T Nation

2020 Presidential Race


So you’re saying you’d want to tie the EC vote to the popular vote from a given State (i.e. you’re from Ohio - you have 18 electoral votes, Trump would get 9.3 EV, Clinton would get 7.8, and Gary Johnson would get .6, etc etc)?

That’d be interesting…


Because the GOP is very reliant on low voter turnout amongst the lower income people. It’s another lever.

While I would prefer a straight pop vote, I’d absolutely take it as a happy middle ground and never look back.

I don’t think it’s going to happen though



Not saying you are wrong here, @Drew1411… but either the Trump base is less energized than I imagine it to be…or it’s numbers are not as large.

Also something to consider.

The last Presidential election “revealed” (via polling)…a lot of “closet” Trump supporters…who pulled the lever for him enthusiastically…but wouldn’t be caught dead at a rally wearing a “MAGA” hat. (I know a few!)

How large are their numbers?

Would they Vote for Trump without Hillary running?

Hard to say.


I knew a lot more who voted for him because they hated Hillary and didn’t have another choice. Likewise, I knew a lot of people who voted for Hillary by holding their nose and ignoring all her flaws because they saw Trump for what he has turned out to be.

I don’t think there is any possible way to actually know the answer to this until next election.


Ditto. I’ve got so much more important shit to do than watch a 24 hour cycle of futility and rancor that will just stress me out and make me chronically angry.

I do like to stay informed, but the fact is that I can’t change any of it by watching the train wreck and getting upaet. Shit, I got a life to live! I can’t waste emotional energy on this crap.


Here’s an article about how terrible the Electoral College is: https://www.google.com/amp/s/splinternews.com/here-is-the-final-popular-vote-count-of-the-2016-electi-1793864349/amp
-As you can tell, a highly knowledgeable proponent of the EC’s abolition. “Most of the people who voted in the 2016 presidential election voted for Hillary Clinton.
Here are the final numbers:

Clinton received 65,844,610 votes, or 48.2% of the total vote.

Trump received 62,979,636 votes, or 46.1% of the total vote.

The remaining 5.7% of the vote went to other candidates, like Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, Evan McMullin, and, I don’t know, write-ins for flesh-eating bacteria.“

“Most of”=less than 50%? Interesting. Looks like most of the votes did NOT go to Hilary.

Has anyone here done the math to determine how much his vote is worth* in the current system vs. what it would be worth in national popular election?
*”My vote doesn’t count for anything if my candidate loses my state” doesn’t mean anything. That would just mean the votes of everyone that votes for the losers, in a national popular election, don’t count(I wouldn’t necessarily disagree, but that’s the way it works under any electoral system).

Edit: With no candidate receiving 50% of the votes, would the election then be decided by the House? I doubt Hilary would’ve won in that scenario.


I could be wrong, but I haven’t seen a single suggestion of a pop vote that would require 50+%. That concept would most likely be invalidate the possibility of more than 2 parties.

I have. I’d be much happier.

This is not what I was suggesting. I also don’t believe it’s what anyone was suggesting.

Except the votes would still be applied for said loser. The weight of my vote went to Trump, despite my vote to the contrary.


I don’t think anyone is arguing that we should go to a 50% voting system. Not sure who hit that threshold last but I don’t think it happens often.

I’m not tied to the idea that it has to be popular vote but I would like to explore options. I haven’t seen strong arguments in here yet about the benefits of staying with the current system. The current system has candidates go to the handful of states that are in play. What incentive (short of down ticket) does a Republican have to vote in California? The result is a foregone conclusion. I don’t see why votes for the loser “wouldn’t count.” 1 still equals 1 in that system. No candidate is wasting time there. Everyone who votes for a candidate is contributing to that persons chances no matter where they live.


Well, that’s what we have. We would also be ditching that under the national popular vote concept, then?

They “wouldn’t count,” in the same way a Republican vote in California doesn’t count.

Why shouldn’t we just let the States continue to be convenient ways of conveying our locations, while managing everything from D.C.?


No, it didn’t. You apparently voted for the loser in your State, just like I voted for the loser in mine. Unless something real screwy happened, the weight of our votes went to the person for whom we voted.


Apologies. Allow me to rephrase. 100% of the weight of my states vote was applied to Trump, despite him not receiving 100% of the vote.

There’s really no logical gymnastics that gets around sending in votes at a state level that disregards the will of people within the state. It’s the whole point of the EC.


I’m missing what you’re arguing. Candidates often don’t receive 50% of the popular vote and win the election.

Of course they would. Or at the very least they would be the same as the current system. I don’t get the states argument. Nothing would change in regards to them. Just certain ones wouldn’t have all the weight.

The cherry on top of the dumb system is that electors in some states can still go against the popular vote in the state.

Again I’m not necessarily saying the popular vote is the way to go. Some type of mixed system perhaps. I just think our way of electing people for President is outdated and stupid.


They have to receive over 50% of the Electoral College votes(that’s what the little “270 votes” graphic is for, when you’re watching election returns).

Ohhhhh…I bet there are some urban and liberal areas that could make the votes of people in multiple small, rural states meaningless.

Why? Was it ever not those things? Why was it not?


There are quite a few. Ohio is a great example. We have an absurd amount of rural area compared to urban, and the rural areas had meaningless votes for both Obama runs. Ohio has more people in 4-5 counties than the rest of the state combined.

This would not be the case in a pop vote scenario.


What is the importance of that? So we can say we did something over 50%? That makes little sense. So if a candidate wins by 1 vote in each state that gives them an electoral majority and the other candidate gets 50 million more votes we can say “well at least the winner got over 50%!”

How is this possible? And why would they have to be liberal areas? Or was that just fun to throw in because of course conservatives wouldn’t do anything to sway a vote? A vote in rural Kansas would carry the same amount of weight as a vote in Chicago Simply because one has a higher population doesn’t change that.

If the following is correct I probably shouldn’t have said outdated. But it’s not super vital to the conversation.

“Hamilton and the other founders believed that the electors would be able to insure that only a qualified person becomes President. They believed that with the Electoral College no one would be able to manipulate the citizenry. It would act as check on an electorate that might be duped. Hamilton and the other founders did not trust the population to make the right choice.” https://www.historycentral.com/elections/Electoralcollgewhy.html

But the above sounds like a great reason to keep it. Sounds like it was created with great intentions. (sarcasm)


Ohio’s urban areas were voting for Obama’s opponents, while the rural areas voted for Obama? Do you mean that the rural areas had meaningless votes?

It most definitely would be the case in a popular vote scenario. I actually think urban areas would carry even more power.


To be fair it makes perfect sense. The average American is pretty damn stupid. It’s just an unfortunate biproduct of the FFs understanding things like equality generally need a grain of salt to save people from themselves.

Yes. My apologies. I had edited the post but didn’t catch my typo before you quoted.

Agreed. The higher pop areas carry more power in a pop based vote.


How are the votes meaningless in the popular vote? No one is actually answering this they are just pointing out that more people live in certain areas which no one is arguing against.

I will agree that presidential politicians would spend less time in rural areas but they already only spend time in rural areas of battleground states.


No. The American people would never elect a reality TV star.


There’s something about the issue people bring up with the electoral college that I don’t understand, and maybe you guys can help me.

The number of electors are partially based off the number of citizens within the state, right?

That’s why CA had 55 electors and North Dakota had 3 based off the 2016 elections.

I understand the logic that your vote feels meaningless if you voted for one candidate and then your state’s electors ended up voting for another candidate.

I don’t understand the argument that it ends up just being about the swing states and vice versa, and that makes the electoral college a bad system.

The swing states are swing states because they’re competitive.There is apparently such a diversity of opinion in those states such that campaigning there actually makes sense.

Isn’t that a good thing?

Edit- That is, isn’t it a good thing that apparently has a diversity of opinion.