Channeling Your Inner Political Nerd

Sabato’s Crystal Ball has put out it’s first 2012 electoral speculation map. And while it’s really too early to make any legitimate forecast for 2012; particularly since there is no declared Republican candidate, it’s still fun to play around with the numbers.

Now compare this with the electoral map of the 2008 Presidential race.

(Note: Nebraska divides their five electoral votes by district. One went to Obama while the other four went to McCain. Maine has something similar but they all went to Obama)

The 2010 census changes the calculus a bit. Because of an exodus of population from the midwest, some states have lost electoral votes while others have gained. The new distribution results in a net loss of six votes for the Democrats.

My personal picks agree with Sabato save for a couple of exceptions. I think Obama has a chance of picking up Arizona particularly if the Republicans continue to alienate Hispanics and Older voters with the continued threat against Medi-care. Obama could lose some midwestern states such as Indiana and Ohio but it still wouldn’t hurt his math. The other wild card is, of course, the state that the Republican nominee comes from. Having Romney on the ticket doesn’t necessarily mean Massachusetts will go red. Likewise, having Pawlenty on the ticket could mean that Minnesota would turn red.

So what road to 2012 do you see?

270towin.com has a fun interactive map that you can play with to determine win/lose scenarios for President Obama.


About Mr. Universe

Mr. Universe is a musician/songwriter and an ex-patriot of the south. He currently lives and teaches at a University in the Pacific Northwest. He is a long distance hiker who has hiked the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail. He is also an author and woodworker. An outspoken political voice, he takes a decidedly liberal stance in politics.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

41 Responses to Channeling Your Inner Political Nerd

  1. GROG says:

    I think Obama has a chance of picking up Arizona particularly if the Republicans continue to alienate Hispanics and Older voters with the continued threat against Medi-care.

    Since when is age 54 and younger considered “Older voters”?

  2. rgbact says:

    Nerd stuff….I’ll bite. Clearly Sabato is stuck in 2008–like most liberals. They’re sticking with the realignment meme. Indiana is a tossup? Dems win it once in 40 years–and GOP has massive majority at all levels and its still a tossup? Same for Virginia. And I’ll give Romney a better chance at getting WA than Obama has at getting Texas as well.

    Anyway, maybe a scenario map might be better. #1) Being economy at stays quo — UE over 8.5% #2) Being UE down to say 7.0%. Honestly, I don’t see Obama ever improving on his 2008 performance, and in Scenario #1, I can defintely see many blue states moving to Romney. Sabato’s map is little more than “lets pretend its still 2008”–which is common among alot of “forecasters” sadly.

  3. Mr. Universe says:

    Since when is age 54 and younger considered “Older voters”?

    AZ has a large population of retirees.

  4. Mr. Universe says:

    And if Republicans want those midwestern swing states they probably ought to back off the union busting stuff.

  5. GROG says:

    AZ has a large population of retirees.

    Unless a large population of voters in Arizona are retired at age 54 or younger, retirees would not be affected by Medicare changes in Ryan’s plan.

  6. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    If we give ALL the R-states AND all the Toss-ups that would give 291 EV to the GOP. A win.

    I can’t see NV going R, -6 = 285
    The way Kasich is pissing ’em off in OH, scratch it, -18 = 267 EV, already under 271.
    I’m not ready to give VA(-13) or CO (-9) back yet, I count then “leans D”, – 22 = 245
    IA (-6) was a 9+ point spread in 2008, I can’t see that much of a change vs 2008, = 239.
    For now, I’m willing to leave NH as Romney is almost a favorite son.

    So throwing out “toss-ups”, as of now, I’m calling it 299-239, Obama.

    Subject to change, of course.

  7. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    BTW,

    PaddyPower is giving Obama @ 4/7, Romney @ 17/2, Trump @ 33/1.

  8. rgbact says:

    Max-

    Thank for giving us ALL the tossups….then taking 3 right back. Nice.

    Anyway, does your breakdown assume the current economy holds? Do you have a good/bad economy scenario? I’m assuming in a good economy then, you have Obama winning many more than 239?

  9. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    rg,

    No, just using Sabato’s numbers, then first letting all the T/O’s go GOP. Best case scenario for y’all. Then, backing out those, T/O’s that I don’t think will actually go to the GOP. (Ex. NV – 2008 was a 13+ spread, Obama. can’t see that flipping by that much.)

    299, Obama – 239, Romney.

  10. Mainer says:

    If, and it is at present a large if, Mitt gets the nomination he will have been pushed so far right as to make a number of states perform in seemingly odd ways. I look at NH and see not a toss up but a good state for the president, Maine not a lean Dem but a solid Dem. It is at least possible that the more voters see just how great having Republican Govs is that quite a bit of this could be largely inaccurate conjecture.

  11. dcpetterson says:

    @Grog
    Unless a large population of voters in Arizona are retired at age 54 or younger, retirees would not be affected by Medicare changes in Ryan’s plan.

    However, us “older voters” want our kids to have health care when they retire. Name me a retiree who says, “I get mine, screw the grandkids.”

    Privatizing Ryan counted on the over-55 crowd to be entirely selfish and stoopid, and the under-55’ers to be gullible and stoopid.

    55+ are supposed to not give a damn about their own kids and grandkids. It “doesn’t affect” us to know that our own kids will be unable to get healthcare when they retire? Really?

    54- are supposed to not notice that Ryan dismantles Medicare simply and only to give that money as tax cuts to the immensely wealthy.

    Ryan’s plan is a gift to the Democrats.

  12. Mr. Universe says:

    @Max

    Using that nifty interactive map at 270towin.com, if you give all the blues to Dems and Reds to Repubs, you get

    257 Dem
    169 Rep
    112 Toss-up

    That means there are 12 combinations to get to 270 for Dems, 4 for Repubs and 1 tie scnario. If Nevada and Iowa went to Obama and the Republicans picked up the rest of the toss-ups it would result in an electoral tie. Heck, the whole race could swing on the decision of the town of Omaha, Nebraska’s one electoral vote.

  13. shiloh says:

    They’re sticking with the realignment meme. Indiana is a tossup?

    Not knowing who the Rep stooge 😛 will be, demographics are all in Obama’s favor ie the Rep’s (1) remaining base ~ older white folk ~ every (4) years they shrink lol, whereas Hispanics/Latinos, who Obama won 67/31, continue to multiply :). And Obama won the youth vote 66/32.

    Depending on the economy of course, 2012 could parallel 1984 ie Reagan replaced the disaster which was Carter and Obama replaced incompetence/corruption personified, cheney/bush. Again, you can’t beat an incumbent something w/nothing, so who will the Reps nominate. My guess is mittens, and many “pundits” especially Rep pundits, say he can’t win regardless.

    Did I mention all the demo’s are in the Dem’s favor, especially after cheney/bush and Obama probably will have a huge $$$ advantage running unopposed in the primary. Again, all the newly elected Rep governors ie WI, OH, PA, NV, AZ, NM, FL, ME, NJ, VA etc., ironically will probably work in Obama’s favor. A rising tide lifts all ships ie if they succeed, Obama succeeds, if they “governors” fail, who’s to blame as Walker’s, Scott’s, Kasich’s, Snyder’s et al popularity has already tanked re: union busting and as already mentioned, eliminating Medicare/SS …

    Republican genius, I tell ‘ya!

    Much like 2008, Reps pretty much have to run the table re: swing states.

    >

    And if America survives to 2044 lol can one imagine the political landscape (((if))) Latinos, the majority ethnic group, is still voting 67/31 Dem.

    be afraid, be very afraid Reps! 😀

    At another forum I frequent someone suggested, given the sorry ass group of Rep wannabe candidates, that Bush41 give it another go as he would be eligible, eh.

    Or Jeb …

  14. dcpetterson says:

    shiloh, I think you’re right about the demographics. Also, the “enthusiasm gap” that supposedly drive the 2010 elections will all be working in the Democrats’ favor in 2012. The Republicans have done nothing to keep their promise to create jobs, and they’ll continue to do nothing other than to push a far-far-right social agenda which is incredibly unpopular. If the economy improves, Obama and the Democrats will get the credit; if it doesn’t, the Republicans will get the blame, because people voted for them in 2010 specifically on their promise to fix it.

    House Republicans will continue passing bills such as the Ryan plan to dismantle Medicare, having taken a stupendous leap to the extreme right since gaining a bit of power — bills that a) are a complete waste of time, because will never get through the Senate, and b) will be opposed by what used to be the core Republican voters (the over-50 crowd). The will continue trying to blackmail Obama on matters like the debt ceiling and next years’ budget, threatening economic Armegeddon if they don’t get everything their way — and Obama will, more and more, look like the only adult in government. And the Teapers will look increasingly scary and insane.

    I expect Obama’s reelection to be very close, electorally, to what we saw in 2008. I expect the Democrats to retain their Senate majority, perhaps picking up a couple of seats. I think at this point it’s 50/50 whether the Democrats take back the House, but if they don’t, it’ll be a much more closely divided chamber than it is today. If the Teapers do manage to force a Bachmann or other wingnut candidate to get nominated for President, I’d expect Obama’s coattails to be very long indeed, and for Speaker Pelosi to be back come January of 2013.

  15. GROG says:

    DC,
    Mr. U said the Ryan plan alienates “Older voter” because of the continued threat to medicare. He didn’t say the plan alienates younger voters which will in turn cause “Older voters” to vote Democrat.

    According to your logic, the plan alienates everyone, not just older voters. Why do you think he singled out older voters?

    Because he’s trying to perpetuate the leftwing lie\scare tactic that the meanie Republicans want to charge more and cut medicare for seniors.

  16. shortchain says:

    GROG,

    Anybody who has been around long enough is going to have a strong suspicion that, if the Republicans adopt the Ryan plan and take Medicare away from younger people, they’re going to transition the older people off Medicare faster than nature does.

  17. filistro says:

    The McLatchy-Marist poll this week asked opinions of the Ryan plan’s cuts to Medicare by age groups.

    “The survey only broke down the age of respondents into two categories — above or below 45 years-old — and found that both groups opposed the proposed cuts by a similar margin. Respondents under 45 years-old opposed the cuts by an 82%-17% split, while older respondents opposed them by an 80%-18% split.”

  18. dcpetterson says:

    Grog,

    If you’re going to wonder about someone’s motives, the easiest way to find out about them is to ask the person. You want to know my Mr. U said something. Ask him.

    Personally, I think “older voters” don’t like the Ryan privatization plan for the reasons I said — because it screws the hell out of our children and grandchildren. But that’s my own opinion of why “older voters” don’t like it. To find out Mr. U’s opinion, ask him. If you just project your own ideas onto Mr. U, then that’s all you’re doing — projecting your own ideas.

    But I also think shortchain is on to something. If the Republicans are okay with breaking America’s promises to anyone under 55, there’s little reason to think they feel obligated to keep America’s promises to people 55 and up, other than for the cynical partisan reason of not wanting to alienate a significant part of their voting base.

  19. rgbact says:

    “If the economy improves, Obama and the Democrats will get the credit; if it doesn’t, the Republicans will get the blame”

    DC-thanks for this unbiased view of things. Heads–Obama wins, Tails–the GOP loses. Sounds fair.

    Shiloh-

    Good luck in 2044! Thing is, Hispanic vote went 75% for carter in ’76 and 75% for Clinton in ’96. Then 67% for Gore–against a Texas GOP’er. In 2008. the Hispanic vote is then 67% in a great Dem year. So it appears that a “break even” Hispanic vote rate is down from 75% to about say 64% for the Dems. This is unlike the black vote–which is largely stable for Dems. So overall, not really much gain if the Hispanic population increases, but it becomes less wedded to Democrats.

    Obama’s Hispanic approval in Gallup down to 47%. Just 10% above regular old whiteys.

  20. GROG says:

    @DC: You want to know my Mr. U said something. Ask him.

    I did ask Mr. U. His answer was…..

    AZ has a large population of retirees.

  21. shiloh says:

    Obama’s Hispanic approval in Gallup down to 47%.

    rgbact, elections come down to choices ie which party is opposing the Dream Act.

    ‘nuf said!

  22. Mr. Universe says:

    Follow up to GROG

    Notice I said older voters not seniors. But if you have any doubt about backlash or the widespread opinion that the Ryan plan is causing concern that Medicare will be dismantled see my post later this afternoon. And DC is correct. Your response presupposes that seniors aren’t concerned about health care for their offspring. Having been beneficiaries of Medicare, I suspect they know first hand how it will help their children and would oppose Saving Privatization Ryan’s plan.

    I don’t perpetuate scare tactics that aren’t true. That’s the corporate conservative strategy.

  23. rgbact says:

    Mr U-

    What you need to prove in your upcoming post is that the Dem alternative to Ryan will persuade seniors to abandon the GOP. So far–I’m not convinced. Demonizing the opposition works great when you are a blank slate. However, the Dems have already voted on a plan to slash Medicare. Are you telling me that voters just respond to the latest dog whistle and if the Dems blow it–voters will respond in spite of PPACA being on the books?

    My point is—when you’re flat broke—every proposal is going to annoy someone. Telling me “seniors hate Ryan’s plan” isn’t earth shattering news. No shit, the cupboards are bare and voters are in for alot of unhappiness. I want to know–why does this mean success for the Dems? I’m assuming that voters haven’t totally forgotten that Dems had total control for 2 years. Maybe I’m wrong there.

  24. dcpetterson says:

    rgbact –
    “If the economy improves, Obama and the Democrats will get the credit; if it doesn’t, the Republicans will get the blame”
    DC-thanks for this unbiased view of things. Heads–Obama wins, Tails–the GOP loses. Sounds fair.

    1) I never claimed to be unbiased 🙂

    2) The People are not always logical. Notice that I was talking about what I expected to see in the reaction of The Public.

    3) If elected Republicans want to avoid this no-win situation they’re putting themselves into, they should start enacting stimulus programs and jobs programs, rather than pushing a right-wing social agenda and trying to repeal Social Security and Medicare.

  25. Mainer says:

    rgb the memo that the Dems had total control of any thing with all the crap the other side engaged in is pretty weak add to that the nature of the Democratic party and the number of Blue Dogs that had to be dealt with and it was a wonder any thing got done.

    Rather than constantly having the blather that the cupboard is bare so every one that is not rich must now suffer would be the question that you can pretty much plan on hearing 24/7 before too ong. That would be why is the cupboard bare and large numbers of the electorate awakening to the shocking realization that it isn’t all about what we have been spending (which before your knees go into spasms needs to be controlled as well) but the income side of the ledger as well. Ah well we have no better expert than Michael Bloomberg on your side defending the poor down trodden rich and corporate interests, oh and Trump and a few other gazilionaires and their bought and paid for new govenors and congressional lackys. One can not keep handing the other side clubs and not expect to get hit over the head with some of them.

    It is going to be hard to try and sell fiscal responsibility based on performance so far for the Republicans at all levels. Some one in high Republican places had best be button holing some corporate types and getting some major job growth rolling that can be traced even tenuously to all the tax cuts they have been getting and or taxes they were not paying any way or some one may point that out to the electorate as well. Our own little 38% is a mandate Govenor being just one of the trickle down kings out there that needs said backing. Oh wait no one in industry ever said the would hire more people if they paid less tax they appear to have just said give us more money and your side automatically assumed they would do good things like hire people. Well good luck with that. No demand no need to supply, no money for the masses, no money to buy stuff, no need for stuff, no need for workers to produce it.

  26. Mr. Universe says:

    Shiloh is correct. In almost every scenario involving swing states, the Republicans have to run the table. It didn’t happen in 2008, I don’t expect it to happen here either.

  27. kohler says:

    By 2012, The National Popular Vote bill could guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

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

    The bill would take effect only when enacted by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes–that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). Then, 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 bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for president. Historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the President, including ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote and 48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state legislative action.

    The bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers, in 21 small, medium-small, medium, and large states, including one house in AR, CT, DE, DC, ME, MI, NV, NM, NY, NC, and OR, and both houses in CA, CO, HI, IL, NJ, MD, MA ,RI, VT, and WA . The bill has been enacted by DC, HI, IL, NJ, MD, MA, VT, and WA. These 8 jurisdictions possess 77 electoral votes — 29% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.

    http://wwww.NationalPopularVote.com

  28. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    I have strong doubts that this “bill” will pass Constitutional muster as, simply put, it allows a state to ignore the “will of it’s people”, and suborn that will to voters in other states, in the selection of its electors.

    If the supporters of the elimination of the Electoral College want to do so constitutionally, I recommend that they work towards a constitutional amendment that would do so.

  29. kohler,
    Would we have been better off in 2000 with recounts in 50 states? Who decides what the laws are regarding marginal ballots, such as the ones that went before the canvassing board in Minnesota in the 2008 Senate race? Might this “cure” be worse than the “disease?”

  30. kohler says:

    Most people wrongly believe the presidential election system we have today is in the Constitution, and think that any change would need an amendment. But state-by-state winner-take-all laws to award electoral college votes, are an example of state laws eventually enacted by states, using their exclusive power to do so, AFTER the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution, Now our current system can be changed by state laws again.

    Unable to agree on any particular method, the Founding Fathers left the choice of method for selecting presidential electors exclusively to the states by adopting the language contained in section 1 of Article II of the U.S. Constitution — “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors . . .” The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly characterized the authority of the state legislatures over the manner of awarding their electoral votes as “plenary” and “exclusive.”

    The constitution does not prohibit any of the methods that were debated and rejected. Indeed, a majority of the states appointed their presidential electors using two of the rejected methods in the nation’s first presidential election in 1789 (i.e., appointment by the legislature and by the governor and his cabinet). Presidential electors were appointed by state legislatures for almost a century.

    Neither of the two most important features of the current system of electing the President (namely, universal suffrage, and the 48 state-by-state winner-take-all method) are in the U.S. Constitution. Neither was the choice of the Founders when they went back to their states to organize the nation’s first presidential election.

    In 1789, in the nation’s first election, the people had no vote for President in most states, only men who owned a substantial amount of property could vote, and only three states used the state-by-state winner-take-all method to award electoral votes.

    The winner-take-all method is not entitled to any special deference based on history or the historical meaning of the words in the U.S. Constitution. The current 48 state-by-state winner-take-all method (i.e., awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in a particular state) is not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, the debates of the Constitutional Convention, or the Federalist Papers. The actions taken by the Founding Fathers make it clear that they never gave their imprimatur to the winner-take-all method.

    The constitutional wording does not encourage, discourage, require, or prohibit the use of any particular method for awarding the state’s electoral votes.

    As a result of changes in state laws enacted since 1789, the people have the right to vote for presidential electors in 100% of the states, there are no property requirements for voting in any state, and the state-by-state winner-take-all method is used by 48 of the 50 states. States can, and frequently have, changed their method of awarding electoral votes over the years. Maine and Nebraska currently award electoral votes by congressional district — a reminder that an amendment to the U.S. Constitution is not required to change the way the President is elected.

    The normal process of effecting change in the method of electing the President is specified in the U.S. Constitution, namely action by the state legislatures. This is how the current system was created, and this is the built-in method that the Constitution provides for making changes.

  31. kohler says:

    Most voters don’t care whether their presidential candidate wins or loses in their state . . . they care whether he/she wins the White House. Voters want to know, that even if they were on the losing side, their vote actually was directly counted and mattered to their candidate.

    The U.S. Constitution specifically permits diversity of election laws among the states because it explicitly gives the states control over the conduct of presidential elections (article II) as well as congressional elections (article I). The fact is that the Founding Fathers and the U.S. Constitution permits states to conduct elections in varied ways.

    The possibility of recounts should not even be a consideration in debating the merits of a national popular vote. No one has ever suggested that the possibility of a recount constitutes a valid reason why state governors or U.S. Senators, for example, should not be elected by a popular vote.

    The question of recounts comes to mind in connection with presidential elections only because the current system so frequently creates artificial crises and unnecessary disputes.

    A nationwide recount would not happen. We do and would vote state by state. Each state manages its own election and recount. The state-by-state winner-take-all system is not a firewall, but instead causes unnecessary fires.

    * Given that there is a recount only once in about 160 statewide elections, and given there is a presidential election once every four years, one would expect a recount about once in 640 years under the National Popular Vote approach. The actual probability of a close national election would be even less than that because recounts are less likely with larger pools of votes.

    ● The average change in the margin of victory as a result of a statewide recount was a mere 296 votes in a 10-year study of 2,884 elections.

    ● Only about a quarter of all recounts change the outcome.

    ● No recount would have been warranted in any of the nation’s 56 previous presidential elections if the outcome had been based on the nationwide count.

    The common nationwide date for meeting of the Electoral College has been set by federal law as the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December. Under both the current system and the National Popular Vote approach, all counting, recounting, and judicial proceedings must be conducted so as to reach a “final determination” prior to the meeting of the Electoral College. In particular, the U.S. Supreme Court has made it clear that the states are expected to make their “final determination” six days before the Electoral College meets.

  32. kohler,

    A nationwide recount would not happen. We do and would vote state by state. Each state manages its own election and recount.

    That’s true today. But if the states are to apportion their electors based on the national popular vote, then the rules change.

    No recount would have been warranted in any of the nation’s 56 previous presidential elections if the outcome had been based on the nationwide count.

    I have no idea where you come to this conclusion. It would have needed to occur in the following years of the past century: 2000 and 1960. All of those years were less than a 1% difference between the candidates, and most of those were far less than 1%. Might have occurred in 1968, too, with a margin just above 1%.

    Three times in a century is just slightly more than once every 640 years. It’s about once every eight elections. Doesn’t sound like a made up scenario.

  33. Mr. Universe says:

    The state-by-state winner-take-all system is not a firewall, but instead causes unnecessary fires.

    I agree. interesting comment, kohler

  34. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    kohler,

    You do not answer the issue of a states’ suborning the will of it’s people for that of a national majority.

    You make several good arguments on the maybes of the “National Popular Vote” and the “will” of the Founding Fathers. But you miss one VERY important point in your argument concerning the matter of “state-by-state”.

    Please refer to the Constitution concerning when no Presidential candidate has a majority vote in the College. It seems the Founding Fathers disagree with you.

    a) The Constitution provides for a majority vote to elect a President. Your “bill” does not, presumably. As such, a plurality may elect a President when only the popular vote is counted. But the Constitution requires a majority of the Electoral College.

    b) Should that NOT occur, the Constitution provides that the race is then referred to the House of Representatives. In the House the majority is, twice, the standard: first, a majority of the quorum of EACH STATE’s representatives; and second, a majority of the STATES.

    Thus we have Constitutional guidance, THREE times.

    A MAJORITY of the EC vote is REQUIRED to elect a President. That failing,
    A MAJORITY of the STATES, individually, is required, That STATE vote reached by,
    A MAJORITY of a quorum of the Representatives of the individual state.

    Thus, your arguments against the Founding Fathers’ intent fails. And because of that, I believe the “Bill” will fail Constitutional muster.

  35. kohler says:

    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, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections.

    The bill would take effect only when enacted by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes–that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). Then, 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 bill would thus guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

    The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for president. Historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the President, including ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote and 48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state legislative action.

    In 1789, in the nation’s first election, the people had no vote for President in most states, only men who owned a substantial amount of property could vote, and only three states used the state-by-state winner-take-all method to award electoral votes.

    The Founding Fathers left the choice of method for selecting presidential electors exclusively to the states by adopting the language contained in section 1 of Article II of the U.S. Constitution — “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors . . .” The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly characterized the authority of the state legislatures over the manner of awarding their electoral votes as “plenary” and “exclusive.”

  36. kohler says:

    The state-by-state winner-take-all system is not a helpful firewall but, instead, the repeated cause of unnecessary fires.

    Under the current winner-take-all system, there are 51 separate statewide vote pools in every presidential election. Thus, our nation’s 56 presidential elections have really been 2,135 separate state-level elections. These 51 separate pools regularly generate 51 separate opportunities for artificial crises in elections in which the vote is not at all close on a nationwide basis (but close in particular states). This is the reason why there have been five litigated state counts in the nation’s 56 presidential elections. This rate is dramatically higher than the historical 1-in-160 rate for elections in which there is a single statewide pool of votes and in which the winner is the candidate who receives the most popular votes.

    If anyone is genuinely concerned about minimizing the possibility of recounts, then a single national pool of votes provides the way to drastically reduce the likelihood of recounts and eliminate the artificial crises that are regularly produced by the current state-level winner-take-all system.

    The average change in the margin of victory as a result of a statewide recount was a mere 296 votes in a 10-year study of 2,884 elections. Do the math.

    Under the National Popular Vote bill and elections across the country, a 1% margin in popular votes is not needed to avoid recounts.

  37. kohler,
    Yes, if you say that a 1% margin in popular votes is not needed to avoid recounts, then you can avoid recounts. But you’re not going to increase the likelihood that the correct person gets elected. You’d have the same result by simply banning all recounts.

    The margin of error for most election systems in the US is well above 1%. For the punch cards (which I think are still used in some precincts), it’s around 5%. For optical scanner, it’s closer to 2%.

    So I’d love to hear your justifiation for eliminating the recounts.

  38. kohler says:

    Again. The average change in the margin of victory as a result of a statewide recount was a mere 296 votes in a 10-year study of 2,884 elections. Do the math.

  39. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    kohler,

    With respect. Your responses of 4/25 @ 1556 and 1606 simply parroted your earlier posts and do not address the Constitutional questions I’ve raised.

    What evidence do you have that would have to be argued before the SCOTUS that would allow the Constitutionality of your bill.

    The Constitution is quite clear on the majority vote within individual states and the importance of the individual state in the election of the President. Your bill ignores that!

  40. kohler says:

    Read my earlier post.

    State-by-state winner-take-all laws to award electoral college votes, are an example of state laws eventually enacted by states, using their exclusive power to do so, AFTER the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution, Now our current system can be changed by state laws again.

    Unable to agree on any particular method, the Founding Fathers left the choice of method for selecting presidential electors exclusively to the states by adopting the language contained in section 1 of Article II of the U.S. Constitution — “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors . . .” The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly characterized the authority of the state legislatures over the manner of awarding their electoral votes as “plenary” and “exclusive.”

    The constitution does not prohibit any of the methods that were debated and rejected. Indeed, a majority of the states appointed their presidential electors using two of the rejected methods in the nation’s first presidential election in 1789 (i.e., appointment by the legislature and by the governor and his cabinet). Presidential electors were appointed by state legislatures for almost a century.

    Neither of the two most important features of the current system of electing the President (namely, universal suffrage, and the 48 state-by-state winner-take-all method) are in the U.S. Constitution. Neither was the choice of the Founders when they went back to their states to organize the nation’s first presidential election.

  41. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    kohler,

    In spite of your claim of “plenary and exclusive”, you will please note that the SCOTUS interjected itself in Bush v Gore. Not so exclusive! As a reminder, in that case, the SCOTUS told a STATE SC that it had to demur in the counting of votes that would determine how the state of Florida would select it’s Electors in the 2000 presidential election.

    I do NOT need a history lesson, repeated multiple times, to know how the system for choosing the POTUS works. Repetition does NOT equate to truth. So please, save yourself the time, and the site the bandwidth, and restrain yourself.

    My question to you is a legal one that would equate to arguments that would be made when, not if, that bill of yours is legally challenged. It is apparent that you, or whomever you get your talking points from, have a quasi-legal argument. And your point was well made THE FIRST TIME. The gist is, there ARE strong COUNTER arguments, as I have pointed out to you, that will be made.

    So far you have not demonstrated any case law or basic argument of the Federalist that would counter those legal points I brought out. (Without any research beyond a Constitutional citation and Bush v Gore.

    If you have anything, I would recommend that you polish it up, because much better legal minds than mine will be kicking your points in the teeth! Better have MUCH better arguments than those you’ve presented. I can assure you that an attempt to win simply by repeating what you’ve said multiple times, will get your lawyers laughed out of Federal Appeals Court!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s