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I was bored so I decided to re-examine the 2000 Presidential Vote using some numbers I found here.  I tried to apply a fairer version of the electoral college, where the EVs were proportionally awarded, and the results may surprise you.

One thing people always mention is that Bush won even though Gore won the popular vote.  Aside from all the obvious stuff about Florida.

I've long held the opinion that the popular vote argument is stupid.  I'm actually in support of the general concept of the electoral college.  We have a nation with a history of balancing popular representation with regional representation.  Even our congress is set up that way - the Senate gives states equal representation, while the House is (in theory) set up for popular representation.  I believe there's ultimately an environmental argument to give states an extra bit of regional representation.  So it makes sense to me that the electoral college would strike the same difference, of giving each state different weightings to balance its popular representation (by awarding it one electoral vote for each congressional district) with its regional representation (by also giving each state one electoral vote for each of its two senators).

So, if we accept for argument's sake that the general concept is a good one (especially since it would be just about impossible to change it constitutionally), how good is our actual implementation of it?  One of the common arguments against the electoral college is that each of the states are "winner take all", so for instance none of the Democrats in Alabama are having their votes "counted" in the electoral college calculations.  (In general I believe this balances out because other states that go Democratic will then not have their Republican citizens "count".)

But what would be more fair?  Leaving aside the question of how we determine how many congressional districts (and electoral votes) each state receives, how can we help voters in each state feel less disenfranchised?

One thing that would be more fair would be to proportionally award the electoral votes, by how much popular support each candidate received in each state.  If the real purpose is just to better represent states that have regional interests but not as much population, then it really is just a matter of weighted averages.  So if Texas had 32 electoral votes, and Gore had 38% of the Texas vote, then he'd get 12.16 electoral votes.

Rather than deal with the 269-vote rule (since this approach  would definitely mean that third parties would make a close vote unwinnable), I decided to look at it as a weighted popular vote.

So I went through and calculated it for each state - and rather than figure it in terms of electoral votes, I figured it in terms of person votes.  Since the smaller states have more regional weighting, the votes of the people in those states effectively count for more than they do for people in California.  By weighting all the votes by how much their states are worth, I came up with some interesting results:

Of the 105,412,329 votes cast in 2000, when the votes are weighted properly for regional representation, Bush actually won:


Bush: 48.17%
Gore: 48.01%
Nader: 2.77%
Other: 1.05%

This "weighted popular vote" is even closer than the regular popular vote we had, where Gore led by 0.5%.  

So it looks like that if we had had a "fairer" electoral college, Bush would have won.  But we all know Bush won unfairly.  Why was Gore in the position to have been the rightful winner, even though the intent of the system would have picked Bush?

Believe it or not, it's because Gore's strategy worked better.  Of the top seven closest states, Gore won five of them.  The other two were New Hampshire, and of course, Florida, which Gore actually won.  What this means is that the argument of "I'm an x in a y state so my votes didn't count" actually worked in the Democrats favor in 2000.  Basically, Gore squeezed a lot of blood out of the turnip of 2000, with the Nader distraction, an apathetic Democratic base, and a population that underestimated Bush's conservatism.  We can complain about the electoral college disenfranchising Democrats in Republican states, but actually the Republicans were more disenfranchised by it in 2000.

To me this just underscores that what we really need to focus on in 2004 is not so much the inequities of the system in 2000.  Instead we need to focus on passion, organization, turnout, and coverting new voters.  I think we'd ultimately be doing ourselves a disservice if we focused on simply duplicating 2000 with a few tweaks here and there.  The truth is it's a much bigger battle than that, we lost, and we need to make bigger strategic changes to increase our chances in 2004.  The "we wuz robbed" mentality might actually be bad for us if we focus too much on simply undoing the wrongs of 2000.

^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~

Some notes - Some of Nader's votes are actually in "Other" somewhere, because some states records are incomplete in the source I used.

What the Democrats should really be doing is convincing 30,000 California Democrats to move to the east side of Lake Tahoe.  I mean geez, just live in your vacation home for three months next winter, long enough to register, vote, and move back.  If the states are the same as 2000, you'd swing the whole election.

If you believe as I do that the general concept of the electoral college is a good one - balancing popular with regional representatiaon - there are still some other grounds on which to oppose its implementation.  First, a closer examination of why it actually has to be 538 votes, or a 436:102 ratio of popular to regional representation.  Why did they pick those numbers, and does it perhaps warrant changing the ratio as our population grows?  Second, there could be a closer examination of census statistics, to actually award fractional EVs to each state.

Originally posted to tunesmith on Sun Dec 07, 2003 at 07:41 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Re: 2000 Electoral College Re-Examined (3.55)
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  •  Re: 2000 Electoral College Re-Examined (none)
    The proportional EV proposal I saw that made the most sense in terms of logistics was:
    1. EV for each congressional district won.
    2. EVs for winning the overall state vote.
    Maine and Nebraska, I think is the second, do this already.

    But fractional electoral votes? That's a bit of a non-starter.

    •  Re: 2000 Electoral College Re-Examined (none)
      Congressional districts can be, and are, gerrymandered. This system would hand the presidency to the party that is more effective at gerrymandering.

      State lines are flawed as far as geographical boundaries to use for electoral votes go, but at least they can't be gerrymandered.

    •  Re: 2000 Electoral College Re-Examined (none)
      An illuminating stat about the gerrymandering - in 2000 Gore got more popular votes.  But of the 435 congressional districts, Bush won 239-196.  Until the House actually reflects popular representation, this approach wouldn't work.

      Bush also won the states 30-20 I believe.  So that would have been 299 - 236, not counting D.C.

  •  Re: 2000 Electoral College Re-Examined (none)
    A: Saying "if THIS were our system" is ridiculous. You might as well say "if we were a marxist state" or "if we were a benign dictatorship".. its' equally as meaningless.

    B: Conveniently saying "that florida stuff" is .. just dumb. People need to get the 90k people 'purged' from the rolls. They need to understand local florida police stopping black on the way to the polls. They need to comprehend local elections board locking out journalists. They need to comprehend a blatantly unconstitutional, illogical Supreme Court decision.

    C: Jump on the republican bandwagon about florida if you want. These are the facts. Barring GOP corruption of DEMOCRACY Al Gore would be president of the United States. He won the popular vote. He won the florida vote. He won Florida.

    If your willing to say "well since they were Successful at illegally overthrowing the Florida voters decision we must grant them florida" then you must not understand democracy .. either direct or representative very well.

    By that argument the right wing can just call out its Neonazi and KKK buddies to keep the "evil darkies" from voting and... its ok.

    BUSH LOST. What is so complex about that.

    •  Re: 2000 Electoral College Re-Examined (none)
      The point wasn't so much to invent a hypothetical system.  It keeps the electoral vote system and the way the states are  weighted.  But I see a lot of arguments about how people complain about feeling "disenfranchised" by the electoral college.  So my point was to show that if everyone actually had their vote count in the national tally, Bush still would have won.

      Given that, an extra 500 or 1000 votes in Florida wouldn't have made a bit of difference.  Bush actually had broader support in the nation than Gore did in terms of the recorded votes.  Gore was as close as he was because the electoral college inequities actually worked in Gore's favor.

      By the way, I really really like how you end up comparing me to a Nazi skinhead.  Very intelligent debate tactic.

      The question of whether the recorded votes reflect what people intended to vote for is an extremely relevant matter, but also a different matter.  But even 90,000 votes wouldn't have made a difference.  In the weighted popular vote, Bush won by 180,000.

      To make sure my point is understood - I'm not saying the weighted popular vote "exists".  But I'm saying it is the clearest reflection of how our system is set up.  When our results differ from it, it's just because of inequities in our electoral college implementation.  But we can't control which way those inequities are going to swing - that's where the system is going to be gamed, or is going to be affected by random influences.

      So, regarding the felon disenfranchisement, etc.  Do we know enough to have faith that there will be significantly less of that in 2004?

      Regarding the regular voter disenfranchisement of being x in y states.  Can we rely that this inequity will break to the Democrat side in 2004 as it did in 2000?

      And, given the butterfly ballots.  Can we trust that the democratic tally will more accurately reflect the democratic voting intent than it did in 2000?

      My point is to show that the vote will be a result of how the system is set up, and how the system can be gamed.  We lost in 2000.  The more we comfort ourselves by saying that our effort was actually good enough in 2000 and that we lost only because we wuz robbed, the less realistic we are about what we actually need to do in 2004.  

      •  Re: 2000 Electoral College Re-Examined (none)
        Sorry i overreacted. I do have a big mouth (at least i know my flaws heh)

        It just sorta grates my nerves to see people at Kos.. who i KNOW are aware of the actual truth, repeating the bs spin the media put out. Lord Cokie Roberts is the first woman in my lifetime ive ever wanted to punch in the mouth after some of the blatantly anti-democratic gop bs she was spouting that horrid day.

  •  Re: 2000 Electoral College Re-Examined (none)
    Greens lost us the election in Florida. Slice it any way you want, that's what happened.

    I agree that's the past and this is the future. And there's more than enough room for Greens in the Dem party, so I forgive them all and invite them to come home. But if Nader runs again, no one should vote for him, even in Texas. The idea that I'm in x or y state so it doesn't matter is bullshit. It's worse than not voting. It encourages the asshole to do it again.

    Provocative? Too bad. The is real life, children. We have an election to win and you don't win by voting for a third party. You just throw the election to the other guy.

    Republican-leaning Greens are welcome to vote for whoever they want as an alternative to the boy king. But those handful of votes are not worth discussing.

    •  Re: 2000 Electoral College Re-Examined (none)
      I respectfully disagree. There are lots of scapegoats out there for you. There are many things worth fighting for besides the election of a president.

      But your being angry and hostile is one of the things that the Greens wanted from you and they have succeeded (granted most of your anger is because of Bush, but still at least some is at the Greens). While they may have wanted you to understand their issues, it appears that they failded there. But your anger at losing the election because the Greens split the vote works towards another of their goals which is electoral reform (IRV, AV, Condorcet, Proportional representation).

      Jeff W., Edgewater, Chicago - Dean's got a lock, it's safe to vote Kucinich.

      by wegerje on Sun Dec 07, 2003 at 01:08:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Re: Misplaced anger and hostility? (none)
        No. I've thought long and hard about this for years (seeing as how we had the time, although not constantly) ;~P.

        There are times in political life that self-indulgence can be excused. There are times that it can't, and, my friend, this is one of those times. I don't mention Greens because I'm reliving 2000  (although this is the topic of the Diary, after all).

        It's relevent because and only because Nader is making noises about running again. I support green issues such as I understand them (and that would be American Greens as the Europeans are another entity altogether).

        Any Green who knowing the Florida and 2000 outcome would still vote for Nader, I say bless you for having the courage of your convictions. It's a free country and vote any way you want.Any Green who knowing the outcome would switch their vote (and I suspect, my friend, there'd be more than 537 or so) I say learn from 2000 and stop going down that path. A Nader run is a huge boost for Junior. Any one who still doesn't get it doesn't understand a blessed thing about elections, and we just can't afford that kind of self-indulgence. We have Supreme Court vacancies staring us in the face, war and peace issues, constitutional separation/balace of powers issues... and anything that favors Junior (especially unintentionally) needs to be looked at squarely in the face. And the Green vote in Florida was volitional last time.

        Had Nader ruled out a 2004 run, I would not even be bringing it up. I would be railing about the vanity candidates who haven't yet dropped out for reasons that have to do with ego and ambition rather than what's good for their country. That would be Dennis the K, the Rev. Al, and CMB.

        I'm not yet pushing a specific Dem candidate yet. But anyone who wants to bury their head in the sand and pretend Flordia didn't happen (count the votes... just count the votes) risks doing it again. And that is unforgivable.

      •  Re: 2000 Electoral College Re-Examined (none)
        Can you expand your point?  Every Democrat, Republican, and Green should be in favor of a better vote-counting system that more accurately interprets the voters preferences.  What would be a good step is if each state used Condorcet and then awarded EVs as they do now.  This is the first time I've seen preference voting offered up as some weird conspiracy.
        •  Re: 2000 Electoral College Re-Examined (none)
          You talking to me? If so I wasn't suggesting any kind of weird conspiracy. I'm not sure how conscious Green voters are of the impossibility of a third party ever (well practically) winning in a winner-take-all geography based system we have. As they wise up they will begin to realize how important electoral reform is and will begin to campaign more and more strategically, with one of their strategies being pointing out how dangerous it is for the two parties to allow the possibility of a spoiler third party (i.e. Nader, Perot) and encourage them (the two parties) into electoral reform for all of their goods. I think that the New Mexico Green party has struggled with these issues.

          Jeff W., Edgewater, Chicago - Dean's got a lock, it's safe to vote Kucinich.

          by wegerje on Sun Dec 07, 2003 at 06:20:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Re: 2000 Electoral College Re-Examined (none)
            Ahh.  I get it, and fully agree.  Your first comment read like their advocacy of preference voting was as silly as their rationales for Nader.  Er, I mean, that's how I took it.  ;-)  Greens supporting preference voting is a good thing, and Democrats and Republicans should support it also.
      •  Re: 2000 Electoral College Re-Examined (none)
        Every system I've ever seen for election reform would have turned Green votes overwhelmingly into Gore votes.  How can Green's argue that they didn't steal the election and yet propose a system that prevents the precise result caused by their votes?
        •  Re: 2000 Electoral College Re-Examined (none)
          I'm not sure I follow your line of thought. Are you saying that Greens wanted Bush to win? How did the Greens "steal" the election?

          I guess the Greens could say "We didn't want Bush to win, the bad electoral system made us do it." or "We didn't cause Bush to win the bad electoral system caused Bush to win. We just wanted to vote our hearts and principles."

          That's not me speaking, mind you. I don't consider voting for the lesser of evils a betrayal of my heart or principles anymore than I consider driving my car a betrayal of the environment. It's the "capitalist system" that is betraying the environment.

          But maybe I'm not answering your question?

          Jeff W., Edgewater, Chicago - Dean's got a lock, it's safe to vote Kucinich.

          by wegerje on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 01:32:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Re: 2000 Electoral College Re-Examined (none)
          Well, any Nader voter who preferred Gore to Bush was honestly a negative influence on the vote.  They were trying to vote their principles but by using a system that didn't have room for those principles.  You have to marry intent with action to be principled.  In the future it would be more principled to vote for the most preferable candidate that has a solid chance of winning, and in the meantime work towards implementing preference voting on the state level.  If you could vote Nader->Gore->Bush in your state, then you've voted your principles using a system that has room for them, and then the state could award its electoral votes to the overall winner.

          Research your state's constitution and your state's secretary-of-state office to find out their philosophy on preference voting.  Many state constitutions explicitly allow preference voting already.

          •  Re: 2000 Electoral College Re-Examined (none)
            My opinion has been subtly shifting lately, too... namely, it might actually be better to work towards folding the Green influence into the Democratic party, building coalitions and influence, rather than working to implement preference voting.  Because even if Green gets powerful enough to get Green electoral votes in one state, it ultimately splits the electoral vote in the same way that we now deal with the Greens splitting the statewide popular vote.  You don't really want to do that until there is a large Green representation in the House.

            So really maybe it's both.  Work towards preference voting for statewide House (national) and state legislature candidates, but having an intra-Democratic coalition for better Green influence.

            •  Re: 2000 Electoral College Re-Examined (none)
              You make a good point concerning the effects of some states sending third party representatives to the Electoral College. I don't have a clear picture of the path (paths) to achieve these sorts of reforms. I can see that the word has to get out there for the need for reform; I can see the need to show the different possible kinds of electoral reform; and I currently see the value of using sohpisticated voting systems in places where people can become familiar with them, places like MoveOn.org, Neighborhood organizations, NGO's in general. I can even see the dKos polling technology as an "educational" opportunity for preference systems.

              But the steps or stages after that and the consequences of scaling up to the state and national levels I have not given much thought to.

              Jeff W., Edgewater, Chicago - Dean's got a lock, it's safe to vote Kucinich.

              by wegerje on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 06:42:09 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Scapegoats (none)
      Greens lost us the election in Florida. Slice it any way you want, that's what happened.

      Please, this is a tired way to transfer responsibility for a race Democrats lost themselves.  Forget about the utterly miserable campaign run by a lackluster candidate. That was bad enough.

      Where was the party in '99 when Jeb and his Texas consulting firm (who donated to the Bush campaign) illegally whacked 94,000 registered voters off the Florida rolls, the vast majority African-Americans? Where was the national party on that one?  Where was the presumptive candidate? Correcting this injustice alone would have more than counteracted the Green vote. It would also have shown a portion of our base that we were willing to go to the mat for them.  But our party leaders lacked the backbone.

      Add to that the mishandling of the recount and the failure of Senate Democrats to stand with the Congressional Black Caucus and refuse to certify the election. Plenty of fingers to point without involving the Greens.

      •  Re: 2004 election (none)
        Bad candidates are the number one reason why we lose, no doubt about it, and the primary responsibility in 2000 lies with Gore because he didn't get enough votes to overcome the crooks who stole the election.  Florida merely speaks to what happens when we don't learn our lessons. But get over the finger pointing meme. I'm looking forward, not back, Phil S. Are you encouraging Greens to vote their interest and vote Dem? Do greens support the leave-no-lobbyist-behind energy bill of 2003 because it has alternative energy sources or are they against it because it's written by the oil industry? Are you encouraging Nader not to run in 2004 because it helps Bush ?

        This is no game, and the GOoPers have learned their lessons about holding their nose and voting for the standard-bearer even though said candidate isn't pure. That's why they've been winning lately. Where are we in regard to that process? When I see Greens for Dean (or whoever) or Greens against Nader in 2004, I'll stop.

        I've said my piece. Rant over.

        •  Greens (none)
          Well, I think a lot of Greens have realized what's at stake in '04 and will vote to oust Bush.  Some won't of course.

          I'm looking forward, not back, Phil S

          Not in the comment I replied to you weren't.  I'm merely reacting to a tendency (and maybe this isn't how you meant it) of angry Democrats to blame the 2000 fiasco solely on the Greens.  To me that's counterproductive because it doesn't force us to look at our failings in the runup to 2000.

          Dean has attracted quite a few Greens, many of whom post here.

          This is no game, and the GOoPers have learned their lessons about holding their nose and voting for the standard-bearer even though said candidate isn't pure. That's why they've been winning lately. Where are we in regard to that process?

          I don't think the Rs have been holding their noses when they vote.  They are getting the candidates they want. I think for too long the "holding your nose" meme has been SOP in the Democratic Party.  The DLC "Pub Lite, all-things-to-all-people" approach has given us candidates that no Democrat feels strongly about and looks like a ersatz Republican to Indies, who then vote for the real thing.

          •  Re: Holding your nose (none)
            Gore lost Gore's election. Greens voted 98,488 strong for Nader in Florida in 2000 (or thereabouts). That's something I'd like to see not happen in 2004 nor in any other state.

            I don't think the Rs have been holding their noses when they vote.  They are getting the candidates they want. I think for too long the "holding your nose" meme has been SOP in the Democratic Party.

            Phil S., he's getting upwards of 85% support from Repubs in every poll, even though the support for his policies (economy, Iraq, etc.) is closer to 50-50, and the individual policy support even amongst repubs is lower than the 85% support level. The Dem support is always lower the opposite way.

            Here is from a recent piece by Doyle McManus (LA Times, but comments like it are all over the web:

            "But this week, when asked whether it had been worth going to war, only 48% said yes; 43% said no. Underlying that relatively even split is a marked partisan divide: Only 30% of Democrats now say the war was worthwhile, compared with 76% of Republicans.

            The fear of a long military entanglement cuts across political boundaries, but with a partisan gap as well. Asked how they felt about the possibility that the United States could become "bogged down" in Iraq, 86% of all respondents said they were concerned, and most said they were "very concerned." But Democrats expressed more concern than Republicans.

            (...)

            Combine that with comments from another source (also from LA Times):

            "Even if I don't line up with him exactly on all his policies, I want a president who stands up for what he believes in," said Robert Koerper, 44, a restaurant owner {in MO}. "You always know where he's coming from. That's the kind of leader I want."

            (....)

            Republicans are voting for Bush. Duh. But they don't necessarily support his individual policies. There's plenty of other reasons they are finding to support him (at least in the polls). That's how I define holding your nose. And that's why you read about Borg repubs and 'herding cats' Dems. Bill Clinton has spoken to the same theme re "Dems fall in love, Repubs fall in line. We need to do both." He was right. And he would know, since Perot won his first election for him.

            No question about your last line. Better candidates make for better elections. Look no further than CA.

            •  Re: Holding your nose (none)
              Spending your energy attacking Greens/Nader is a waste of your valuable time. Any Green you might convince was convinced 3 years ago. Now you are just generating anamosity with potential Dean/Democratic supporters. Give it a rest, sir (or madam). Put your talents to work against Bush and for someone or some issues. This line of thought of yours is wasted negative energy.

              Jeff W., Edgewater, Chicago - Dean's got a lock, it's safe to vote Kucinich.

              by wegerje on Sun Dec 07, 2003 at 05:32:56 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Re: Holding your nose (none)
                I shall take your excellent advice.
                •  Re: Holding your nose (none)
                  I overlooked this response. You are too kind.

                  Jeff W., Edgewater, Chicago - Dean's got a lock, it's safe to vote Kucinich.

                  by wegerje on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 06:48:44 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Re: Holding your nose (none)
                    Judging by later diaries (not by me, and about Matt Gonzalez), it's still a very raw wound for Democrats. But a gilas girl had an excellent article from common ground re Dems demanding much at the national level from Greens whilst giving little locally. I think that's right, and hold my fire at the local level. My critique only holds nationally, while Dems need to do more to support local progressives.

                    Nonetheless, there's a whole lot of unresolved issues here. Just so you know; nothing personal and no disrespect intended.

                    •  Re: Holding your nose (none)
                      I would not call myself a Green, although I'm sure I support a huge percentage of their platform and I did vote for Nader (but I had a Gore sign in my window and I voted in Illinois). Of course, my vote in and of itself is pretty meaningless since I voted for Perot the election before. I had already voted for Clinton once and he didn't need my vote the second time. I said in 92 that I was voting Republican - Clinton. So, yes I can vote the lesser of evil when needed. But the rest of the time I am just trying to budge the status quo off its over-bearing balance.

                      That said I agree that the national level of the Green Party is weakly led and strategically poor. But in a sense, they too are a necessary evil. They serve to remind us of just how far to the right this country has gone and they remind us of just how Quixotic third party attempts are in winner-take-all gerrymandered elections.

                      At this point feel free to go at me tooth and nail anytime without fear that I will take it personally.

                      I have recently become a fan of a gilas girl. Her comments are always intelligent, well thought out and insightful.

                      Jeff W., Edgewater, Chicago - Dean's got a lock, it's safe to vote Kucinich.

                      by wegerje on Tue Dec 09, 2003 at 12:01:03 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

    •  Re: 2000 Electoral College Re-Examined (none)
      Well, obviously Nader wasn't the only reason.  But there's a point to pay attention to.

      Given that people voting for Nader knew he wouldn't win, the only people that had any business voting for him were the people who honestly saw no difference between the other candidates.

      Anyone who honestly preferred Gore over Bush, though, should have voted for Gore, since they were the only two candidates with a shot at winning.

      There's no way to "vote your principles" if you're using a voting system that doesn't have room for them.

      Ultimately though, the failure to educate the Nader voters of this fact was the Democrats failure, not the Greens.

      And again, the question is, have the Democrats done anything to educate voters to be smarter in 2004?  Bush sure has, so maybe that question is moot.  But the point still is that we have to do a lot more in 2004 than just make up for 2000 strangeness.  We need a lot more support than that.

  •  Re: 2000 Electoral College Re-Examined (none)
    The problem with this reweighing is that there is one implicit assumption in it that is flawed. This is that the people who didn't vote would have voted the same way as the people who did vote. If you think about it, you'd expect voters and non-voters to be rather different groups demographically.

    Many of the states that went for Bush had lower than average voter turnout and registration percentages. (This is why the popular vote went to Gore, while the reweighted "electoral" vote goes to Bush.) A good question to ask is, "who were the people who didn't vote in these states, and why didn't they?" I submit that in many cases there was subtle, (and sometimes not so subtle,) disenfranchisement of the poor and minorities, groups that on the balance vote for democrats when they vote.

    A popular vote system would "unfairly" over-represent states where more people vote. But consider the second order effects of such a system. States would be given an incentive to increase their weight by helping more people to vote. There are a lot of things states can do: motor-voter laws to make registering easier, vote by mail like we have here in Oregon. There's also a lot that they can do to stop making it harder to vote, the most obvious being to stop taking away the votes of people who use marijuana.

    •  Re: 2000 Electoral College Re-Examined (none)
      I see your argument, but I deliberately ignored it because I think it cuts both ways, and also becauses there was plenty of other reason for voters to participate in their state elections, besides the Presidential election.  

      I do agree that turnout has a huge effect either way.  But even as how higher turnout would effect each state's per-voter weighting, it could also effect which candidate would win the state.

      Beyond that I'm not sure I entirely see your point.

  •  Re: 2000 Electoral College Re-Examined (none)
    "Ive long held the opinion that the popular vote argument is stupid"

    Democracy is supposed to be based on the popular vote. Whoever gets the most votes should win.

    Our "long tradition" of states rights is based upon coddling slave states during the time of the constitutional convention - not upon any sort of moral logic. The morality of it was invented after the fact, by half-witted writers of high school textbooks.

    •  Re: 2000 Electoral College Re-Examined (none)
      I would love to read a long article that actually details the history of the rationale behind our mix of regional and popular representation, and see evidence of it being a racist rationale.  Right now that's just allegation.  I believe you can make the case that some may have supported it for opportunistic reasons that were racist, but I don't believe yet that was the only or even the main reason.  There are plenty of other democratic institutions that mix things between popular and regional representation.  The United Nations is one - you wouldn't argue that this is for racist reasons.  It would be for nationalistic reasons.  There are plenty of reasons to support state sovereignty other than racism.
  •  Re: 2000 Electoral College Re-Examined (none)
    I've enjoyed this diary and comments, because I have an interest in the electoral college, and I have previously perused the website you linked to.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but the point of the diary is that rural (or small) states are overrepresented in the electoral college.  Is this is what you meant by the "weighted popular vote" then I agree with you.  According to the website you cited, the number of EV for the 7 least populous states (21 EV for 3 million people), is the same as that of florida (9 million people.)

    I also like the website's overall discussion on the electoral college.

    •  Re: 2000 Electoral College Re-Examined (none)
      Well, yes, sorta.  Smaller or rural states have more voting power per citizen than, say, California's citizens.  And the weighting takes that into account.  I think that's a good thing, though.  At least, I think that states should be equally represented somehow.  I'd like a different or better method of representation.  But a nationwide popular vote is actually worse in my opinion.  To best represent our nation, we need to have a broad regional representation as well as a popular representation.
      •  Re: 2000 Electoral College Re-Examined (none)
        Which, of course, is the whole design of the electoral college.  :)  It may not be perfect, but it's the best we got.  (If you don't mind the cliche).  That's why I like the website you link to, it points out all the pros and cons, etc. of the EC.
  •  Re: 2000 Electoral College Re-Examined (none)
    sorry but this whole scenario is crap.

    The fact is Bush and Gore had electoral strategies -
    This is what determined where they were going to --
    Gore's strategy was to concentrate on three swing states Penn , Florida, and Ohio

    If your interpretation of electoral college had been the way that we elect President I am sure Gore's strategy would have been adjusted to reflect a win that wouldh have statisfied you.

    As someone who lives in NY where my Gore vote counted .4 of a vote i don't think it is fair that a vote for bush in montana counted 2.3 votes.

    If every other elected government official in the US is elected by popular vote then President should be also.

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