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Our Coming Electoral Train Wrecks
Tech Central Station ^ | 10/22/2004 | William J. Stuntz

Posted on 10/25/2004 6:06:38 PM PDT by farmfriend

Our Coming Electoral Train Wrecks

By William J. Stuntz

Four years ago, Al Gore got half a million more votes than George W. Bush -- about one-half of one percent of the total -- but, thanks to Florida, Bush won the electoral vote. Democrats have been outraged ever since. What would happen if Bush or Kerry were to win the popular vote by three or four million votes -- but still lose in the electoral college? Welcome to the Mother of All Legitimacy Crises. And to the Administration That Cannot Govern.

It could easily happen. Based on the polls reported at www.realpolitics.com, Bush is running well ahead of his 2000 performance in the I-95 corridor. (Michael Barone wrote a wonderful column about this phenomenon a couple of weeks ago.) Kerry will still win Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut. But he will win them by smaller margins than Gore did. If Bush improves on his 2000 performance in the South and West -- easily possible, given that a New Englander and not a Tennesseean is heading the Democratic ticket -- he could pile up a margin of a few million votes, and still lose Ohio and Iowa and with them the election.

Democrats would call that poetic justice, and maybe they're right. But it can't be good for the country to have something America has never seen before: two consecutive Presidents who lost the popular vote. One of them by a lot.

We have come closer to this particular train wreck than people think. In 1896, William Jennings Bryan lost the popular vote to William McKinley (Karl Rove's second-favorite President) by more than four percentage points. But a shift of 20,000 voters -- about one-seventh of one percent of the total -- in six states would have given Bryan an electoral-college victory. Woodrow Wilson won the popular vote in 1916 by more than three percentage points, the equivalent of a three-million-plus vote margin today. But if Charles Evans Hughes had persuaded 1,900 more Wilson voters in California -- two-tenths of one percent of that state's vote -- he would have won the White House. In 1948, Harry Truman ran four-and-a-half percentage points ahead of New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey; a comparable margin today would be nearly five million votes. Change 3,600 votes in Ohio and 9,000 in California, and the 1948 election goes to the House of Representatives. Change another 17,000 votes in Illinois, and Dewey wins outright. Each of these changes represented less than half of one percent of the relevant states' votes.

In 1976, it almost happened again. Jimmy Carter beat Gerald Ford by 1.7 million votes nationally, two percent of the total. Change 5,600 votes in Ohio and 7,300 in Mississippi, and Ford is the one walking down Pennsylvania Avenue on January 20, 1977.

Of course, all these near-misses are still misses. Not since 1876 has a candidate won the popular vote by as much as a full percentage point while losing in the electoral college. But that pattern is likely to be broken -- if not this year, then soon. And often.

Consider an important feature of all the elections mentioned above. Neither Bryan nor McKinley knew which six states would decide the White House in 1896. (In case you're wondering, they were West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, North Dakota, Oregon, and California.) Neither Wilson nor Hughes knew that California would decide the contest in 1916, anymore than Truman or Dewey expected their election to turn on Ohio, Illinois, and California. Even in 1976, the art of opinion polling was sufficiently imprecise that neither campaign was likely to guess that Ohio and Mississippi would hold the keys to the kingdom.

That ignorance was good for American democracy. It meant that candidates had to run national campaigns. To be sure, for most of our history Republicans could ignore the South, which regularly rolled up large Democratic majorities. And most years, Democrats could ignore Republican strongholds in New England and the Upper Midwest. (Times have changed; the two parties' geographical bases have switched sides.) But no presidential candidate could afford to focus all his energies on a handful of "battleground states" -- those states existed, but no one could know in advance where they were.

Today, Karl Rove knows. So do Bob Shrum and Mary Beth Cahill. Polling is miles better and more sophisticated than it was even a generation ago, when Gerald Ford almost snuck by Jimmy Carter. Which means that America is not really selecting the President on November 2. Ohioans and Iowans and New Mexicans are. (I may not have the right three states, but you can bet that the campaigns do.) And if one of these two campaigns makes better, more targeted investments in the right two or three states, that campaign will carry the day -- even if millions more Americans vote for the other side.

Two other changes in the political landscape make that scenario likely. As recently as 1960, forty-five percent of the voters cast their ballots in states decided by three points or less. In 2000, the number was fourteen percent. In 1960, Kennedy and Nixon won nine states by fifteen points or more. In 2000, Bush and Gore won twenty-two states (plus the District of Columbia) by margins that large. Safe states, once the exception, are now the rule. Swing states, once common, are few. The second change involves advertising. The rise of cable makes it easy for candidates to speak to small slices of the electorate. Campaigns can focus their attention, time, and money where those things will do the most good -- and write off large chunks of the country. The odds of a Bryan or Dewey winning the election while losing the popular vote by several percentage points are much higher as a consequence.

That isn't good for American democracy. We've always known that the Electoral College allows minority presidents. But today, it virtually guarantees them. Over time, as polling and communication become more precise, candidates' electoral vote totals will correlate less and less with the nationwide popular vote. We could have a string of seemingly illegitimate presidencies.

Plainly, the machinery is broken and needs fixing. The Electoral College could still serve a useful role -- with two changes. First, get rid of the electors: human electors are a disaster waiting to happen, an invitation to bribery, fraud, or simple stupidity. Just give each candidate the number of electoral votes he earns on election day. Second, make each state do what Nebraska and Maine do: give one vote to the winning candidate in each congressional district, and two votes to the candidate who wins the state. It's not perfect, but it's a pretty good way to make sure that Presidents have broad, geographically diverse support without having the election turn on one or two states. It would work even better if the Supreme Court -- where are activist judges when you need them? -- would ban partisan gerrymandering, so we could have more close districts.

America was lucky to escape Presidents Bryan, Hughes, and Dewey. But our luck is running out. We need to change the system, and soon.

In the meantime, I'm rooting for a landslide.

William J. Stuntz is a Professor at Harvard Law School.


TOPICS: Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: cliffhangers; elections; electoralcollege; electoralvote; historypreselections
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I was going to make www.realpolitics.com a link but it takes you to www.amerika.com, an air america radio site. Boo Hiss.
1 posted on 10/25/2004 6:06:38 PM PDT by farmfriend
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To: farmfriend

I love these people who think they know better than the founders how the constitution should be today. Leave it alone, it saved us from Gore and so it must be OK. General elections can be like the Jerry Springer show and people sometimes are as dumb as bricks, the Electoral college was instituted to save us from ourselves. This is a liberal ploy because they know their stick isn't selling as well anymore.


2 posted on 10/25/2004 6:11:02 PM PDT by DSBull (Liberal logic: the most mutually exclusive words in the universe!)
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To: farmfriend

The reputable analysis (according to Dick Morris) is that one can not win the EV by any plausible scenario with a PV deficit of more thn 0.7%.


3 posted on 10/25/2004 6:11:29 PM PDT by Atlas Sneezed (Your Friendly Freeper Patent Attorney)
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To: farmfriend

The House would object to a close state and change the vote. Also, electors would be forced to change their vote, potentially even before that.


4 posted on 10/25/2004 6:11:57 PM PDT by MichaelTN04
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To: farmfriend

it's www.realclearpolitics.com.


5 posted on 10/25/2004 6:14:17 PM PDT by LibertarianInExile (The Fourth Estate is the Fifth Column.)
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To: Beelzebubba

I do agree with removing the "human electors" portion and making the electoral vote automatic, but that's it.


6 posted on 10/25/2004 6:14:54 PM PDT by Tacos
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To: farmfriend

Without the electoral college, Los Angeles, San Fransisco, NYC and other blue metropolises would decide the election for all.


7 posted on 10/25/2004 6:15:55 PM PDT by umgud (Donate monthly, don't be a Freeploader)
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To: farmfriend

Don't let ABC, AP, CBS, CNN, FOX, NBC
give the election to Kerry like they did Gore

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1255413/posts


8 posted on 10/25/2004 6:16:03 PM PDT by 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub (GET OUT THE VOTE NOV 2 ! IF YOUR NEIGHBORS OR RELATIVES NEED A RIDE TO THE POLLS OFFER TO HELP)
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To: farmfriend
I'm guessing the place you probably meant to go to is:
www.realCLEARpolitics.com
9 posted on 10/25/2004 6:16:44 PM PDT by DefCon
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To: farmfriend

There are too many problems with the voting systems for this to be feasible. The electoral college, while not ideal, localizes and isolates vote fraud while giving the states most similar to the country at large a larger say.


10 posted on 10/25/2004 6:17:51 PM PDT by Clintonfatigued
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To: farmfriend

Bzzztt!! Wrong!!

Then gerrymandering congressional districts becomes even more important than it is. Then redistricting battles every ten years would make the current battles look like picnics.

Really, really bad idea.


11 posted on 10/25/2004 6:19:30 PM PDT by sitetest (Why does everyone get so uptight about toasted heretics??)
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To: farmfriend

You could write this article almost every election. The fact that it COULD have happened in 1896, 1916, 1948 and 1976 (and presumably 1960 and some other close elections) seems to indicate that this is a fairly common possibility.

I'm not sure I like all these articles that claim that every time the Electoral College is at odds with the popular vote, Democracy is imperiled. The United States is SUPPOSED to be a collection of sovereign governments. The Electoral College was DESIGNED to INFREQUENTLY choose the President. It was a compromise from a more parliamentarian way of choosing an executive.

One could just as easily argue that every time the President is not the same party as the Speaker Of The House that democracy is thwarted.


12 posted on 10/25/2004 6:20:17 PM PDT by Question Liberal Authority (How do you ask a goose to be the last goose to die for the Kerry campaign?)
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To: farmfriend
Second, make each state do what Nebraska and Maine do: give one vote to the winning candidate in each congressional district, and two votes to the candidate who wins the state.

I recall that someone did this analysis for the 2000 election finding that the result of the electoral college was pretty close to the current system. Of course with the 2000 election you would have Bush v. Gore on a national scale as the candidates tried to pick up electoral votes district by district.

13 posted on 10/25/2004 6:21:34 PM PDT by PMCarey
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To: farmfriend
What would happen if Bush or Kerry were to win the popular vote by three or four million votes -- but still lose in the electoral college?

Then the Electoral College as a fraud containment device will have worked.

-PJ

14 posted on 10/25/2004 6:22:12 PM PDT by Political Junkie Too (It's still not safe to vote Democrat.)
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To: farmfriend

Repeal the Seventeenth Amendment and I'd go along with assigning electors by district.


15 posted on 10/25/2004 6:22:31 PM PDT by mrsmith ("Oyez, oyez! All rise for the Honorable Chief Justice... Hillary Rodham Clinton ")
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To: farmfriend
...Democrats would call that poetic justice, and maybe they're right. But it can't be good for the country to have something America has never seen before: two consecutive Presidents who lost the popular vote. One of them by a lot...

I think the good professor forgot that clinton also was opposed by a majority of the American citizens.

16 posted on 10/25/2004 6:23:06 PM PDT by Sgt_Schultze
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To: farmfriend

Legitimacy crisis? Sure hope Shyster Stuntz doesn't teach Constitutional Law.


17 posted on 10/25/2004 6:25:02 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: farmfriend
All this hand wringing over the electoral college misses the point of it.

I was discussing this subject with a Russian a few days ago and she said, "I really wish we had the electoral voting like the U.S. because all the elections are governed by the voters in Moscow. They do not know or care what we want in Kazakhstan or anywhere else..(paraphrased)"

18 posted on 10/25/2004 6:25:43 PM PDT by Cold Heat (http://ice.he.net/~freepnet/kerry/staticpages/index.php?page=20040531140357545)
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To: farmfriend
What would happen if Bush or Kerry were to win the popular vote by three or four million votes -- but still lose in the electoral college?

Nothing. Although I'm a Bush partisan, should Kerry wins the EC but lose the "popular vote" (which is meaningless) by 3 or 4 (or 25!) million, I will say Congratulations President Kerry and may your four years be successful and prosperous ones.

Why, what would the author's reaction be?

But it can't be good for the country to have something America has never seen before: two consecutive Presidents who lost the popular vote. One of them by a lot.

I think it's perfectly fine for the country to abide by its Constitution. The possibility of having a President lose the "popular vote" only comes about because our two parties are so close and compete so fiercely for the marginal voter. This is what one would expect in a winner-take-all system that is functioning properly.

Electoral-college victories based on 60-40 or more "popular vote" splits wouldn't necessarily bode well for our country. It would mean something was wrong if one or the other party started racking up a 60-40 or more coalition.

Even in 1976, the art of opinion polling was sufficiently imprecise that neither campaign was likely to guess that Ohio and Mississippi would hold the keys to the kingdom. That ignorance was good for American democracy. It meant that candidates had to run national campaigns.

Hmm. I'm not so sure why that's so "good". Consider the current situation, candidates are able to identify a handful of states whose populations are close to 50-50. So they focus on those states' concerns. What's wrong with that? It seems to me that this provides incentives for people who live in one-party states to stop being so monolithic. No candidate will care about California or Texas so long as they vote monolithically. This suppresses the power of the single-minded blocs in those states. Isn't that a good thing?

We all understand this logic when it's applied to black voters, don't we? That blacks have suffered by voting such knee-jerk Democrat tickets every election? Well, same thing here. If states want to be power players they need to moderate and move away from extreme loyalty to one party or the other. Seems healthy to me.

That isn't good for American democracy. We've always known that the Electoral College allows minority presidents. But today, it virtually guarantees them. Over time, as polling and communication become more precise, candidates' electoral vote totals will correlate less and less with the nationwide popular vote. We could have a string of seemingly illegitimate presidencies.

Virtually no sentence written here is true. It's good for American "democracy" (I prefer "democratic republicanism"). The EC doesn't "virtually guarantee" minority presidents at all. The EV totals will not correlate "less and less" with popular vote (decorrelation has a limit). And no minority president is "illegitimate", and what does "seemingly" mean? Seemingly to whom? Not me.

First, get rid of the electors: human electors are a disaster waiting to happen, an invitation to bribery, fraud, or simple stupidity. Just give each candidate the number of electoral votes he earns on election day.

I'm ok with this.

Second, make each state do what Nebraska and Maine do: give one vote to the winning candidate in each congressional district, and two votes to the candidate who wins the state.

AFAIK any state may do this if they want. Few states want, for understandable power-politics reasons. To force them to, I guess, would require a Constitutional amendment. Sorry no.

It's not perfect, but it's a pretty good way to make sure that Presidents have broad, geographically diverse support without having the election turn on one or two states.

No, it's a good way to incentivize Presidents to focus all their energies on population centers. "New York, Chicago and LA areas" do not constitute a broad, geographically diverse support base.

It would work even better if the Supreme Court -- where are activist judges when you need them? -- would ban partisan gerrymandering, so we could have more close districts.

Gerrymandering is bad and all but that's a different issue.

America was lucky to escape Presidents Bryan, Hughes, and Dewey.

??? I don't get this part. What reason has the author to think those guys would have been all that bad compared to their opponents?

In the meantime, I'm rooting for a landslide.

Well ok we agree on something. :-)

19 posted on 10/25/2004 6:25:44 PM PDT by Dr. Frank fan
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To: umgud

"Without the electoral college, Los Angeles, San Fransisco, NYC and other blue metropolises would decide the election for all."


You betcha...that would be the end of this nation.


20 posted on 10/25/2004 6:27:19 PM PDT by eleni121 (Islam arose as an ideological movement against Rome/Byzantium...nothing has changed)
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To: farmfriend; MistyCA; Paleo Conservative; MeekOneGOP; All
Here's my little retort to those cockroaches who still say we "stole" the election:


21 posted on 10/25/2004 6:28:07 PM PDT by JoJo Gunn (More than two lawyers in any Country constitutes a terrorist organization. )
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To: farmfriend
America was lucky to escape Presidents Bryan, Hughes, and Dewey.

AND GORE.

22 posted on 10/25/2004 6:28:50 PM PDT by Graybeard58
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To: farmfriend

It has worked each time the EV determined the outcome.

Most recently in 2000. Only impact is upsettedness, by losers, and contant whining.

The country is governed, has military, conducts war and foreign affairs, collects and spends taxes, has judiciary.

It ain't broke. The sole benefit should Kerry win only EV, like Bush did: It would shut them up on that issue for awhile.

Something tells me there is a "Silent Majority" phenomenum for next week. Sept. 11, 2001 is seared into many minds, including people that shun politics for the most part.

I predict Cheney is right, for about a five point victory, no Electoral College hassles.


23 posted on 10/25/2004 6:28:52 PM PDT by truth_seeker
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To: LibertarianInExile
it's www.realclearpolitics.com.

Thanks, I was just going buy what was in the article. Oddly enough, in the original article the web address was blue and underlined but not a link. Go figure.

24 posted on 10/25/2004 6:29:36 PM PDT by farmfriend ( In Essentials, Unity...In Non-Essentials, Liberty...In All Things, Charity.)
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To: Cold Heat

mob rule would be just fine for the democRATS...

they are the 21st century barbarians.


25 posted on 10/25/2004 6:30:05 PM PDT by kingattax
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To: farmfriend
America was lucky to escape Presidents Bryan, Hughes, and Dewey

AND GORE.

26 posted on 10/25/2004 6:30:41 PM PDT by Graybeard58
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To: farmfriend
We've always known that the Electoral College allows minority presidents. But today, it virtually guarantees them.

So what? The U.S. Constitution was written in such a way that "minority presidents" were assumed to be fairly common. The only thing that has kept this scenario from occurring more frequently is that we now have a two-party system where we used to have multiple regional parties.

If I remember my history correctly, the winner of the 1820 or 1824 presidential election only got around 33% of the popular vote.

27 posted on 10/25/2004 6:30:55 PM PDT by Alberta's Child (I made enough money to buy Miami -- but I pissed it away on the Alternative Minimum Tax.)
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To: DefCon
From the article:

Based on the polls reported at www.realpolitics.com

I was going buy what was in the article. I suspect that you are correct though. The web address in the article was blue and underlined but not a link. I cut and pasted the web address in to the bar and it took me to bad places.

28 posted on 10/25/2004 6:32:02 PM PDT by farmfriend ( In Essentials, Unity...In Non-Essentials, Liberty...In All Things, Charity.)
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To: kingattax
they are the 21st century barbarians.

New Age Zealots, or the U.S. Taliban.

29 posted on 10/25/2004 6:32:15 PM PDT by Cold Heat (http://ice.he.net/~freepnet/kerry/staticpages/index.php?page=20040531140357545)
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To: farmfriend

Bush will win by over 60% of the popular and Electoral votes. No repeat of 2000.


30 posted on 10/25/2004 6:33:00 PM PDT by Iam1ru1-2
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To: farmfriend
Two other changes in the political landscape make that scenario likely. As recently as 1960, forty-five percent of the voters cast their ballots in states decided by three points or less. In 2000, the number was fourteen percent. In 1960, Kennedy and Nixon won nine states by fifteen points or more. In 2000, Bush and Gore won twenty-two states (plus the District of Columbia) by margins that large. Safe states, once the exception, are now the rule. Swing states, once common, are few.

And here's exactly why geographic divisions in Congress now merely reinforce, rather than trump, partisan divisions. The "Two Americas," to borrow a misused phrase from a certain vice-presidential candidate, entertain extremely different worldviews, use different media, and indeed have very different and highly contradictory versions of reality. Southern/Mountain/Plains Democrats and Northeast/Left-coast Republicans are a dying breed. Even Schwarzenegger, Pataki, Chafee, Jeffords, Specter, and Bloomburg are considered in the conservative heartland with the same disdain that Left-coast Liberals reserve for Zell Miller and other serial "moderates."

And in this vitriolic political background, which I anticipate will cool only slightly in the next several years, we must fight and win the War.

This schism enforces a deep, lasting, and predictable divide in American politics that will prevail (I predict) for the next 36 years. There will be Liberal America and Conservative America, the latter of which will prevail increasingly for demographic reasons. A rare Democrat triumph might occur whenever Republican conservatives engage in a civil war of their own. What happens as we approach 2040? I have no idea.

31 posted on 10/25/2004 6:34:47 PM PDT by dufekin (President Kerry would have our enemies partying like it's 1969, when Kerry first committed treason.)
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To: DSBull
I love these people who think they know better than the founders how the constitution should be today.

This year at the California State Grange convention, I got the current policy of supporting election of the President by popular vote changed to keeping the electoral college. It was an overwhelming vote too.

32 posted on 10/25/2004 6:35:17 PM PDT by farmfriend ( In Essentials, Unity...In Non-Essentials, Liberty...In All Things, Charity.)
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To: farmfriend

I say scrap this concept of elections entirely. What is needed is a Republican monarchy, until it is determined that the national average IQ has risen to the level where the election of a Democrat is not possible.


33 posted on 10/25/2004 6:38:02 PM PDT by omniscient
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To: Beelzebubba

Thank you for interjecting that bit of sanity, bubba. There are several more current threads that need that simple but powerful factoid.


34 posted on 10/25/2004 6:41:07 PM PDT by StAnDeliver
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To: omniscient

Snicker!


35 posted on 10/25/2004 6:41:20 PM PDT by farmfriend ( In Essentials, Unity...In Non-Essentials, Liberty...In All Things, Charity.)
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To: farmfriend

How can socialism become the status quo? Change the rules so it is impossible to comply without legal challenge. The electoral system works but only when it works to the advantage of the left. Otherwise the system is flawed. The left are the biggest complainers when they lose. And how great they gloat when they can win.

I hope to see a landslide win for Bush. Then all the leftists equations for disenfranchisement and fraud fall apart.


36 posted on 10/25/2004 6:41:24 PM PDT by o_zarkman44
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I would only add a brief excoriation of dunce's sophistry...
"First, get rid of the electors: human electors are a disaster waiting to happen, an invitation to bribery, fraud, or simple stupidity."

When and where has this ever happened, dunce?

"Just give each candidate the number of electoral votes he earns on election day. Second, make each state do what Nebraska and Maine do: give one vote to the winning candidate in each congressional district, and two votes to the candidate who wins the state."

Translation: You won't get back from California what we will take from the Midwestern urban centers.

Hey dunce -- rather than screwing with the electoral college, how about you go have intercourse with yourself instead?

37 posted on 10/25/2004 6:42:30 PM PDT by StAnDeliver
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I think the victory will be decisive enough to ensure the outcome is not questioned.


38 posted on 10/25/2004 6:42:55 PM PDT by farmfriend ( In Essentials, Unity...In Non-Essentials, Liberty...In All Things, Charity.)
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To: farmfriend

From the archive of Discover magazine: Math Against Tyranny

http://www.discover.com/web-exclusives/math-against-tyranny/


39 posted on 10/25/2004 6:44:03 PM PDT by Peelod (Perversion is not festive)
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To: farmfriend

From the archive of Discover magazine: Math Against Tyranny

http://www.discover.com/web-exclusives/math-against-tyranny/


40 posted on 10/25/2004 6:45:13 PM PDT by Peelod (Perversion is not festive)
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To: farmfriend

If it isnt close they cant cheat enough to win...though they sure are trying hard this time out...

Their attitude is that a loss means they just didnt cheat hard enough...not that they are wrong
or that the American people have a right to choose who they want for leaders..

Democrats are in fact the exact opposite of what they claim to stand for...

imo


41 posted on 10/25/2004 6:48:33 PM PDT by joesnuffy (America needs a 'Big Dog' on her porch not a easily frightened, whining, French,"Surrender Poodle"..)
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To: joesnuffy
Ever read Carter's book Turning Point? It's about his first election to state office. He lost but they found so much voter fraud that the election was over turned and he was installed in office. Because of this they passed a law that you could no longer vote if you had been dead more than 3 years. True story.
42 posted on 10/25/2004 6:51:03 PM PDT by farmfriend ( In Essentials, Unity...In Non-Essentials, Liberty...In All Things, Charity.)
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To: dufekin
There will be Liberal America and Conservative America, the latter of which will prevail increasingly for demographic reasons.

Liberal's power base and structure has declined with every election cycle for at least the past decade, both on the federal and state levels. Some people get it, like Zell Miller and John Breaux, e.g., but most liberals are in denial. Their undying allegiance to Clinton in the 90's and their hatred for Bush now has blinded them to reality. I have been waiting for many years for there to be a civil war in the Democrat Party and for someone of a moderate bent with at least a shred of integrity to rise from the ashes, but the Clintons have too much of a stranglehold on the party fundraising machine to allow that to happen.

If Kerry loses, the vitriol will be even more palpable. There may actually be some finger pointing among Democrats, but in the end, they'll continue to worship at the feet of the almightly Clintons. Hillary will be practically anointed for 2008 and she will lose badly to whomever the Republicans put up. Maybe then, the Clintons will ride off into the sunset or better for us, they'll continue to sink the Democrat Party further depths.

43 posted on 10/25/2004 6:52:13 PM PDT by randita
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To: farmfriend

A Modest Proposal: Instead of changing the Electoral College, let's change who gets to vote, and how much that vote is worth. For example; If you are a military (active or reserve-honorable or general discharge)veteran, you get one vote, if you are a non-veteran, but pay income or property taxes (and can prove it), you get half a vote, should you not qualify under either category, yet you still wish to vote, you may perform supervised community service for six months, to qualify for a quarter of a vote.


44 posted on 10/25/2004 6:55:42 PM PDT by The Loan Arranger (At least Jane Fonda "apologized".)
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To: farmfriend

The electoral college keeps the more populous states from unduly influencing the election. It damps out the effect of fraud. It is truly an example of *representative republicanism.* That's why the only whiners you hear complaining about it are Democrats.


45 posted on 10/25/2004 7:11:25 PM PDT by valkyrieanne (card-carrying South Park Republican)
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To: randita
There are several ultimate possibilities. Because liberal power decreases as liberals (1) fail to convert conservatives to their ideology; (2) fail to procreate and rear new liberals due to their pro-death platform; and (3) sometimes jump to the conservative side when they become successful enough to pay taxes, the Liberal America will either:

(A) like the Federalists after the election of 1800, retreat to their Northeast and Left-Coast redoubt and put up a nasty temper tantrum but eventually dissipate;

(B) like the Dixiecrats after the election of 1860, separate into one (or perhaps two) independent nations in open rebellion. Considering the open and serial traitor of their candidate, this possibility should not be considered fanciful.

(C) like the Democrats after the election of 1896, recognize their errors, panic, wait for a Republican schism , and then adopt their platform en toto and ride it all the way to the ballot box.

(D) like the Republicans after the election of 1932, await an opposition disaster and capitalize by adopting a newfound ideology and winning converts.
46 posted on 10/25/2004 7:15:36 PM PDT by dufekin (President Kerry would have our enemies partying like it's 1969, when Kerry first committed treason.)
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To: valkyrieanne
The electoral college keeps the more populous states from unduly influencing the election.

That was my argument when I got California State Grange policy changed. I said I didn't want NY, LA, and SF electing my President every time.

47 posted on 10/25/2004 7:15:57 PM PDT by farmfriend ( In Essentials, Unity...In Non-Essentials, Liberty...In All Things, Charity.)
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To: DSBull

In the dingbat cave, they asked the question if Bush won the popular vote and Kerry won the electoral vote, who would be the president. Now keep in mind, these are the same people who say Bush stole the election because Gore got the popular vote. Yep, in their small minds, they said why of course Kerry would be president if he won the electoral votes. One brave dingbat said wouldn't that be kind of hypocrytical beings they had always called Bush illegitimate. But they said well payback is hell.


48 posted on 10/25/2004 7:25:21 PM PDT by beckysueb (REMEMBER: You better hope we don't win!)
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To: Tacos

Yep. Too much room for someone to with hold their electoral vote like that one woman did in 2000.


49 posted on 10/25/2004 7:27:11 PM PDT by beckysueb (REMEMBER: You better hope we don't win!)
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To: omniscient

I second that motion!


50 posted on 10/25/2004 7:34:23 PM PDT by beckysueb (REMEMBER: You better hope we don't win!)
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