The Electoral College


This is probably one of the worst ideas that the Founding Fathers ever had after slavery, women not being considered equal, and treatment of Native Americans.  OK, maybe they had as many good ideas as bad.  But the general idea is that normal people can’t be trusted to directly elect their President.  Given my feelings about low information voters and undecided voters, you’d think I’d be all for it.  But I’m not.

Here’s how it works.  There are 538 electoral votes and they are divided amongst the states depending on population.  So for example, New York has 29 electoral votes and Texas has 38.  In order to be President, you have to get the majority (270) of the electoral votes.  There are so many problems with this system.  First of all, it’s overly complicated.  Secondly, your vote doesn’t really count; at least not the way you think it does.  Let’s say you’re a progressive from Dallas Texas and you want to vote for the current President.  Sure you cast your vote for Obama but too bad for you because Texas is overwhelmingly a Red State.  Therefore, Texas’ 38 electoral votes will be cast for Mitt Romney.  Conversely, if you’re a conservative from New York, the exact opposite will happen.  Because there’s no way that New York won’t be casting its electoral votes for President Obama.

The popular vote is immaterial for the purposes of picking the President.  There have been several times in our history where candidates have lost the popular vote but won the presidency.  I’m sure everyone ‘fondly’ remembers the election of 2000 where Bush lost the popular vote but won because of the electoral college.  The electoral college makes it so all votes are not equal.

There are areas of the country that are reliably either Blue or Red.  So what ends up happening is the election ends up being decided in the so-called swings states.  All of the money, campaign ads, and energy ends up being focused there.  After all, why should President Obama campaign Massachusetts when that state always votes for Democrats nationally?  And why should Mitt Romney campaign in Oklahoma when it always votes for Republicans?

Voters in the swing states matter more than people like me.   And that’s not right.  If we want to have a true democratic republic, direct election by popular vote is the way to go.   All that being said, here’s my prediction for the election…

Looking at the reliable states my rough tally is: President Obama – 217, Governor Romney  – 191.  That leaves 130 electoral votes in the swing states (Nevada, Colorado, Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida).

Here’s my prediction – Obama – 299, Romney -239.  Here’s my map.

State Called for Reason
Nevada Obama Republicans are in disaray out there plus the state is 27% Latino.
Colorado Obama 20% Latino population plus its more educated than the national averge, 35.9% with a college degree.
Iowa Obama President is up by 4 points plus early voting has already commenced.
Wisconsin Obama President up by 2 points plus the state has a strong labor movement, which supports Democrats generally.
Ohio Obama President is up by 2 points plus the auto bailout is very popular there.
Pennsylvania Obama President is up by 4 points currently.
New Hampshire Romney Favored son status.
Virginia Obama Unemployment is 5.9% which is way below the national average.
North Carolina Romney Romney leads by 3 points currently and Obama won the state last time by less than 1%.
Florida Romney State with a long history of voter suppression.  Plus the further north you go in Florida the more it looks like Alabama.

Categories: Politics Fix

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