Skip to comments.Why the Electoral College?
Posted on 02/02/2012 12:11:30 PM PST by Jacquerie
Why the Electoral College?
In 1789 our elected Executive, the President, was unique among nations.
We recently won a costly revolution against a King who was armed with extensive executive powers. They were not unlimited, but enough to take his country to war. Most of our Declaration of Independence consisted of accusations against the British King. Beginning largely with He has . . . , the Declaration specified twenty-seven charges. The Framers generation was understandably cautious and suspicious of executive power.
Peruse Revolutionary era State Constitutions and youll find the people dominated their governments through elected, representative Assemblies. Given the executive abuses by George III, our first State Governors were understandably kept weak.
It was against this background our Framers came to the conclusion that a national executive was needed for a country that would rather do without one. Yes, national executive, for it would be some time before the delegates were brave enough to use the term President. No other topic demanded so much time at the Constitutional Convention of 1787, as evidenced by more than sixty votes necessary to define the method of Presidential election. From near the beginning of the Convention on May 25th and almost to the end, September 17th, they wrestled with Presidential powers, the balance of those powers with Congress, and how a free people could design an office that precluded the trappings of monarchy, minimized internal and external corruption and prevented foreign influence.
Check out the timeline of electoral ideas below. There were many blind alleys on the way to a President. I hope some of the read only the title tribe take their time and read a little before commenting.
Chronology of Electoral Considerations at the Constitutional Convention of 1787:
1 June. A single executive. Heads explode at the thought of an elected monarch.
Multiple executives. Single or multiple terms?
Elected by the House of Reps.
Elected by entire Congress.
Popular election? Too difficult, too much democracy.
2 June. First Electoral College, with electors chosen by the people. Defeated by 7-2 vote.
Election by state legislatures.
Election by House of Reps for a single seven year term passed 8-2.
Multiple executives to reduce sectional jealousies.
4 June. A single executive by 7-3 vote.
Would he evolve into an elected monarch?
9 June. Election by State Governors. Small States oppose. Defeated 10-0.
Election by House invited corruption.
17 July. If appointed by Congress expect a corrupted creature of Congress.
Back to popular election.
Congressional appointment retained by 9-1 vote.
State legislatures to appoint electors, defeated 8-2.
Unanimous vote for Congressional appointment.
Unlimited number of terms passed 6-4.
One election, Executive-for-life. Defeated 6-4.
19 July. Two year, multiple terms, popularly elected.
Popular election of Executive electors.
Fear of direct, popular elections.
State Governors to appoint electors.
State legislatures to appoint electors by the ratio of State populations.
Shall the Executive be appointed by electors? Yes, 6-3.
Shall electors by chosen by State Legislatures? Yes, 8-3.
Limit the Executive to one term? No, 8-2.
Seven year terms rejected. Six year terms passed 9-1.
20 July. How many electors per State?
Legislators, Civil Officers precluded from being electors.
24 July. Return to Congressional electors?
Divide the nation into three electoral districts to select three executives.
Fear the elected Monarch.
Electors equal in number to the States Congressional delegation resoundingly defeated.
Return to Congressional appointment by 7-4 vote.
Executive must be independent of Congress after the election. A single twenty year term?
To prevent intrigue, draw fifteen Congressmen by lot to immediately vote and elect an Executive.
25 July. First election by Congress, subsequent elections by State Legislatures to prevent intrigue.
Four choices: By National or State authorities, electors chose by the people, or direct popular election.
Fear of foreign influence.
Each State to have an equal number of electoral votes.
Fear the Order of Cincinnati.
Popular election was radically vicious.
26 July. Summary of proposed methods.
Popular election by the people.
By the State legislatures.
By State Governors.
Electors chosen by the people.
Freeholders to each vote for several candidates.
By the people, with proviso to not vote for a favorite State son.
By Congressional lottery.
Back to square one, Congress elects a single executive to one seven year term, passed 6-3.
10 Aug. A motion to require a clear and unencumbered net worth of $100,000 for the President, and lesser amounts for Senators and Judges was defeated.
24 Aug. First formal use of President.
Single seven year term.
Elected by Congress, by joint session or by each house separately?
By joint sessions, which threw dominance to large States, passed 7-4.
One vote per State? No, by 6-5 vote.
Corruption & intrigue w/Congressional election.
Popular vote to appoint electors failed narrowly, 6-5.
4 Sep. Unlimited four year terms.
5 Sep. Electors equal in number to Congressional delegation and chosen in such manner as State legislatures may direct.
Each elector to vote for two persons.
Votes counted in Senate. Majority to win.
If no majority, Senate to elect President from five highest votes getters.
Second highest became Vice-President.
Fear that most elections would be decided by Senate intrigue.
6 Sep. Remove election from Senate and send to House. One vote per State passed 10-1.
Chronology Source: The Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787, by James Madison.
A survey of Rhode Island voters conducted on June 1, 2008 showed 74% overall support for a national popular vote for President.
Support was 78% among independents, 86% among liberal Democrats, 85% among moderate Democrats, 60% among conservative Democrats, 71% among liberal Republicans, 63% among moderate Republicans, and 35% among conservative Republicans.
By age, support was 77% among 18-29 year olds, 80% among 30-45 year olds, 70% among 46-65 year olds, and 76% for those older than 65.
By gender, support was 84% among women and 63% among men.
Yes, prevention of corruption was THE reason for the filter of electors.
Our Framers got it right.
In 1800, Thomas Jefferson argued that Virginia should switch from its then-existing district system of electing presidential electors to the statewide winner-take-all system because of the political disadvantage suffered by states that divided their electoral votes by districts in a political environment in which other states used the winner-take-all approach:
while 10. states chuse either by their legislatures or by a general ticket [winner-take-all], it is folly & worse than folly for the other 6. not to do it. [Spelling and punctuation as per original]
Indeed, the now-prevailing statewide winner-take-all system became entrenched in the political landscape in the 1830s precisely because dividing a states electoral votes diminishes the states political influence relative to states employing the statewide winner-take-all approach.
Florida 2000 demonstrated clearly how a small number of votes in one state (legit or fraudulent) could determine the winner of a state, and thus the winner of the Presidency.
537 popular votes won Florida and the White House for Bush in 2000 despite Gore’s lead of 537,179 (1,000 times more) popular votes nationwide. A shift of 60,000 voters in Ohio in 2004 would have defeated President Bush despite his nationwide lead of over 3 million votes.
Hendrik Hertzberg wrote: “To steal the closest popular-vote election in American history, you’d have to steal more than a hundred thousand votes . . .To steal the closest electoral-vote election in American history, you’d have to steal around 500 votes, all in one state. . . .
For a national popular vote election to be as easy to switch as 2000, it would have to be two hundred times closer than the 1960 election—and, in popular-vote terms, forty times closer than 2000 itself.
Which, I ask you, is an easier mark for vote-stealers, the status quo or N.P.V.[National Popular Vote]? Which offers thieves a better shot at success for a smaller effort?”
Nope. Campaigns are affected by population density: the more people per square shouting distance, the more voters can be persuaded per shout. Given limited resources, it's far more efficient to campaign in Miami FL than Jackson WY. ...unless the WY votes have more weight than in a popular vote, then it becomes worth a candidate's while to at least show up once.
Run the numbers, and you'll see that NPV will render most states - ones that tend to vote Right - impotent in elections.
Your theory works where resources can be distributed efficiently throughout the region, and where population gradients are workable. More important, it presumes a continuous jurisdiction; we are the United States, and a national popular vote proceeds to erase those precious boundaries. (Trust me: NY would outvote GA every time, and having lived in both I sure don't want NY sensibilities imposed on GA.)
Electors haven’t made decisions since the time of the nations first competitive presidential election in 1796.
The current system does not provide some kind of check on the “mobs.” There have been 22,000 electoral votes cast since presidential elections became competitive (in 1796), and only 10 have been cast for someone other than the candidate nominated by the elector’s own political party. The electors now are dedicated party activists of the winning party who meet briefly in mid-December to cast their totally predictable rubberstamped votes in accordance with their pre-announced pledges.
If a Democratic presidential candidate receives the most votes, the state’s dedicated Democratic party activists who have been chosen as its slate of electors become the Electoral College voting bloc. If a Republican presidential candidate receives the most votes, the state’s dedicated Republican party activists who have been chosen as its slate of electors become the Electoral College voting bloc. The winner of the presidential election is the candidate who collects 270 votes from Electoral College voters from among the winning party’s dedicated activists.
You have it exactly right....theCalifornia microcosm
The main media at the moment, namely TV, costs much more per impression in big cities than in smaller towns and rural area. So, if you just looked at TV, candidates get more bang for the buck in smaller towns and rural areas.
In terms of recent presidential elections, the 11 largest states include five “red states (Texas, Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, and Georgia) and six “blue” states (California, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and New Jersey). The fact is that the big states are just about as closely divided as the rest of the country. For example, among the four largest states, the two largest Republican states (Texas and Florida) generated a total margin of 2.1 million votes for Bush, while the two largest Democratic states generated a total margin of 2.1 million votes for Kerry.
Among the 11 most populous states in 2004, the highest levels of popular support, hardly overwhelming, were found in the following seven non-battleground states:
* Texas (62% Republican),
* New York (59% Democratic),
* Georgia (58% Republican),
* North Carolina (56% Republican),
* Illinois (55% Democratic),
* California (55% Democratic), and
* New Jersey (53% Democratic).
In addition, the margins generated by the nation’s largest states are hardly overwhelming in relation to the 122,000,000 votes cast nationally. Among the 11 most populous states, the highest margins were the following seven non-battleground states:
* Texas — 1,691,267 Republican
* New York — 1,192,436 Democratic
* Georgia — 544,634 Republican
* North Carolina — 426,778 Republican
* Illinois — 513,342 Democratic
* California — 1,023,560 Democratic
* New Jersey — 211,826 Democratic
To put these numbers in perspective, Oklahoma (7 electoral votes) alone generated a margin of 455,000 “wasted” votes for Bush in 2004 — larger than the margin generated by the 9th and 10th largest states, namely New Jersey and North Carolina (each with 15 electoral votes). Utah (5 electoral votes) alone generated a margin of 385,000 “wasted” votes for Bush in 2004. 8 small western states, with less than a third of Californias population, provided Bush with a bigger margin (1,283,076) than California provided Kerry (1,235,659).
“Nonetheless it still stands, thankfully, as the mightiest hedge ever devised against total socialism.”
No state uses a proportional method now.
Any state that enacts the proportional approach on its own would reduce its own influence. This was the most telling argument that caused Colorado voters to agree with Republican Governor Owens and to reject this proposal in November 2004 by a two-to-one margin.
If the proportional approach were implemented by a state, on its own, it would have to allocate its electoral votes in whole numbers. If a current battleground state were to change its winner-take-all statute to a proportional method for awarding electoral votes, presidential candidates would pay less attention to that state because only one electoral vote would probably be at stake in the state.
The proportional method also could result in third party candidates winning electoral votes that would deny either major party candidate the necessary majority vote of electors and throw the process into Congress to decide.
If the whole-number proportional approach had been in use throughout the country in the nations closest recent presidential election (2000), it would not have awarded the most electoral votes to the candidate receiving the most popular votes nationwide. Instead, the result would have been a tie of 269269 in the electoral vote, even though Al Gore led by 537,179 popular votes across the nation. The presidential election would have been thrown into Congress to decide and resulted in the election of the second-place candidate in terms of the national popular vote.
A system in which electoral votes are divided proportionally by state would not accurately reflect the nationwide popular vote and would not make every vote equal.
It would penalize states, such as Montana, that have only one U.S. Representative even though it has almost three times more population than other small states with one congressman. It would penalize fast-growing states that do not receive any increase in their number of electoral votes until after the next federal census. It would penalize states with high voter turnout (e.g., Utah, Oregon).
Moreover, the fractional proportional allocation approach does not assure election of the winner of the nationwide popular vote. In 2000, for example, it would have resulted in the election of the second-place candidate.
A national popular vote is the way to make every person’s vote equal and matter to their candidate because it guarantees that the candidate who gets the most votes in all 50 states and DC becomes President.
Except that under NPV, the voting value of those sparse-population impressions plummets. Cheaper in that case to ignore low-population states outright.
That guy/gal is a maroon. I had running battle with him/her in another thread until I was able to shut him/her up with some DEFINITIVE SCOTUS citations.
Specifically, in Reynolds v. Sims:
"When a State exercises power wholly within the domain of state interest, it is insulated from federal judicial review. But such insulation is not carried over when state power is used as an instrument for circumventing a federally protected right. [n42] [p567] To the extent that a citizen's right to vote is debased, he is that much less a citizen."
The NPV extends to the 50 states [plus DC] power over the states that participate in the NPV. Specifically, a state [in the NPV] that votes ONE WAY in popular vote WILL give it's electoral votes to that candidate BUT ONLY if the OTHER 49 states [plus DC] allow it to do so by having THAT candidate ALSO win THEIR popular votes [collectively].
OTHERWISE, the popular votes of THAT state will be ESSENTIALLY DISQUALIFIED and the state's electoral votes are awarded to the candidate that LOST the popular vote within the state.
The NPV runs counter to Reynolds v. Sims in that the OTHER states' powers ARE NOT insulated WITHIN their jurisdictions and are EXTENDED to influence states beyond their borders. THUS, the plenary right of a state [participating in the NPV] to choose the method of selecting it's electors IS subject to judicial review.
Since ALL of the states currently grant their citizens the right to vote for their electors, 14th Amendment Equal Protection rights apply:
Specifically, in Bush v. Gore:
The individual citizen has no federal constitutional right to vote for electors for the President of the United States unless and until the state legislature chooses a statewide election as the means to implement its power to appoint members of the Electoral College. U.S. Const., Art. II, §1. This is the source for the statement in McPherson v. Blacker, 146 U.S. 1, 35 (1892), that the State legislatures power to select the manner for appointing electors is plenary; it may, if it so chooses, select the electors itself, which indeed was the manner used by State legislatures in several States for many years after the Framing of our Constitution. Id., at 2833.
History has now favored the voter, and in each of the several States the citizens themselves vote for Presidential electors. When the state legislature vests the right to vote for President in its people, the right to vote as the legislature has prescribed is fundamental; and one source of its fundamental nature lies in the equal weight accorded to each vote and the equal dignity owed to each voter. The State, of course, after granting the franchise in the special context of Article II, can take back the power to appoint electors. See id., at 35 ([T]here is no doubt of the right of the legislature to resume the power at any time, for it can neither be taken away nor abdicated) (quoting S. Rep. No. 395, 43d Cong., 1st Sess.).
The right to vote is protected in more than the initial allocation of the franchise. Equal protection applies as well to the manner of its exercise. Having once granted the right to vote on equal terms, the State may not, by later arbitrary and disparate treatment, value one person's vote over that of another. See, e.g., Harper v. Virginia Bd. of Elections, 383 U.S. 663, 665 (1966) ([O]nce the franchise is granted to the electorate, lines may not be drawn which are inconsistent with the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment). It must be remembered that the right of suffrage can be denied by a debasement or dilution of the weight of a citizens vote just as effectively as by wholly prohibiting the free exercise of the franchise. Reynolds v. Sims, 377 U.S. 533, 555 (1964).
Again, from Reynolds v. Sims:
"Undeniably, the Constitution of the United States protects the right of all qualified citizens to vote, in state as well as in federal, elections. A consistent line of decisions by this Court in cases involving attempts to deny or restrict the right of suffrage has made this indelibly clear. It has been repeatedly recognized that all qualified voters have a constitutionally protected right to vote, Ex parte Yarbrough, 110 U.S. 651, and to have their votes counted, United States v. Mosley, 238 U.S. 383. In Mosley, the Court stated that it is "as equally unquestionable that the right to have one's vote counted is as open to protection ... as the right to put a ballot in a box." 238 U.S. [p555] at 386. The right to vote can neither be denied outright, Guinn v. United States, 238 U.S. 347, Lane v. Wilson, 307 U.S. 268, nor destroyed by alteration of ballots, see United States v. Classic, 313 U.S. 299, 315, nor diluted by ballot box stuffing, Ex parte Siebold, 100 U.S. 371, United States v. Saylor, 322 U.S. 385. As the Court stated in Classic,
"Obviously included within the right to choose, secured by the Constitution, is the right of qualified voters within a state to cast their ballots and have them counted."
"The idea that every voter is equal to every other voter in his State, when he casts his ballot in favor of one of several competing candidates, underlies many of our decisions."
"No right is more precious in a free country than that of having a voice in the election of those who make the laws under which, as good citizens, we must live. Other rights, even the most basic, are illusory if the right to vote is undermined. Our Constitution leaves no room for classification of people in a way that unnecessarily abridges this right. [n38]"
"We do not believe that the Framers of the Constitution intended to permit the same vote-diluting discrimination to be accomplished through the device of districts containing widely varied numbers of inhabitants. To say that a vote is worth [p564] more in one district than in another would ... run counter to our fundamental ideas of democratic government. [n41]"
The ESSENTIAL EFFECT of the NPV is to PROVISIONALLY grant a citizen [in a state participating in the NPV] the right to choose the state's electors, BUT ONLY IF the majority of the voters in the rest of the United States agrees with it. OTHERWISE, the state will DISENFRANCHISE the voter from making an independent choice.
This is where the NPV FAILS the 14th Amendment Equal Protection Clause test and WHY the NPV is likely to be ruled unconstitutional [if NPV ever goes into effect].
See, there's the problem: we are the United States. By equalizing all votes in a national election for one office, you render that division moot. 9 states alone could out-vote the other 49.
I value that we are the United States. The Late Unpleasantness was over one group of states bossing another set around; let's not go there again - respect that most states should not be ignored because a few out-populate them. (And yes, we're willing to go there again.)
Perhaps not. If we had no electoral college, why would Algore have even been the DemocRAT nominee? He had been the Vice-President under Clinton due to the need for the DemocRATS to crack the Republicans' electoral lock of southern states. The ran two southerners from adjacent states. After eight years of being VP and not being a US Senator from Tennessee, he seemed to be much different and had less appeal in the south than he had had in 1988 or 1992. He lost every single southern state including his home state.
Without the electoral college, the DemocRATS would have nominated someone with a much more leftist bent who would have mostly appealed to the various interest groups of the DemocRAT party and the campaign would have been much more urban oriented.
Called it. LOL
The trouble with the NPV [in states that have enacted NPV laws] is that it SOUNDS like a good idea - UNTIL it is put into practice.
Let us assume that the GOP wins the popular vote in 2012.
HOW do you THINK the citizens of the SOLID BLUE STATE of MD [which is in the NPV] are gonna FEEL KNOWING that their electoral votes would have been given to the GOP HAD NPV ACTUALLY BEEN IN EFFECT? Cuz MD is CERTAINLY gonna go for Obama in 2012.
MD residents are gonna REVOLT and DEMAND that the NPV law be repealed.
I don't mind - some posters at FR are just DUMB ...
Ain't gonna change ...
Television advertising (the largest component of presidential campaigns) is premium-priced in the major metropolitan areas.
Television time is far less expensive, on a per-impression basis, in small towns and rural media markets than in larger media markets. It is, for example, considerably more expensive to buy television or radio time to reach Ohios 11 million people than to buy television or radio time to reach the 11 million people who live in the 12 least populous non-competitive states (i.e., the six red states of Alaska, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, North Dakota, and South Dakota and the six blue states of Hawaii, Maine, Vermont, Rhode Island, Delaware, and the District of Columbia).
These facts explain why some Republicans have argued that the National Popular Vote compact is good for the Republican Party because it is a tax on the Democrats. This argument, is consistent with the economic reality that television advertising is premium-priced in heavily Democratic big cities. Both parties will almost certainly avoid this tax by campaigning in the smaller media markets where the per-impression cost is lower and by campaigning nationwide on network television.
With the current state-by-state winner-take-all system of awarding electoral votes, it could only take winning a bare plurality of popular votes in the 11 most populous states, containing 56% of the population of the United States, for a candidate to win the Presidency, with a mere 26% of the nation’s votes.
On the other hand, once you've stuffed in enough fraudulent votes to steal a state, further fraudulent votes in that state do not count. Under a national popular vote, they would.
A better idea would be to allocate each state one electoral vote per congressional district, plus two more votes to the candidate winning the majority of the districts or, in the event of a tie in districts, the state's popular vote. That way, for example, stuffing the ballot box in Gary, Indiana would steal a maximum of one electoral vote, no matter how many fraudulent votes were cast. Under the current system, it would steal eleven.
I think the one thing that you fail to realize, or are just ignoring is the importance of down-ballot elections. You see, small or less populated states would be COMPLETELY IGNORED!
The presidential election would be about getting the most voters out to the booths in the most populated states thereby giving the candidates the best chance to pick up the popular vote AND the most number of down-ballot congress-critters.
The smaller states would simply be allowed to do whatever on the down-ballot because those with the most seats would be picking up control of both houses AND the Presidency!
This is like most Democrat laws and regulations - the unintended consequences of their cure are ALWAYS worse than the miniscule problem they were “attempting” to fix! With the key word being “FIX!”
Another problem with a national popular vote is disputes. With NPV, you’d have to recount the whole country. In 2000, we only needed to do Florida. If, as I suggested above, it went by congressional district, then the recount need would likely be limited to one or two districts.
Elimination of the electoral college would be a through disaster for conservatism.
I think you need to go play on a socialist page somewhere.
Statement #1: The NPV puts each and every vote nationally on an equal footing ...
Rebuttal #1: No it doesn't. It disenfranchises votes within a state if their majority does not agree with the national majority ...
Statement #2: Tough Noogies. Each state has a plenary right to choose its electors ...
Rebuttal #2: But, it violates 14th Amendment Equal Protection rights and SCOTUS has ruled that you cannot do that ...
Statement #3: No it doesn't because it puts each and every vote nationally on an equal footing. Go to Statement #1 ...
No. But ME AND NE both use the Congressional Disrtict Method [CDM]. One vote for the winner of one District, with the 2 remaining votes going to the overall winner of the state ...
And it works just FINE. It is the FAIREST method - but you would not like it since your precious DEMs in CA could NOT hog all of CA's 55 EVs for themselves. The GOP reliably wins about 20-25 Districts in CA.
Absent CDM, proportionality is the NEXT fairest. Winner-take-all on a state level or at a national level [as with the NPV] is LEAST fairest ...
“The downside is on occasion the Electoral College will give the Presidency to the candidate with less of the national popular vote...e.g. the 2000 election.”
This is exactly what it was designed to do, to keep the states with the largest population from deciding the vote.
It protects the minority from the tyranny of the majority.
On the surface the idea seems democratic to those uniformed. I stand by my position against it, regardless of DAKs, RI or combined. Many of these people voted for Obama.
Thank you for the history lesson! Very enlightening.
Nice try - Poindexter ...
Let us suppose that there are enough states [10, 15, whatever] that participate in the NPV - totalling EXACTLY 270 electoral votes and that the NPV is in effect for a particular election.
Let us FURTHER suppose that one candidate actually WINS the popular vote INTERNALLY in all of these states, so that he WILL win the ENTIRE 270 electoral vote slate IF he wins the popular vote nationally.
AND let us further suppose that there are 100,000,001 votes cast nationally. 50,000,000 for the candidate that won the NPV states INTERNALLY and 50,000,001 for the other candidate [who is then awarded the 270 electoral votes of the NPV states].
FINALLY, let us suppose that JUST 2 of the 50,000,001 votes cast for the other candidate were fraudulent [but unknown to be fraudulent by the national electorate].
WHAT is the effect?
The 270 electoral votes of the NPV states are ERRONOUSLY awarded to the other cadidate and, thus, the Presidency. A MERE 2 fraudulent votes, in the right scenario, can cost the LEGITIMATE winner the election ...
I pointed the same thing out to mvymvy on another thread ...
Even states that voted 99%-1% would have to recount since each and every vote counts to the NPV and, thus, the Presidency ...
ALSO, who would pay for the recounts? Currently, the states pay for their own IF the vote differential is BELOW a certain percentage [1%-2%]. How would states with 99%-1% vote count feel if they had to pony up bucks for what is essentially a USELESS recount within their states?
First, please review what I posted and point out where anything in my post suggested that that the framers came up with the concept of the electoral college was derived in an afternoon.
As a matter of fact, the Founders spent a LOT of time going back and forth over each concept, word and phrase that was eventually included in the final document. That’s one of the aspects that makes the Constitution one of the most brilliantly conceived and executed frameworks for a government known to mankind.
Second, most of the folks on FR are quite familiar with the Constitution and the kind of extensive discourse the Founders had in creating the different elements that eventually went into our Constitution.
In my case, I was actually there!
(at least, I’m old enough to have BEEN there!)
Had Florida adopted proposed legislation to allot electoral votes by district, Al Gore would have won the presidential election even though he lost most of Florida's congressional districts. The only votes that would have been in doubt prior to a recount would have been the two allotted at large per state. They would have been irrelevant.
Had the Congressional Distict Method [CDM] been in effect nation-wide, Bush woulda won 288-250.
He won the popular vote remember? it was the electoral college that gave Bush the win with Florida!
You are welcome. Thanks for reading before posting.
Most here think we have an electoral college to keep Presidential candidates from ignoring small States. It just isn't true.
Yes, Freepers are generally a cut above average, but I'd bet not one in a hundred knew that our Framers considered a President for life, electors chosen by lottery, or $100 grand net wealth as another qualification.
As for your first point . . . chill out.
Not so much the post you made was ignorant, but the constant harping by those who wish to destroy the electorial college method of choosing our president is ignorant.
The use of the popular vote would be the destruction of our country because it would give all the power of choosing our president to the most populated, and liberal, cities. This would mean that the rest of the country would be subjects and not citizens. That would lead to a civil war. But that’s coming soon enough already anyway.
Your whole problem (embeded in all your arguments in your latest NPV rant/response) is the assumption, erroneous assumption, that for the good of the nation, any methodology employing the electoral college votes should be rigged so that the outcome of the electoral college vote will default to the same as the outcome of “national popular vote”.
But, it is neither the purpose of the electoral college, nor is it necessarily a good purpose that “national popular vote”, independently or by rigging the electoral college vote to mirror it, determine the election of the President of the United States.
The very essence, the Constitutional intent, of the electoral college is to prevent “national popular vote” on its own, all by itself, from determining the outcome. The history of the writing of the electoral college into the Constitution is very clear that one of it’s purposes is so that “popular election”, nationally, is not the method we have that determines the selection of the President.
Pure democracy (which we are not) is all about your beloved “one man one vote”, but our republic (government by representatives/representation), any study of our congressional districts and their varying sizes of population will show you, does not enshrine that concept. The “one man one vote” concept, in our nation, is manifested ONLY (1) within your own voting district (your vote IN YOUR DISTRICT is as great as any other vote IN YOUR DISTRICT), (2) at the level of the represenatives in the House of Representatives (which amounts to “one vote” for each district) and in an equal number of votes for each state in the Senate (with “equal votes” at least not giving greater advantage than “one vote”). So our REPRESENTATIVES in government, whether they represent a small district or a large district (they are not all equal in size or in population) or whether they represent a small state or a large state, the weight of their own individual vote (the House) or their state (in the Senate) is equal. That is your representives vote, not your vote. Your vote may be equal to all other votes, in your district, but when your representative sits in congress, their one vote may be the “representative” vote of a more populous, or a less populous district, state than the next representative, but they each only have only “one vote”.
And, the electoral college system enshrines that recognition that we are not a pure democracy (”O.K., everyone hold up your hands”), we are a republic, and the selection of the chief executive is not a method of pure democracy (one man one vote), it is the method of a republic, representing the voting selection of the places (districts or states) of the nation; regardless of what “national popular” vote count it represents.
The electoral college votes, whether awarded by the state as “winner take all” or proportionally allocated, is in it’s summation, the places that represent “the nation”, and the winner, by whichever of those two methodologies is acceptable (I prefer the later) has collected a win in more places of the country, and that is always a better, a clearer represenation of a majority of “the nation” whether or not it happens to sum to “national popular vote” majority.
This system cannot, Constitutionally, be rigged, by state’s legislative fiat, to defeat its own Constitutional purpose.
In order for the nation to adopt “national popular vote” as the methodology by which the chief executive is chosen, the Constitution would have to be amended to mandate it and abolish the electoral college system. The NPV agenda promoters know that is an unattainable goal, so they have attempted an end run around it. It will not succeed in the courts.
The National Popular Vote bill preserves the constitutionally mandated Electoral College and state control of elections. It changes the way electoral votes are awarded by states in the Electoral College, instead of the current 48 state-by-state winner-take-all system (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but since enacted by 48 states).
The Founding Fathers in the Constitution did not require states to allow their citizens to vote for president, much less award all their electoral votes based upon the vote of their citizens.
The presidential election system we have today is not in the Constitution. State-by-state winner-take-all laws to award Electoral College votes, were eventually enacted by states, using their exclusive power to do so, AFTER the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution.
The current 48 state-by-state 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. It 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.
In 1789, in the nation’s first election, only three states used the state-by-state winner-take-all method to award electoral votes.
With National Popular Vote, the candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC would get the 270+ ELECTORAL COLLEGE votes from the enacting states.
With National Popular Vote, big cities would not get all of candidates attention, much less control the outcome.
The population of the top five cities (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston and Philadelphia) is only 6% of the population of the United States and the population of the top 50 cities (going as far down as Arlington, TX) is only 19% of the population of the United States. Suburbs and exurbs often vote Republican.
If big cities controlled the outcome of elections, the governors and U.S. Senators would be Democratic in virtually every state with a significant city.
A nationwide presidential campaign, with every vote equal, would be run the way presidential candidates campaign to win the electoral votes of closely divided battleground states, such as Ohio and Florida, under the state-by-state winner-take-all methods. The big cities in those battleground states do not receive all the attention, much less control the outcome. Cleveland and Miami do not receive all the attention or control the outcome in Ohio and Florida.
The itineraries of presidential candidates in battleground states (and their allocation of other campaign resources in battleground states) reflect the political reality that every gubernatorial or senatorial candidate knows. WHEN AND WHERE EVERY VOTE IS EQUAL, A CAMPAIGN MUST BE RUN EVERYWHERE.
Even in California state-wide elections, candidates for governor or U.S. Senate dont campaign just in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and those places dont control the outcome (otherwise California wouldnt have recently had Republican governors Reagan, Dukemejian, Wilson, and Schwarzenegger). A vote in rural Alpine county is just an important as a vote in Los Angeles. If Los Angeles cannot control statewide elections in California, it can hardly control a nationwide election.
In fact, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland together cannot control a statewide election in California.
Similarly, Republicans dominate Texas politics without carrying big cities such as Dallas and Houston.
There are numerous other examples of Republicans who won races for governor and U.S. Senator in other states that have big cities (e.g., New York, Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts) without ever carrying the big cities of their respective states.
The National Popular Vote bill would not change the need for candidates to build a winning coalition across demographics. Candidates would have to appeal to a broad range of demographics, and perhaps even more so, because the election wouldnt be capable of coming down to just one demographic, such as voters in Ohio.
And elections could no longer be won with just 26% of the country’s votes, from winning the bare plurality in the 11 biggest states.
“It is too bad our State legislators were not bound to elect the President.”
If they had been, then with the concurrent sense of federalism that implies, we could maybe expect at least the following:
(1)Most likely “popular vote” of the federal senators may not have been adopted;
and if so, then
(2)National direct personal income tax most likely would not have neen adopted (depriving one source of the fuel needed for massive growth of federal spending);
(3)The massive growth of the size, power, national breadth and depth of the federal government into the national private economy and our private lives would have been blunted.
But Conservatives need to be fully aware there can always be unintended consequences in the things we wish for. Greater federalism would be no insurance against many states adopting, for themselves, some of the worst “statist” and Marxist abuses that the federal government has obtained. And, a stronger sense of federalism might also cause the judiciary to NOT see the extension of federal Constitutional rights (with the post civil war amendments) as among the rights that could prevent the states becoming as “statist” and Marxist as the federal government has become.
“Voters want to know, that even if they were on the losing side, their vote actually was directly and equally counted and mattered to their candidate.”
The only place that exists, the only place it is intended to exist, in OUR REPUBLIC, is within one’s own voting district, for one’s own representative.
Beyond that, it is our representives (or electors) who vote and they each, indiviudally, DO NOT REPRESENT an equal number of citizens.
The electoral college system enshrines that fact - a republic, representative government, not pure democracy, not national popular vote.
States cannot make a legislative end run around the Constitutuonal purpose of the electoral college to rig how it is used to subvert it’s own purpose - avoiding “popular” vote as the means of selecting the chief executive.
Now - go away; go move to maybe Greece, where even today you can see the results of “one man one vote” pure democracy - chaos and national political dysfunction.
For those who believe a picture is worth a thousand words I offer these two views of the 2000 and 2004 Presidential Election. The USA Today County by County voting map illustrates the founder's wisdom more than mere words can.
I know that, but Florida DemocRATS had considered enacting legislation prior to the 1996 election that would have split the electoral vote in Florida by congressional district. Had it been in effect in 2000, Gore would have won, because none of the other sates would have enacted similar legislation.
Please do me the honor of reading my research.
But the proposed legislation that Florida DemocRATS seriously considered passing in 1996 would have split up Florida's electoral vote by congressional district with just the 2 bonus votes going to the overall popular vote winner in the state. Nebraska and Maine do the same thing, but I think 2008 was that only time either state actually split its electoral vote.
And, this is a problem because . . . . . ??
Most here think we have an electoral college to keep Presidential candidates from ignoring small States. It just isn't true.
No, most people here know that a primary purpose of the Electoral College is to level the playing field between large and small states. Look at the election results from the past two presidential elections. Where did the Dem candidates get the most votes? Large, metropolitan cities. The Republican candidate usually won the smaller cities and towns and the rural areas.
Given that, were it not for the Electoral College, people in thos smaller urban and rural areas might never see a Dem presidential candidate. That's why the Dem Party keeps trying to con Americans into getting rid of the Electoral College. They don't like having a level playing field.
S, what part of your post did I miss by not wading through stuff I already know? It may be new or interesting to you, and that's great. But, when I was in school, they still taught about the Constitution and American government.
Not a problem for me. I read Madison's record.
No, most people here know that a primary purpose of the Electoral College is to level the playing field between large and small states.
Urban legend. Not true. Enjoy your ignorance.