T Nation

2020 Presidential Race


#484

How are they meaningless with the Electoral College? The losing votes are always meaningless.


#485

Yes. Combination of Senate and House number per state.

It doesn’t on it’s own. A common criticism or popular vote is that politicians will only campaign in high population areas. Undoubtedly this would be true for the majority although I do think politicians would go to some places that have less people. Campaigning in the swing states only makes sense in our current system. It doesn’t make sense to campaign anywhere else. It has no real benefit to winning the race. We don’t even know who the Democrats are running in 2020 but we already essentially know the states that candidates will care about.

I would really like to see a proportional system though as I think it would be the best of both worlds.


#486

Meaningless in the sense of mattering on who gets elected. In the vast majority of states we know how the state is going to go.

With the popular vote your vote is counted towards your candidate regardless of anything else. It’s depositing it directly into his/hers bank. Him/her not winning doesn’t change that. This is what the majority of people currently support as well. I think voter turnout would increase (we don’t need to argue on whether or not this is good it’s just what I think).


#487

The number of electors is the same as the number of congressional reps. So in the case of a 3 state, 2 come from the Senate, and 1 comes from the population using House.

Swing States are swing States because the voting Bloc is close to 50/50. In Ohio, a swing state, we don’t have more diverse ideas than Kansas. Just a different breakdown of people.

It would be if that’s what being a swing state actually meant


#488

Your vote is counted towards your candidate regardless, with the EC. Your vote doesn’t magically switch because you vote for the losing candidate.


#489

Your vote isn’t counted towards any national candidate in the EC. The states have votes. Popular vote is only measured for optics and breakdowns.


#490

And your vote is counted in determining them.


#491

And promptly provides zero value if your guy lost.


#492

I get what you’re saying but I also think you get what I’m saying and the difference.

Do you think a proportional type system would be better than our current one?


#493

Well, yeah! The vote of anyone that voted for Romney in 2012 provided zero value. The vote of anyone that voted for Hilary in 2016 provided zero value.


#494

Nah, because plenty of those people won within their states. So the state actually applied their decision to the national consensus.

It’d be the people in those losing states only that had no value.


#495

No, but I really don’t think any of it makes much difference at this point. The EC is one of the few remnants of non-absolutism.


#496

I bet the Obama voters in Utah were totally pissed that their votes didn’t count.


#497

It certainly matters in the sense of how we elect Presidents. Changing to a proportional system or popular vote would change how elections are won from a strategic sense.

Can you explain how the EC is a remnant of non-absolutism? I would think an elector going against the will is the opposite.


#498

I would hope so, but it’s Utah so I’d imagine they’re numb to it by now.


#499

I think our President has near-absolute governmental power. The fact that he can still sometimes be elected by less than a majority of the people in this country is a remnant of non-absolutism. There used to be many things standing in the way of the majority forcing itself upon the minority. The EC is one of the few(only one that I can think of, but there may be more) remaining.


#500

But this wouldn’t really change if we went to a popular vote system or a proportional vote system right?

The point is that money and time is limited, so the candidates will campaign where it matters most.

That’s what I don’t understand about the criticism against the Electoral College. The swing states aren’t some magical construct. They’re a result of both population density and a relative balance between Democratic and Republican Party voters.

To me, whatever issue there is with the Electoral College is a symptom and not the cause of… whatever it is.

I’m not sure if a popular or proportional voting system will be any better than the Electoral College. Is it better because every vote counts? But does your vote really matter if your candidate loses anyways? I mean, what’s the real difference between your vote not mattering because of the Electoral College or because our election system is a straight-forward winner takes all?


#501

Isn’t the counter to this the same though? Although it’s unlikely scenarios exist where candidates could win enough states to win the electoral vote but lose the popular by a huge margin. You could have 50 million (made up number) more people vote for a candidate and they lose. Minority forcing its will on the majority because of a weird system? Is this a good thing?

Also (I could be wrong) don’t we pick virtually every single politician by popular vote for most everything else? We decide to do this but not for our highest office. Which we’ve already seen at least partially has its roots in the idea that you can’t trust people to pick their leaders.


#502

The only way it could happen is when the minority controls a vastly greater amount of real estate, I would think. It would be a good thing for the people that own the real estate to have control over it.

Yes.

We decide it by popular vote, in the same way the popular vote decides other offices(at the State level). President is the only office elected by the entire U.S., so it has to differ a bit.


#503

[quote=“H_factor, post:501, topic:252479, full:true”]
Isn’t the counter to this the same though? Although it’s unlikely scenarios exist where candidates could win enough states to win the electoral vote but lose the popular by a huge margin. You could have 50 million (made up number) more people vote for a candidate and they lose. Minority forcing its will on the majority because of a weird system? Is this a good thing? [/quote]

If about 20% of the voters (250,056,000 is the estimated # of voters in the U.S. during the 2016 election based off https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voter_turnout_in_the_United_States_presidential_elections) voted for one candidate but the other candidate won, then I’d agree that there’s a serious problem here.

But that’s not what’s happening. Clinton won ~2.8 million votes over Trump. Based off 250,056,000, that is ~1.2%. Statistically very small.

Does it make sense to argue that the Electoral College is apparently bad because it’s off by 1.2%?