Electoral College Votes

Discussion in 'Politics' started by ktn4eg, Mar 17, 2012.

  1. ktn4eg

    ktn4eg
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    As I understand it, in the presidential elections, the person who wins the majority of votes (regardless of how close the final totals may be) in each state receives all of that state's electoral votes.

    If this is, in fact, the way it's done, I was wondering if it would not be fairer to allocate that state's electoral votes on a proportional basis rather than winner-take-all.

    Example: Suppose a state has a total of 10 electoral votes. In the presidential election let's say that the Republican candidate wins 60% of the popular vote, and the Democrat candidate wins 40% of the popular vote (or vice versa). Wouldn't it be fairer to give 6 electoral votes to the GOP candidate and 4 electoral votes to the Democrat candidate?

    IMHO this way would seem to reflect better how that state actually voted than the winner-take-all. What do you think about this?
     
  2. Crabtownboy

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    You are correct, currently it is a winner take all electoral votes in each state.

    Would it be fairer? I am sure there are arguments both ways.

    If the votes were proportional, i.e. by percentage of votes a number of elections would have turned out quite differently. There have been elections where the person with the most electoral votes did not receive the majority of actual votes.

     
  3. Bobby Hamilton

    Bobby Hamilton
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    The first time I learned about the electoral college way back in grade schools I said it was stupid and a joke.

    25+ years later, I still feel the same way.
     
  4. Bobby Hamilton

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    IMO....the government frets that people don't want to vote, but why would some people when they think "hey, my vote doesn't count?"


    That's essentially the system we live in. I'm voting for the President of the United States...but that's not what happens. My vote only counts in Indiana. It doesn't count towards anything else.
     
  5. InTheLight

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    It's not change I can believe in.

    I think candidates would campaign in a few selected highly populated states and ignore the smaller states altogether. Why would a candidate campaign in Minnesota, a state with 10 electoral votes, and a electorate that is usually closely divided, where they might win 6 electoral votes when they can be campaigning in California, New York, Texas, or Florida and easily get those 6 electoral votes, and many more as well?
     
  6. saturneptune

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    Maine and Nebraska award their electoral votes by Congressional district, so it is not true that all states use winner take all. I never have liked the electoral college, but doubt it will change. There have been several attempts to change it over the years, and would take a Constitutional amendment. There is nothing from preventing an individual state from changing the way its own electoral votes are distributed. Even if it is proportional within the state, it would still be possible to have differing popluar and electoral votes. What if someone gets 70% of the vote in a state with 8 electoral votes. Are you going to award 6 or 7 electoral votes? It might make a difference over quite a few states. The best answer is popular vote, however, it is not going to happen.
     
  7. FriendofSpurgeon

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    I think that people forget that we are not a democracy, but a democratic republic.

    In any event, only a few times in history (perhaps only twice) has a US President been elected based on electoral votes that also did not have the most votes. The most recent time that happened was Gore vs. Bush, where Gore won the most votes but Bush was elected.
     
  8. saturneptune

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    The basis of a democratic republic is that we elect representatives at the state, federal, and sometimes local level to govern our nation, make laws, and decide how to allocate revenues. Electing a President is a very minor part of being a democratic republic.
     
  9. InTheLight

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    Absolutely not! Popular vote would mean that candidates need only campaign in New York City, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, etc. and totally ignore vast swaths of the country. As you probably know, densely populated cities are almost always Democrat strongholds. Urban issues would dominate the debates. Under a popular vote scenario voters in most states would be powerless. Because of the time zones, many elections under direct popular vote could come down to whichever way Los Angeles voted.
     
  10. Crabtownboy

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    I agree. Little states are pretty much ignored now. They would really be forgotten with a popular vote.
     
  11. saturneptune

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    Since I live in a very strong Republican, rural district, I cannot see that as being a problem. Every person has one vote. It is no more or less than a person in New York or California. In fact, in a direct popular vote, state boundaries have no meaning.

    It kind of reminds me of the argument that voting for a third party is voting ro Obama. No, it is voting for a third party.

    Frankly, I could care less where the politicians campaign. The further away from where I live the better.
     
  12. InTheLight

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    It's pretty simple. More people live in cities than in rural areas. Under a popular vote scheme the city dwellers would almost always pick the President. Cities are Democrat strongholds. With a popular vote get ready for a string of successive Democrat Presidents. Also, almost no discussion of rural issues like agriculture or conservation. Likewise, most dollars spent by the government would go to city issues.
     
  13. saturneptune

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    So if Kentucky has 8 electoral votes to give a Republican, and California has 55 electoral votes to give a Democrat, how is that going to help elect a Republican vs popluar votes from both states being tallied as a total? With the likely future nominee of the Republican party, it is not going to make much difference anyhow.

    For example, if Minnesota and Kentucky were the only two states for simplicity sake.

    2008 results Minnesota Kentucky

    Obama 1,573,000 752,000
    McCain 1,275,000 1,049,000

    Total 2,848,000 1,801,000

    Electoral votes would have been 10 to 8.

    Obviously Obama won in either method, because of the vote in Minnesota. The end result is the same. What would me as a voter in Kentucky be deprived of in if this had been a popular vote?
     
    #13 saturneptune, Mar 17, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 17, 2012
  14. Bobby Hamilton

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    You're kidding yourself if you don't think they do that already. This is one of the biggest myths of the supporters of the Electoral College.
     
  15. Bobby Hamilton

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    The only reason a candidate comes to a state now, is when they think those few electoral votes matter. It's nothing but a false visit. I'd rather a candidate do his thing devoid of the lies he'll spread in Indiana to "get our votes" than to come here and say how much Indiana matters when he doesn't care at all.

    The system isn't going to change. But that doesn't mean I like it, or that it's right.

    I vote for the President of the United States, not the President of Indiana.

    Anytime a person wins the popular vote and loses the election, the votes don't count. Simple as that.
     
  16. Bobby Hamilton

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    I hate to tell you this, but this is basically how it is now. Cities=where more people live. Rural=where less people leave.

    Under our system now, it's basically the same thing

    Larger States=More people, more important to election
    Smaller States=Less people, less important to election

    The only time the small states matter is when candidates start splitting the big states. I'm sorry, but living in a small state, I don't want to be fodder for them because all of a sudden they need me. I want my vote to count on a federal/national scale, because frankly, that's what I'm voting for.
     
  17. InTheLight

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    I presume a national popular vote would abolish the Electoral College. That would lead to urban areas deciding who will be President.
     
  18. Bobby Hamilton

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    Urban area's already decide who is President. Don't fool yourself.
     
  19. InTheLight

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    So you'd rather have candidates pander to urban areas all the time? LOL.

    I see your point, but the fact is that under the Electoral College even smaller states are important. We can argue about how important they are, but under a popular vote system they would be trivial.
     
  20. Bobby Hamilton

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    Again, that's all candidates already do, and ultimately when they come to small town areas what they have to say is just a big lie/icing on the cake it doesn't matter.

    Smaller states are only important when the election is close. And in a popular vote scenario, it's no different. If the election is close, then my vote might actually count.

    What happens if you live in a traditionally liberal or conservative state and you lean the other way? What happens if you live in Texas and you're a Republican? Or you live in Wisconsin and you're a Democrat?

    Often times states elections are done WELL before people vote. In that case, your vote doesn't really count. Everyone who voted for Al Gore in 2000 was basically told "your vote doesn't count"...because it didn't.
     

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