The Deadman Night Rider

A forum for evening students of the SMU Dedman School of Law and other outlaws..

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Prediction: the big winner in this presidential election

The Electoral College. The last two elections (especially Bush-Gore) spawned a brief Democratic flirtation with the notion of scrapping it in favor of the national popular vote, but I think this election will put that idea to rest.

CNN's 'poll of polls' shows a pretty tight race--49% Obama to 43% McCain. But, their electoral map tells a much different story--250 votes for Obama to 189 votes for McCain (270 is the magic number). The Sunday talk shows seem to agree that the polls will tighten up over the next few weeks, so we'll probably see another close race in terms of the popular vote, but to make it competitive in the EC, McCain will have to do something dramatic like winning both Ohio and Florida, or taking back Pennsylvania from Obama. So, something tells me that the Dems will soon find a renewed respect for the institution.


Blogger S said...

The major shortcoming of the current system of electing the President is that presidential candidates concentrate their attention on a handful of closely divided "battleground" states. In 2004 two-thirds of the visits and money were focused in just six states; 88% on 9 states, and 99% of the money went to just 16 states. Two-thirds of the states and people were merely spectators to the presidential election. Candidates have no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, campaign, or worry about the voter concerns in states where they are safely ahead or hopelessly behind. The reason for this is the winner-take-all rule under which all of a state's electoral votes are awarded to the candidate who gets the most votes in each separate state.

Another shortcoming of the current system is that a candidate can win the Presidency without winning the most popular votes nationwide. This has occurred in one of every 14 presidential elections.

In the past six decades, there have been six presidential elections in which a shift of a relatively small number of votes in one or two states would have elected (and, of course, in 2000, did elect) a presidential candidate who lost the popular vote nationwide.

The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

Every vote would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections.

The bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes—that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). When the bill comes into effect, all the electoral votes from those states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

The National Popular Vote bill has passed 21 state legislative chambers, including one house in Arkansas, Colorado, Maine, North Carolina, and Washington, and both houses in California, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The bill has been enacted by Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, and Maryland. These four states possess 50 electoral votes — 19% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.



8:39 AM  

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