we should do a hybrid like one of the previous pollsters suggested. use a percentage of the popular vote to assign the electoral votes. It should not be a winner take all apporoach. That is not how any other election works so why should the presidential one be so different.

And by the by, the electoral college was put in place because the founding fathers did not trust the common people to know enough about the functions of the president and about government to make an educated decision. they were afraid of direct democracy and basically wanted to have a 'check' on the people. They also did it from having one extreme faction or group from overtaking the popular vote and putting someone in office that is not qualified to be president. But, ironically, that seems to be what has exactly happened in this election.
:jpshakehead:
 

porculator

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At the very least I propose we split Florida into two states. The north will always vote R, the south will always vote D, and we can stop worrying about how those idiots will blow the election.
 

Denzien

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The electoral system also makes fraud more difficult

I've given the electoral system a lot of thought in the past, but I've read/watched more information about it recently that have convinced me that it's better than a straight popular vote system.
 

tomwaits

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I don't see how this would ever pass the senate. Senators from smaller states would be reducing the voice of their own states by voting for this.
 

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