Wednesday, January 02, 2008


Very seldom do politics and our favorite baseball teams all allign, but an email to Jay Nordlinger puts them all together.
“Popular vote” is a neat phrase, but there is no such thing as a national popular vote. There are 50 statewide votes (plus D.C.). The simplest explanatory example I can think of is the 1960 World Series. It went seven games. The Yankees scored 55 runs. The Pirates scored just 27. The Pirates won four games, and the series. They weren’t playing to see who’d score the most runs over seven games.


joreko said...

The major shortcoming of the current system of electing the President arises from the winner-take-all rule (currently used by 48 of 50 states) under which all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate who gets the most votes in the state. If the partisan divide in a state is not initially closer than about 46%-54%, no amount of campaigning during a brief presidential campaign is realistically going to reverse the outcome in the state. As a result, presidential candidates have no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, campaign, or worry about the concerns in voters of states where they are safely ahead or hopelessly behind. Instead, candidates concentrate their attention on a handful of closely divided “battleground” states. As a result, 88% of the money and visits (and attention) is focused on just 9 states. Fully 99% of the money goes to just 16 states. More than two-thirds of the country is left out.

Another shortcoming of the current system is that a candidate can win the Presidency without winning the most popular votes nationwide.

The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC). The bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes—that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). When the bill is enacted in a group of states possessing 270 or more electoral votes, all of the electoral votes from those states would be awarded, as a bloc, to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

The National Popular Vote bill has 366 legislative sponsors in 47 states. It has been signed into law in Maryland. Since its introduction in February 2006, the bill has passed by 12 legislative houses (one house in Colorado, Arkansas, New Jersey, and North Carolina, and two houses in Maryland, Illinois, Hawaii, and California).


E said...

If high-minded egalitarians want to start allocating electoral votes in their blue states, that will not be fine with me. Nor did I like it when Republican legislators suggested it in California last year. The electoral system, like most everything else the Founders set up, is genius and keeps the major vote fraud contained to a few states.

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