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Why in the Heck Do We Want an Electoral College?!!
Tara Ross ^ | June 3, 2013 | Tara Ross

Posted on 02/12/2014 6:14:45 PM PST by gitmo

There has been a fair amount of commentary on my Facebook page in the past week or so about this very question. I started to put much of this in a comment to someone, but then decided to post it for everyone instead. Since several of you keep asking!

Perhaps the most important thing to understand about the Electoral College—and the Constitution in general—is that the Founders were not trying to create a PURE democracy. They wanted to be self-governing, of course. They had just fought an entire Revolution in part because they had no representation in Parliament. The principles of self-governance were very important to them. On the other hand, they knew that, as a matter of history, pure democracies have a tendency to implode. This is so because in a pure democracy, 51% of the people can rule the other 49% all the time, without question. Imagine what that looks like in the wake of an event such as 9-11. In fear or anger or immediate emotion, a bare majority could enact any law it wanted to, regardless of its impact on the other 49%. Even very sizable minorities can be tyrannized in such a system. (We had enough bad legislation after 9-11 as it was! Aren’t you glad it wasn’t even easier for bare majorities—or even pluralities—to steam roll everyone else?)

So, in short, the Founders wanted to be self-governing, but they also wanted hurdles to stop (or at least slow down) irrational, bare majorities. They wanted to protect minority political interests, especially the small states, from the tyranny of the majority.

The Founders thus created a Constitution that combines democracy with federalism (states’ rights) and republicanism (deliberation and compromise). This is why we have a Senate (one state, one vote) and a House (one person, one vote). It is why we have presidential vetoes. It is why we have supermajority requirements to do things like amend the Constitution. And it is why we have an Electoral College. The Founders wanted majorities to rule, but also wanted these majorities to act reasonably.

I often hear claims that the Electoral College is “undemocratic.” Not true. As it operates today, the Electoral College is a blend of democracy and federalism. In other words, not only people, but also states, must be taken into consideration. We have a two phase election in this country: The first phase is purely democratic; the second phase is federalist. In the first phase, we hold 51 purely democratic elections: one in each state and one in D.C. These state-level elections are held to determine which electors will represent states in the second, federalist phase of the election. This latter election is an election among the states, as represented by their electors.

Because of the way our elections are structured, we get many benefits: Candidates must strive to build national coalitions. The most successful candidates—Reagan and FDR—had the best coalition-building ability. Years with close elections—GWB v. Gore—occur when no one is doing a great job of coalition building. Other benefits of the Electoral College: It is harder to steal votes. Nothing can make it impossible, but the Electoral College makes it as hard as possible. You have to know when and where to steal a vote if you are going to influence national totals. And if one person can predict this location, then every poll watcher/lawyer in the nation can, too!

Please note that I did not say that the Electoral College can force voters to be wise or informed. We have to do that on our own, as we would under any election system.

There is more, but that is a lot for a quick blog post. I am going to put several links with free information at the bottom of this post, so go look for it.

Yes, I will also include my book link. At this juncture, someone will accuse me of “you are just trying to sell books.” Look, I always offer my book because it is the place in which I was the most thorough in explaining the Electoral College. It is the best resource I have to offer you. But I ultimately don’t care if you buy the book. In fact, if you have an educational purpose and don’t mind reimbursing shipping, I will ship you as many free copies of the 1st edition as you want for your study group, classroom, grassroots group, etc. What I really care about is that you investigate the Electoral College before dismissing it on a media sound bite. I will also include SEVERAL **free** links. Please go read them and spend no money. :) Whatever you do, read about this wonderful constitutional institution. Your schooling almost certainly failed to teach you about it.

The Electoral College is underappreciated, but a little research will show that it is helping to protect your freedom.


TOPICS: History; Society
KEYWORDS: abolish; elections; electoralcollege
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1 posted on 02/12/2014 6:14:45 PM PST by gitmo
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To: gitmo

Because each state is a sovereign political entity.


2 posted on 02/12/2014 6:18:57 PM PST by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: gitmo

Just look at what has happened to the senate and states since we started electing senators by statewide popular vote.

States with GOP super majorities still have democrat senators who do whatever the national party tells them to do.


3 posted on 02/12/2014 6:19:03 PM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: gitmo

The same reason the Senators are supposed to be picked by the States, to off set the publics House.


4 posted on 02/12/2014 6:19:04 PM PST by Mmogamer (I refudiate the lamestream media, leftists and their prevaricutions.)
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To: gitmo

Thanks for the article. Thank God for the Electoral College I say. The only improvement I possibly would make on it would be to award the winner of the popular vote in each Congressional District with 1 electoral vote and the winner of the popular vote in each state 2 electoral votes.

The Electoral College diffuses and decentralizes power.


5 posted on 02/12/2014 6:21:47 PM PST by Reagan‹berAlles
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To: BenLurkin
Because each state is a sovereign political entity.

BWAAAAAAAAHAHAHA

HAIL TO THE THING

6 posted on 02/12/2014 6:22:11 PM PST by bigheadfred
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To: gitmo

The electoral college is brilliant.


7 posted on 02/12/2014 6:24:00 PM PST by wny
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To: bigheadfred

“Hail to the thing?”

What does that mean?


8 posted on 02/12/2014 6:24:29 PM PST by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: BenLurkin

Why should New nlgland get 12 Senators?


9 posted on 02/12/2014 6:26:04 PM PST by DIRTYSECRET (urope. Why do they put up with this.)
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To: gitmo
The Electoral college is based on equal rep for the states.

However, the Dems have even beat that by targeting distinct districts....something you can do only when you have the huge population of our country. Philly is a good example.

The early voting and all the other "how to cheat" methods help.

10 posted on 02/12/2014 6:27:11 PM PST by Sacajaweau
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To: DIRTYSECRET

Two per state.


11 posted on 02/12/2014 6:27:49 PM PST by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: BenLurkin

states are so completely conjoined to that amorphous federal bureaucracy (the THING) they exist in name only (IMO)


12 posted on 02/12/2014 6:29:36 PM PST by bigheadfred
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To: BenLurkin

we’re screwed


13 posted on 02/12/2014 6:31:08 PM PST by DIRTYSECRET (urope. Why do they put up with this.)
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To: gitmo

I agree... The electoral college does a great service of slightly diminishing the power of large population centers, and slightly exaggerating the impact of smaller less populated states. It changes the way campaigns are waged and strategized. It’s also why any notion of a national “popular vote” is spurious. There’s no such thing. If we had only a popular vote then the campaigns and the voting and the turnout would have been different too.

I use the analogy of the World Series. The Series is not won by counting all the runs across all seven games. The Series is batched into individual games each with its own strategy, and score, and a winner and loser. Then the team with the most winning games out of seven, wins the series.

It’s entirely possible that the loser of the World Series may have scored more runs in the whole series than the winner did, but it’s a meaningless statistic. That’s not the objective that the teams were playing for. If it was, the whole strategy and play of the games would have been radically different to suit.


14 posted on 02/12/2014 6:34:38 PM PST by Ramius (Personally, I give us one chance in three. More tea anyone?)
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To: Reagan√úberAlles

States can do that if they choose to. Nebraska and Maine have implemented the exact system you’ve described.


15 posted on 02/12/2014 6:35:17 PM PST by Bob
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To: bigheadfred

Ah!


16 posted on 02/12/2014 6:36:51 PM PST by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: gitmo

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.

How many times is the word Democracy used in the US Constitution?

Electoral College was to further note that the states are not subordinate to the national government. The principle that it was “We the People” of the several states that created the federal government, and not the other way around.


17 posted on 02/12/2014 6:39:45 PM PST by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
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To: DIRTYSECRET

Why should New nlgland get 12 Senators?

Why shouldn’t it? Why should Wyoming, Idaho, Nebraska, Montana etc. Both parties could make a pitch to get rid of Senators in different states. Keep it 2 Senators per state forever.


18 posted on 02/12/2014 6:44:39 PM PST by napscoordinator ( Santorum-Bachmann 2016 for the future of the country!)
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To: Reagan√úberAlles

Delegates at the last state convention here in Michigan voted to support that system. It was kind of a meaningless vote but it did put it on record that there is support for it within the party.

Basically it means Detroit can cheat all they want and they still only get the allotted votes.

I personally would like to do the same with senators.


19 posted on 02/12/2014 6:45:51 PM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: Bob

Had it been in place in 2012 Romney would have won, barely.

http://www.polidata.org/prcd/


20 posted on 02/12/2014 6:57:54 PM PST by Reagan‹berAlles
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To: Ramius

1960 World Series.

Total runs scored: Yankees 46 Pirates 26

Total games won: Yankees 3 Pirates 4


21 posted on 02/12/2014 7:01:32 PM PST by Reagan‹berAlles
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To: Ramius

I use the analogy of the World Series. ...
*************************
Good anology and explanation.


22 posted on 02/12/2014 7:02:19 PM PST by octex
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To: gitmo

Why in the heck do we want a federal government?


23 posted on 02/12/2014 7:03:29 PM PST by chris37 (Heartless.)
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To: Reagan√úberAlles

Whoops...make that Yankees 55 runs Pirates 27 runs.

I suck at math!


24 posted on 02/12/2014 7:04:15 PM PST by Reagan‹berAlles
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To: octex

Oooops

anology = analogy


25 posted on 02/12/2014 7:08:14 PM PST by octex
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To: DIRTYSECRET

Uhm, because New England is no more of a state than West Coast or Midwest or Deep South?


26 posted on 02/12/2014 7:10:03 PM PST by Alas Babylon!
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To: gitmo

Without it we would become a democracy, the worst form of government ever devised!


27 posted on 02/12/2014 7:11:19 PM PST by dalereed
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To: gitmo; All

Thank you for referencing that article gitmo.

As evidenced by the misguided interest in the electoral college, the only reason that ordinary citizens are concerned about who’s in the Oval Office these days is because of the wrongly perceived powers of the federal government, the Oval Office wrongly regarded by many as the most powerful office in the land.

And the reason for the federal government’s wrongly perceived powers is the following. Parents, for many generations, have not been making sure that their children are being taught about the federal government’s constitutionally limited powers, particularly Section 8 of Article I, the way that the Founding States had intended for those powers to be understood.

Otherwise, since one of the few thing the states have actually authorized Congress to regulate within a state’s borders that can affect citizens on an almost daily basis is the US Mail Service (Clause 7 of Section 8 of Article I), people would probably have to guess who the current president is if the federal government was actually respecting its constitutionally limited powers.


28 posted on 02/12/2014 7:26:55 PM PST by Amendment10
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To: gitmo

IMO, it would work much better if nailed down to the County level, not stopping at the state level. Make it on how many counties you win, not how many states.

3-4 counties in a state carries the whole state.


29 posted on 02/12/2014 7:30:34 PM PST by Bryan24 (When in doubt, move to the right..........)
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To: gitmo

The EC, as it was originally intended to function, died almost before it was born.

It was intended to be an assemblage of eminent men, who would quite unconstrained choose a President. The careful description of how Congress would choose among the vote leaders when nobody got an actual majority in the EC implies that the Founders expected that to be the common way of electing the President.

The EC almost immediately became a rather awkward way of filtering the popular vote through a somewhat federalized second stage.

It still has virtues and there’s no particular reason to throw it under the bus, but the original idea of how it was to function vanished over 200 years ago.

The Founders put in place many brilliant innovations in governmental structure. The EC is one of their ideas that just never worked as intended.


30 posted on 02/12/2014 7:38:13 PM PST by Sherman Logan
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To: Reagan√úberAlles
1960 World Series.

Ah! Very cool! I didn't know of a particular example of my World Series analogy. Now I have one. Thanks!

31 posted on 02/12/2014 8:22:08 PM PST by Ramius (Personally, I give us one chance in three. More tea anyone?)
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To: Sherman Logan
Sherman Logan said: "The EC is one of their ideas that just never worked as intended."

As long as states retain the "winner take all" element, then the Electoral College is working at least partially as intended. People in Kalifornia, for example, can steal as many Kalifornia votes as they want and it won't change the outcome of any election in which the majority of Kalifornians support the thieves.

To enlarge their advantage over what it would be anyway, Kalifornia would have to arrange to steal votes in Wyoming, or Connecticut, or Arizona. It's not impossible, but it makes the vote stealing more difficult.

I don't think our Founders ever dreamed of how rapid and pervasive our communication systems would become. They were enlightened men but even we would find it difficult to see what will happen two centuries from today.

32 posted on 02/12/2014 8:26:07 PM PST by William Tell
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To: William Tell

I don’t think our founders ever dreamed that this country would elect a rapist or an illegal alien to the presidency, but the democrats have done both in the last couple decades.

Any faith I used to have in the system is gone. It’ll take some huge positive changes for me to even consider this governmental system worth saving. As it is, I wouldn’t much care if Washington DC got nuked during a joint session of congress. Nearly all of them are crooked jackholes that aren’t worth the moisture in my spit. Sure, there are still a couple of decent people trying to make things better, but that’s like trying to row a canoe upstream with a teaspoon.


33 posted on 02/12/2014 9:22:09 PM PST by Two Kids' Dad (((( 0bama's words are the distraction to the destruction ))))
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To: gitmo
The Electoral College is underappreciated, but a little research will show that it is helping to protect your freedom.

Without question....

34 posted on 02/12/2014 9:28:25 PM PST by Cold Heat (Have you reached your breaking point yet? If not now....then when?)
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To: gitmo

Because we don’t want the more populated port cities making all the decisions for everyone else. They have different economies, and different issues.


35 posted on 02/12/2014 9:31:01 PM PST by Salvavida (The restoration of the U.S.A. starts with filling the pews at every Bible-believing church.)
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To: Two Kids' Dad
Two Kids' Dad said: "It’ll take some huge positive changes for me to even consider this governmental system worth saving. "

I don't see any alternatives. Unfortunately, the path to anything positive goes through some very negative times I think.

Liberals have squandered any opportunity to build a strong, healthy economy. When the time comes that a sufficient number of such liberals come to their senses, the path back to health will be long and painful. My eldest grandchild is five. I can't imagine how he will avoid bitterness toward the generations before him that left such a mess.

Palin's Death Panels may well seem like sweet justice.

36 posted on 02/12/2014 9:42:13 PM PST by William Tell
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To: Reagan√úberAlles

No more winner take all states, give every congresional district 1 electorial vote.


37 posted on 02/13/2014 3:38:11 AM PST by Dusty Road
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To: William Tell
As long as states retain the "winner take all" element, then the Electoral College is working at least partially as intended.

I disagree. You describe a beneficial aspect of the EC as it presently exists, but this was no part of the initial intent.

Under the original plan, there was no "winner take all" by state element. Electors voted as individuals, not by state. In fact, that is still the case, except as prescribed otherwise by state, not federal, law.

As others have pointed out, I believe the Founders intended the final decision to be normally made in Congress, with the EC thus functioning more often as a nominating than an electoral body. The exception would be when there was a national consensus who should be elected, as there was for the first two elections. Thereafter, the EC, in its original intent, went away.

If parties had not arisen, the EC would probably have remained, most of the time, more of a nominating convention, which would have had interesting effects on the distribution of power within the government. Hopefully, it would have helped prevent the arising of that nonsense about "three co-equal branches of government." Parties, of course, immediately narrowed the field, most of the time, to two men.

The EC still functions, but certainly not as originally intended, leaving aside that 12A drastically changed procedures.

38 posted on 02/13/2014 6:39:44 AM PST by Sherman Logan
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To: Sherman Logan
Sherman Logan said: "Electors voted as individuals, not by state. "

I was under the impression that, like today, all of the voters in a given state choose a particular slate of electors, all of whom are aligned with a particular candidate. Electors are not required to vote for the candidate with which they aligned, but not doing so would be quite the exception. Thus, in effect, a particular candidate, if his slate of electors wins, would likely receive all of that state's votes.

Was that not the case then as it is now?

Even if it was up to the legislature to choose the electors, there would be no expectation that such electors represent more than one candidate.

39 posted on 02/13/2014 9:20:16 AM PST by William Tell
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To: Reagan√úberAlles

Maine and Nebraska use the congressional district winner method.
Maine and Nebraska voters support a national popular vote.

A survey of Maine voters showed 77% overall support for a national popular vote for President.
In a follow-up question presenting a three-way choice among various methods of awarding Maine’s electoral votes,
* 71% favored a national popular vote;
* 21% favored Maine’s current system of awarding its electoral votes by congressional district; and
* 8% favored the statewide winner-take-all system (i.e., awarding all of Maine’s electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most votes statewide).
***

A survey of Nebraska voters showed 74% overall support for a national popular vote for President.
In a follow-up question presenting a three-way choice among various methods of awarding Nebraska’s electoral votes,
* 60% favored a national popular vote;
* 28% favored Nebraska’s current system of awarding its electoral votes by congressional district; and
* 13% favored the statewide winner-take-all system (i.e., awarding all of Nebraska’s electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most votes statewide).

NationalPopularVote.com


40 posted on 02/13/2014 10:04:34 AM PST by mvymvy
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To: Sacajaweau

The Electoral college is not based on equal rep for the states.

The number of electors in each state is equal to the number of members of Congress to which the state is entitled, while the Twenty-third Amendment grants the District of Columbia the same number of electors as the least populous state, currently three. In total, there are 538 electors, corresponding to the 435 members of the House of Representatives, 100 senators, and the three additional electors from the District of Columbia. - Wikipedia


41 posted on 02/13/2014 10:08:30 AM PST by mvymvy
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To: Reagan√úberAlles

Dividing more states’ electoral votes by congressional district winners would magnify the worst features of the Electoral College system.

If the district approach were used nationally, it would be less fair and less accurately reflect the will of the people than the current system. In 2004, Bush won 50.7% of the popular vote, but 59% of the districts. Although Bush lost the national popular vote in 2000, he won 55% of the country’s congressional districts.

“In 2012, for instance, when Obama garnered nearly a half million more votes in Michigan than Romney, the Republican nominee still managed to carry nine of the state’s 14 congressional districts. If the by-district scheme had been in place for that election, Romney would have collected nine of Michigan’s 16 electoral votes — not enough to change the national result, but enough to make Michigan a net win for Romney, notwithstanding his decisive drubbing in the statewide election.” – Brian Dickerson, Detroit Free Press, Jan. 12, 2014

The district approach would not provide incentive for presidential candidates to campaign in a particular state or focus the candidates’ attention to issues of concern to the state. With the 48 state-by-state winner-take-all laws (whether applied to either districts or states), candidates have no reason to campaign in districts or states where they are comfortably ahead or hopelessly behind. Nationwide, there are now only 35 “battleground” districts that were competitive in the 2012 presidential election. With the present deplorable 48 state-level winner-take-all system, 80% of the states (including California and Texas) are ignored in presidential elections; however, 92% of the nation’s congressional districts would be ignored if a district-level winner-take-all system were used nationally.

In Maine, where they award electoral votes by congressional district, the closely divided 2nd congressional district received campaign events in 2008 (whereas Maine’s 1st reliably Democratic district was ignored)

In Nebraska, which also uses the district method, the 2008 presidential campaigns did not pay the slightest attention to the people of Nebraska’s reliably Republican 1st and 3rd congressional districts because it was a foregone conclusion that McCain would win the most popular votes in both of those districts. The issues relevant to voters of the 2nd district (the Omaha area) mattered, while the (very different) issues relevant to the remaining (mostly rural) 2/3rds of the state were irrelevant.

Awarding electoral votes by congressional district 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.

Because there are generally more close votes on district levels than states as whole, district elections increase the opportunity for error. The larger the voting base, the less opportunity there is for an especially close vote.

Also, a second-place candidate could still win the White House without winning the national popular vote.

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.


42 posted on 02/13/2014 10:10:15 AM PST by mvymvy
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To: William Tell

The current state-by-state winner-take-all system of awarding electoral votes maximizes the incentive and opportunity for fraud, coercion, intimidation, confusion, and voter suppression. A very few people can change the national outcome by adding, changing, or suppressing a small number of votes in one closely divided battleground state. With the current system all of a state’s electoral votes are awarded to the candidate who receives a bare plurality of the votes in each state. The sheer magnitude of the national popular vote number, compared to individual state vote totals, is much more robust against manipulation.

National Popular Vote would limit the benefits to be gained by fraud or voter suppression. One suppressed vote would be one less vote. One fraudulent vote would only win one vote in the return. In the current electoral system, one fraudulent vote could mean 55 electoral votes, or just enough electoral votes to win the presidency without having the most popular votes in the country.

The closest popular-vote election count over the last 130+ years of American history (in 1960), had a nationwide margin of more than 100,000 popular votes. The closest electoral-vote election in American history (in 2000) was determined by 537 votes, all in one state, when there was a lead of 537,179 (1,000 times more) popular votes nationwide.

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 system offers vote suppressors or fraudulent voters a better shot at success for a smaller effort?


43 posted on 02/13/2014 10:13:20 AM PST by mvymvy
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To: William Tell

How the electors were chosen was left entirely up to each state, so it is quite impossible to make any blanket statement about how they were chosen.

As late as the 1860 election, there was no popular vote for president at all in SC, which instead chose electors by vote of the legislature. Which has caused a great many asterisks to be included in discussion of the election since, as this procedure caused the extent of the popular vote opposition to Lincoln to be slightly understated. In this same election several states split their electoral votes.

In the first few elections I know of no national effort to make sure a state’s votes were cast as a unit, though there may certainly have been some such provision in some states. To maintain its own influence, each state would have strong incentive to do the same.

There was only one election in which the EC functioned as originally intended, that of 1796, and it was a real mess.


44 posted on 02/13/2014 10:13:31 AM PST by Sherman Logan
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To: Salvavida

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 15% 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.

With National Popular Vote, when every vote is equal, everywhere, it makes sense for presidential candidates to try and elevate their votes where they are and aren’t so well liked. But, under the state-by-state winner-take-all laws, it makes no sense for a Democrat to try and do that in Vermont or Wyoming, or for a Republican to try it in Wyoming or Vermont.

Even in California state-wide elections, candidates for governor or U.S. Senate don’t campaign just in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and those places don’t control the outcome (otherwise California wouldn’t 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.

With a national popular vote, every vote everywhere will be equally important politically. There will be nothing special about a vote cast in a big city or big state. When every vote is equal, candidates of both parties will seek out voters in small, medium, and large towns throughout the states in order to win. A vote cast in a big city or state will be equal to a vote cast in a small state, town, or rural area.

Candidates would need 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 wouldn’t be capable of coming down to just one demographic, such as waitress mom voters in Ohio.

With National Popular Vote, every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. Wining states would not be the goal. Candidates would need to care about voters across the nation, not just undecided voters in the current handful of swing states.

The main media at the moment, TV, costs much more per impression in big cities than in smaller towns and rural area. Candidates get more bang for the buck in smaller towns and rural areas.


45 posted on 02/13/2014 10:15:20 AM PST by mvymvy
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To: Sherman Logan

The Founders gave the states exclusive control over the manner of electing the President so as to provide a check on a sitting President who might try to manipulate the rules for his own re-election in conjunction with a possibly compliant Congress.

This delegation of control over presidential elections was intended to guard against the establishment of a self-perpetuating President and, in particular, the establishment of a monarchy in the United States. For these good reasons, control over presidential elections is an exclusive state power.

Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 of the Constitution disqualifies any person holding a federal office, either elected or appointed, from being an elector.


46 posted on 02/13/2014 10:24:07 AM PST by mvymvy
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To: William Tell

The presidential election system that we have today was not designed, anticipated, or favored by the Founding Fathers but, instead, is the product of decades of evolutionary change precipitated by the emergence of political parties and enactment by 48 states of winner-take-all laws, not mentioned, much less endorsed, in the Constitution.

The Electoral College is now the set of 538 dedicated party activists, who vote as rubberstamps for presidential candidates. In the current presidential election system, 48 states award all of their electors to the winners of their state. This is not what the Founding Fathers intended.

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.

Unable to agree on any particular method for selecting presidential electors, the Founding Fathers left the choice of method exclusively to the states 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.


47 posted on 02/13/2014 10:25:54 AM PST by mvymvy
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To: gitmo

With the Electoral College and federalism, the Founding Fathers meant to empower the states to pursue their own interests within the confines of the Constitution. The National Popular Vote is an exercise of that power.

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 Electoral College is now the set of 538 dedicated party activists who vote as rubberstamps for their party’s presidential candidate. That is not what the Founders intended.

During the course of campaigns, candidates are educated and campaign about the local, regional, and state issues most important to the handful of battleground states they need to win. They take this knowledge and prioritization with them once they are elected. Candidates need to be educated and care about all of our states.

The current state-by-state winner-take-all method of awarding electoral votes (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but since enacted by 48 states), under which all of a state’s electoral votes are awarded to the candidate who gets the most votes in each separate state, ensures that the candidates, after the conventions, in 2012 did not reach out to about 80% of the states and their voters. 10 of the original 13 states are ignored now. Candidates had no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, campaign, or care about the voter concerns in the dozens of states where they were safely ahead or hopelessly behind.

80% of the states and people were just spectators to the presidential election. That’s more than 85 million voters, 200 million Americans.

Policies important to the citizens of non-battleground states are not as highly prioritized as policies important to ‘battleground’ states when it comes to governing.

States have the responsibility and power to make all of their voters relevant in every presidential election and beyond.

Since World War II, a shift of a few thousand votes in one or two states would have elected the second-place candidate in 4 of the 15 presidential elections

The National Popular Vote bill preserves the Electoral College and state control of elections. It changes the way electoral votes are awarded in the Electoral College.

Under National Popular Vote, every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election. Every vote would be included in the state counts and national count.

When states with a combined total of at least 270 Electoral College votes enact the bill, the candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC would get the needed majority of 270+ Electoral College votes from the enacting states. The bill would thus guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes.

Current federal law (Title 3, chapter 1, section 6 of the United States Code) requires the states to report the November popular vote numbers (the “canvas”) in what is called a “Certificate of Ascertainment.” They list the electors and the number of votes cast for each. You can see the Certificates of Ascertainment for all 50 states and the District of Columbia containing the official count of the popular vote at the NARA web site.

National Popular Vote has nothing to do with pure democracy. Pure democracy is a form of government in which people vote on policy initiatives directly. With National Popular Vote, the United States would still be a republic, in which citizens continue to elect the President by a majority of Electoral College votes by states, to represent us and conduct the business of government.

Federalism concerns the allocation of power between state governments and the national government. The National Popular Vote bill concerns how votes are tallied, not how much power state governments possess relative to the national government. The powers of state governments are neither increased nor decreased based on whether presidential electors are selected along the state boundary lines, or national lines (as with the National Popular Vote).


48 posted on 02/13/2014 10:34:25 AM PST by mvymvy
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To: mvymvy
mvymvy said: "The sheer magnitude of the national popular vote number, compared to individual state vote totals, is much more robust against manipulation."

I don't agree. Right now the Demoncrats are required to steal votes in the states where the results are close and where some of those states will be controlled by Republicans.

If we use popular vote, your head will spin when you see how many votes the Democrats will steal in states which they control.

Not too long ago there were more votes cast in King County, Washington than there were registered voters. You can expect that to happen in every Democrat stronghold in the nation. Trying to compete with that would be impossible.

There would be thugs with billy clubs outside every polling place in Democrat states. We would descend into electoral chaos quickly; which might not be a bad thing.

49 posted on 02/13/2014 10:47:21 AM PST by William Tell
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To: Sherman Logan
Sherman Logan said: "How the electors were chosen was left entirely up to each state, so it is quite impossible to make any blanket statement about how they were chosen."

Quite impossible to conclude that the party controlling the legislature would control the choosing of the electors? As has been pointed out, there is no Constitutional requirement for "winner take all" in any given state. The reason we see "winner take all" is because of the legislatures' control of the process.

50 posted on 02/13/2014 10:52:59 AM PST by William Tell
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