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View Diary: I'm sorry, but the GOP did not 'win' the House (41 comments)

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  •  The problem is your assumptions (0+ / 0-)

    This is, of course, not always true:  

    That a person voting for the President in this election was likely to also vote for a Democratic House of Representative.  And that a person voting for Mittens Romney was likely to vote the opposite.
     

    And it is less and less valid the more "local" an election gets.  People vote based on who is running in their district, not for nationwide "governance," when they vote on a Congressional basis.  That is the system we have, and I don't think it's valid to try to extrapolate those votes into how those same people would have voted if there was a nationwide popular vote on "governance" in the House.  You can't make that assumption.  

    So this is also an invalid assumption:

    Let's also assume then that the vote totals for President are a more clear indication of voter preference with regards to governance than vote totals for Representatives.
    This is the biggest problem.  There is no vote for "governance."  In our system, there is no such thing as "voter preference for governance."  There is only a vote for a candidate in a specific election.  And, while you a acknowledge that many Republican candidates do not have a realistic Democratic candidate, the same is true for many Democratic candidates.  If a person in Louisiana voted for Romney for president, they may well have voted for a Democratic candidate in House District 2 because there was no viable Republican running.  The same is true in reverse -- a person may have voted for the President, but for a Republican in District 1, because there was no viable Democrat running.  

    This may be an interesting intellectual endeavor, but it says nothing about who "won" the House.  For that, we can only go by the system we have.  And under the system we have, the House has more Republicans than Democrats, and a Republican Speaker.  Rep. Scalise, for example, in District 1, was elected with a far greater margin of victory in his district than the President had nationwide, and that was by running on an extremely conservative platform down the line.  It is kind ridiculous to infer that he should take the position that he didn't really "win" his election as part of a House Republican majority and that he should abandon what he campaigned on -- and what got him a landslide victory in his district -- because of some theoretical argument that overall the people of the country as a whole voted for "governance" by Democrats.  

    I'm not saying Republicans in the House (like Scalise) shouldn't compromise --- absolutely they should, and must. They have to realize that the President won re-election, just as they did, and he retains the powers of the Presidency.  But just as they cannot expect the President to completely cave in and abandon everything he ran on and won, the President cannot expect House Republicans, like Rep. Scalise (or Democratic Dist. 2 Rep. Cedric Richmond) to abandon completely what they ran on.  Both sides must compromise, and neither side can be expected to cave in completely, if any governance is to happen.  

    Dealing in theoretical musings about who might have won if we had had a nationwide popular vote for "governance" is useless.  We don't have a system with a nationwide popular vote for anything.  We have an electoral college -- a state by state, not popular vote -- for President, a Senate where members represent the states that elected them, not the country as a whole, and a House where members represent the districts that  elected them, not the country as a whole.

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