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1  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: App to Redraw the States and Change the Electoral Map on: Today at 06:20:25 pm
I reposted this map of an alternate 50 states a few months ago.

I posted a series of redrawn states back in 2013. Two of those posts were requoted in the 5 Midwests thread. The concept was to follow the Nine Nations of North America by J. Garreau (1981), preserve metro areas, and make each state no less than 50% nor more than 200% of the average population of 6.2 million. Data from dialects, agriculture, topography and religion all play into these borders.



Here are the states from that series. They're named for native peoples of the area. I've listed the principal city or cities and the 2010 population (in millions):

Ecotopia
Duwamish (Seattle) 4.7
Chinook (Portland) 3.6
Shasta (Sacramento) 3.6
Ohlone (San Francisco) 9.5

Empty Quarter
Paiute (Reno, Boise, Spokane) 4.8
Ute (Salt Lake City) 3.5
Navajo (Las Vegas) 3.4
Arapaho (Denver) 5.2

Breadbasket
Dakota (Omaha) 4.2
Ojibwe (Minneapolis) 5.6
Sauk (Madison, Des Moines) 5.1
Illini (St Louis) 5.8
Kansa (Kansas City) 4.3
Comanche (Oklahoma City) 5.3
Wichita (Dallas) 9.6

MexAmerica
Yokuts (Fresno) 4.1
Chumash (Los Angeles) 11.1
Cahuilla (San Diego) 10.5
O'odham (Phoenix) 5.7
Apache (El Paso) 3.1
Xarame (San Antonio) 4.3
Tonkawa (Houston) 5.9

New England
Abenaki (Manchester) 3.8
Wampanoag (Boston) 4.9
Pequot (Providence) 5.1

Foundry
Winnebago (Milwaukee) 4.0
Meskwaki (Chicago) 9.7
Potawatomi (Fort Wayne, Grand Rapids) 4.5
Ottawa (Detroit) 5.8
Erie (Cleveland) 4.3
Miami (Indianapolis, Columbus) 8.9
Mingo (Pittsburgh) 8.3
Iroquois (Buffalo) 5.1
Susquehannock (Washington, Baltimore) 10.9
Lenape (Philadelphia) 7.4
Raritan (Newark) 5.5
Munsee (New York) 8.4
Montauk (Brooklyn) 7.6

Dixie
Chitimacha (New Orleans) 3.7
Caddo (Shreveport) 3.3
Osage (Little Rock) 4.6
Tunica (Memphis) 4.4
Chickasaw (Atlanta) 9.4
Shawnee (Nashville, Louisville) 6.8
Cherokee (Knoxville) 8.8
Powhatan (Virginia Beach) 7.5
Catawba (Charlotte) 7.0
Muskogee (Montgomery, Augusta) 9.0
Seminole (Jacksonville) 9.8

Islands
Colusa (Miami) 7.1

Then at Antonio V's request I calculated the apportionment and 2012 result by hand.

I calculated an apportionment and applied the 2012 results as well back in 2013. 436 seats are apportioned to account for the inclusion of DC. Here are the EV's and 2012 winning party.

Ecotopia
Duwamish (Seattle) 9 D
Chinook (Portland) 7 D
Shasta (Sacramento) 7 D
Ohlone (San Francisco) 15 D


Empty Quarter
Paiute (Reno, Boise, Spokane) 9 R
Ute (Salt Lake City) 7 R

Navajo (Las Vegas) 7 D
Arapaho (Denver) 9 R

Breadbasket
Dakota (Omaha) 8 R
Ojibwe (Minneapolis) 10 D
Sauk (Madison, Des Moines) 9 D
Illini (St Louis) 10 D

Kansa (Kansas City) 8 R
Comanche (Oklahoma City) 8 R
Wichita (Dallas) 8 R


MexAmerica
Yokuts (Fresno) 8 R
Chumash (Los Angeles) 18 D
Cahuilla (San Diego) 17 D

O'odham (Phoenix) 10 R
Apache (El Paso) 7 D
Xarame (San Antonio) 8 D

Tonkawa (Houston) 10 R

New England
Abenaki (Manchester) 7 D
Wampanoag (Boston) 9 D
Pequot (Providence) 9 D


Foundry
Winnebago (Milwaukee) 8 D
Meskwaki (Chicago) 16 D
Potawatomi (Fort Wayne, Grand Rapids) 8 D
Ottawa (Detroit) 10 D
Erie (Cleveland) 8 D
Miami (Indianapolis, Columbus) 15 R
Mingo (Pittsburgh) 14 D
Iroquois (Buffalo) 9 D
Susquehannock (Washington, Baltimore) 17 D
Lenape (Philadelphia) 12 D
Raritan (Newark) 10 D
Munsee (New York) 14 D
Montauk (Brooklyn) 13 D


Dixie
Chitimacha (New Orleans) 7 R
Caddo (Shreveport) 7 R
Osage (Little Rock) 9 R
Tunica (Memphis) 8 R
Chickasaw (Atlanta) 15 R
Shawnee (Nashville, Louisville) 12 R
Cherokee (Knoxville) 14 R
Powhatan (Virginia Beach) 13 R
Catawba (Charlotte) 12 R
Muskogee (Montgomery, Augusta) 15 R
Seminole (Jacksonville) 16 R


Islands
Colusa (Miami) 12 D

Total: Obama 300, Romney 236.

The tool on the OP link makes it somewhat easier to calculate the 2016 results, though I can't zoom on my touch screen due to a problem with Chrome and the latest Win 10 release. It keeps me from clicking on the small independent cities and areas like San Francisco and DC. nb. The zoom does work with Edge.

The 2016 map has Navajo, Illini, Winnebago, Potawatomi, Mingo, and Iroquois flip to Trump while Powhatan flips to Clinton. Trump wins 279 to 257.
2  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Are these lyrics ableist? on: November 29, 2016, 07:35:47 am
Wind up your radios dementions and dementites, it's Napoleon XIV.
3  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Federal court strikes down GOP-drawn maps (Wisconsin legislative map) on: November 28, 2016, 11:02:16 pm
Would it be possible for the plaintiffs to, if it reaches the Supreme Court, modify the test a bit so that it helps mitigate the incumbent protection scheme tactic you guys outlined?

I hadn't considered that aspect before, but perhaps it could still serve as a useful part of a multi-part test? With all this in mind, I don't understand how the people behind this test missed this, or perhaps they didn't think it was an issue?

I had some conversations this summer with those involved in the suit. The plaintiff's attorneys are not interested in avoiding incumbent protection. They are interested in insuring Dem representation in the face of growing Pub majorities in state legislatures. The Dem fear is that things are grim enough at the state level going into 2020 they can't regain enough seats in 2018 and 2020 to give them the tools at the state level. So they are pinning hopes on a two-prong legal strategy. One prong is to establish proportional partisan representation above other criteria through the maps, and the other prong is to weaken VRA section 2 to support white Dems representing minority areas allowing the minorities to be cracked to create more Dem districts.
4  About this Site / The Atlas / Re: When do you expect county results for MA, ME, and the rest of IL? on: November 28, 2016, 10:51:28 pm
IL will be certifying its results at the beginning of next week. The missing counties are from those that do not maintain a web page for results. Once the results are certified, the state page should post all data down to the precinct level.
5  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Federal court strikes down GOP-drawn maps (Wisconsin legislative map) on: November 28, 2016, 08:49:40 am
jimrtex gives a number of good examples. I would summarize the wasted-vote measure as one that favors a plan with all districts that are fairly safe and distributed proportionally between the parties. Competitive districts are disfavored, since there is more potential for wasted votes when the electorate shifts its preferences a few points either way and causes a district to flip. If this were the standard for testing gerrymanders then bipartisan incumbent-protection plans would be the norm.

In reality partisan fairness and competitiveness are independent measures, though most attempts at redistricting reform only consider one or the other. Partisan fairness considers the overall distribution of the districts in the plan. Competitiveness considers how well a plan will respond to the changing mood of the voters. When I judge plans I use both measures described as the variables SKEW and POLARIZATION below.

Quote
Definition: PVI. The Partisan Voting Index is based on the method developed by the Cook Political Report and widely used in assessing the political tendencies of congressional districts. It compares the Democratic share of the two-party vote in a state or a district to the Democratic share of the national presidential vote, averaged over the last two presidential elections. Shares are multiplied by 100 to get a percent, and expressed as D+x when positive and R+(-x) when negative.

Definitions: A highly competitive district has a PVI of 0 or 1 (-0.014 to +0.014) and statistically such districts have an even chance of being won by either party. A competitive district has a PVI of 2 through 5 (-0.054 to -0.015 and +0.015 to 0.054) and statistically such districts have an 3 out of 4 chance of being held by the favored party. An uncompetitive district has a PVI of 6 or greater for either party and has better than a 9 in 10 chance of being held by the favored party. This is based on congressional results during the decade from 2000-2008.

Definition: The expected delegation from a state with a known PVI is equal to 50%+2*PVI, so for example a D+5 state would be expected to have a delegation of 60% Democrats. Studies (e.g. Goeddert 2014) show that for every 1% shift in the national vote share there is an average shift by 2% in the number of congressional seats. Extending that to individual states, one can predict that in a 50-50 national election, a state delegation should have a Democratic fraction equal to 50% + 2*(state PVI). The percent difference between the Democratic and Republican fractions is then 4*(state PVI). The difference between the Democratic delegation size and the Republican delegation size should be 4*(state PVI/100)*(size of the delegation), where the division by 100 is to remove the percent.

Item: SKEW measures the partisan fairness of a plan. Find the PVI for the state as a fraction (or divide the percent by 100) and multiply that by 4 times the number of districts. Count 0 for each highly competitive district, +1 for each competitive or uncompetitive Democratic district, and -1 for each competitive or uncompetitive Republican district. Take the total for all districts in the state and subtract the expected state delegation difference. Express a negative number as a positive number in favor of the Republicans. That positive number is the SKEW score, and lower numbers are closer to the ideal partisan fairness.

Item: POLARIZATION measures the competitiveness of a plan. Count 0 for each highly competitive district, 1 for each competitive district, and 2 for each uncompetitive district in a plan. The total for the whole state is the POLARIZATION score, and lower numbers indicate greater competitiveness.
6  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Good polls/Bad polls on: November 27, 2016, 11:09:28 pm
I used a filter on HuffPo based on nonpartisan polls of likely voters only. A 2.5% margin for HRC was what it was predicting. If you account for the undecided and excess Johnson/Stein vote, the predicted margin is a reasonable match to the result.

If you use HuffPo 3-way and limit the polls to nonpartisan pollsters and likely voters the current numbers from their trend lines are Clinton 45.1%, Trump 40.7%, Johnson 5.1%. For the 2-way it gives 45.8% to 42.4% (moderate smoothing)
Why would you do any of this?

This in response to posts on both sides complaining about inclusion of partisan pollsters. HuffPo lets me filter them out so I did this as a point of comparison.

By further comparison that same exercise today has Clinton 45.2%, Trump 42.5%, Johnson 4.9% in the 3-way and Clinton 45.4% to 42.8%  in the 2-way. Clinton's share in both is essentially unchanged from my post 4 days ago.

The Trump line in my exercise is still rising but more slowly than it did last week.

3-way: Clinton 44.5%, Trump 43.6%, Johnson 4.4%
2-way: Clinton 45.3%, Trump 43.6%

The Clinton data is still very steady as it has been over the last month. Note that when Johnson is not included Hillary gets a quarter of his vote, but the rest goes to undecided. To eliminate recent noise and movement between undecided/third party I can put on more smoothing on the two-way results and she is at 46.0%. However, over time Trump continues to gain at the expense of Johnson, but the trend lines don't show him catching her by Tuesday.

I think 538's model is reacting like the trendlines I'm seeing with HuffPo's tool. The Trump poll numbers have stopped moving up so his trendline comes down and hers moves up. Here's what it gives me this afternoon.

3-way: Clinton 45.5%, Trump 42.9%, Johnson 4.5%
2-way: Clinton 46.3%, Trump 43.3%

7  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: BREAKING: Wisconsin to recount presidential votes on: November 26, 2016, 09:22:08 am
Purging voters is hard to get right. Some states may be too tight, but it's also easy to be too loose.

In IL it is very hard to remove a voter from the rolls. For instance, when I voted at 10 am on election day I was surprised to see both of my children in the voter book. My daughter changed her registration to MA for the primaries, but she was still in the book since MA doesn't share those changes with IL. It used to be that local voter registrars could take an affidavit and report those changes such as families that moved and people who died out of their home county The voter rolls were fairly accurate from that process, but that law was removed about a dozen years ago. Now the election authority has to send out a post card to someone they think isn't living at an address, but that can only take place after a voter misses three cycles. So my daughter will probably be on the voter rolls for up to a decade in IL even as she is registered in MA.
8  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: When will somebody put up a new state PVI chart? on: November 26, 2016, 08:44:02 am
Thanks BK, I see how you fooled the BBC table generator. Smiley
9  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: When will somebody put up a new state PVI chart? on: November 25, 2016, 06:10:35 pm
How is Virginia just D+1?   Hillary won it by over five points.

VA in 2012: R 47.3%, D 51.2%, R two party share 48.0%
VA in 2016: R 44.4%, D 49.8%, R two-party share 47.1%
Average R two-party share 47.55%

The R national two-party share was 48.1% in 2012 and 49.2% in 2016, for an average of 48.65%.

The difference is D+1.1% which rounds off to D+1.

That's how the Cook PVI is calculated. It's not the winning margin.

Okay, but 47.1% - 49.2% is still -2.1% for the 2016 numbers alone,  for 2016 it should be D+2 from what I'm seeing.

Just like in 2012 the Republican two party vote share was 48% both nationally and in Virginia, so the state had a PVI of 0. 

If you only used 2016 then you would get D+2. The same measure in 2012 alone gives EVEN. The official numbers use a two cycle average to reduce one-time effects of a particular candidate or event in a state or district.
10  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election Results / Re: Interesting results from your state on: November 25, 2016, 02:14:40 pm
Alexander county, IL was 56-42 for Obama in 2012 and went 53-45 for Trump. Alexander is historically Dem with a 35% black population and a median household income of 25k.
11  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election Results / Re: Results by Region on: November 25, 2016, 09:35:55 am
The regional PVI swings are quite stark. Here is the map showing the net change in PVI and the new PVI table (updated 11/24) from posts I made on the Political Geography board.



Here's my table based on the current numbers on Leip's page.

State2012 PVI2016 PVINet
ALR+14R+140
AKR+12R+9D+3
AZR+7R+5D+2
ARR+14R+15R+1
CAD+9D+12D+3
COD+1D+10
CTD+7D+70
DED+8D+6R+2
DCD+40D+43D+3
FLR+2R+1D+1
GAR+6R+5D+1
HID+20D+18R+2
IDR+18R+19R+1
ILD+8D+7R+1
INR+5R+9R+4
IAD+1R+2R+3
KSR+12R+13R+1
KYR+13R+15R+2
LAR+12R+11D+1
MED+6D+3R+3
MDD+10D+12D+2
MAD+10D+12D+2
MID+4D+1R+3
MND+2D+1R+1
MSR+9R+90
MOR+5R+9R+4
MTR+7R+10R+3
NER+12R+14R+2
NVD+2D+1R+1
NHD+1EVENR+1
NJD+6D+7D+1
NMD+4D+40
NYD+11D+110
NCR+3R+30
NDR+10R+16R+6
OHR+1R+3R+2
OKR+19R+190
ORD+5D+50
PAD+1EVENR+1
RID+11D+10R+1
SCR+8R+80
SDR+10R+14R+4
TNR+12R+13R+1
TXR+10R+8D+2
UTR+22R+20D+2
VTD+16D+15R+1
VAEVEND+1D+1
WAD+5D+7D+2
WVR+13R+19R+6
WID+2EVENR+2
WYR+22R+25R+3
12  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: When will somebody put up a new state PVI chart? on: November 25, 2016, 12:24:43 am
How is Virginia just D+1?   Hillary won it by over five points.

VA in 2012: R 47.3%, D 51.2%, R two party share 48.0%
VA in 2016: R 44.4%, D 49.8%, R two-party share 47.1%
Average R two-party share 47.55%

The R national two-party share was 48.1% in 2012 and 49.2% in 2016, for an average of 48.65%.

The difference is D+1.1% which rounds off to D+1.

That's how the Cook PVI is calculated. It's not the winning margin.
13  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: When will somebody put up a new state PVI chart? on: November 24, 2016, 10:57:00 am
The table tool on the forum doesn't give ideal spacing. I put a heading of "Net" on the last column, but the tool tries to run it into the prior column. Tongue
14  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: When will somebody put up a new state PVI chart? on: November 24, 2016, 10:38:03 am
In your chart, Muon2, for PA how does the average of D+1 and EVEN average to R +!? PA wasn't even for 2016. It must be a typo.

In my chart PA is EVEN after the 2016 results. The 2012 Pub two party fraction nationally was 48.1% in 2012 and 49.2% in 2016, for an average of 48.65%. The 2012 Pub two party fraction in PA was 47.3% and 50.6% in 2016. The average or PA is 48.95%. The difference is R+0.3 which rounds to 0. Did I misread something off the Atlas data?

The map shows the shift in PVI which comes from the last column in my chart. PA was D+1 after 2012 and moves to EVEN, so the shift is R+1.
15  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: When will somebody put up a new state PVI chart? on: November 24, 2016, 08:50:14 am
I've updated my chart with the latest numbers from the Atlas. Here's a map version of the shifts. The regional changes are pretty dramatic.

16  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: What congressional districts/equivalents have you been in in 2016? on: November 23, 2016, 12:28:58 am
This year I took the holiday week to visit family in KY and TN before arriving for my annual visit to KC MO.

CO-1,2,3,4,5,6,7
CT-1,2,3,5
IL-1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18
IN-1,2,3,4,5,7,9
IA-1,2,3,4
KS-1,2,3
KY-1,2,3,4,5,6
MA-1,2,3,4,5,6
MI-3,4,5,6,7,8,10,13
MO-1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8
NE-1,3
NH-1,2
NY-18,21,22,24,25,26,27
OH-4,5,7,9,11,13,16
PA-3,5,10,11,17
TN-7
UT-3
VT-AL
WI-1,4,5,6

Total: 83 101

Canada (13)
ON: Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale, Brant, Burlington, Hamilton Centre, Hamilton East-Stoney Creek, Huron-Bruce, Lambton-Kent-Middlesex, Niagara Falls, Niagara West-Glanbrook, Oxford, Perth-Wellington, St Catharines, Sarnia-Lambton

Edited to reflect a return home through St Louis. My county count increased by 32 during the trip. My new total of 1588 breaks the halfway number to 3144.
17  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Bruce Rauner in 2018 on: November 22, 2016, 08:04:22 am
Rauner will win, atlas is never right.

In all seriousness, he is underestimated as a candidate and out of staters don't understand the pathological hatred of Michael Madigan by the majority of Illinois and the Republican war chest that will remind them. Tossup.


I'd be willing to bet most people in Illinois don't know who Michael Madigan is, tbh. Atlas mistake #1 is to all voters have as deep a knowledge into their state's inner workings as you do.

There was some poll posted here a while back that asked IL residents who they blamed most for the state's problems - Madigan or Rauner - and Downstate, Collar Counties, and Suburban Cook County all said Madigan by big margins. The city of Chicago blamed Rauner, but I believe the margin was a rather underwhelming 52-35.

To add to Dwarven Dragon, this last cycle the entire Pub message for legislative seats was about Speaker Madigan. Pubs won a net of 2 Senate seats and 4 House seats on that message. Dems were close to losing a few additional seats in the Chicago 'burbs even though Clinton was racking up big margins. Even some House Dems are now questioning the direction under the Speaker.
18  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Presidential Election Trends / Re: 2020 census and the 2024 Electoral College Map on: November 21, 2016, 10:36:43 pm
We do one of these threads each year in response to the annual Census release. Here's last year's projection.
19  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: YouTube on: November 21, 2016, 10:22:55 pm
Just one?  No.

Bohemian Rhapsody
- A cover version by the Muppets.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgbNymZ7vqY&feature=related

My favorite YouTube cover of that (with some word play) goes to A Capella Science.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rjbtsX7twc
20  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Urban County Clusters - Delineations on: November 21, 2016, 08:54:36 pm

The characterization which we (muon2 and myself) have used is based on the population within the urbanized areas within the county. In the case of Lancaster County, this includes 397K in the Lancaster Urbanized Area, and 5K in the Philadelphia Urbanized Area, for a total of 402K in urbanized areas (the total and percentages were based on actual values, then rounded).


makes sense.  Thank you.


I don't know whether you have been following the redistricting discussion mostly between Muon2, Torie, and myself, but a goal is to have congressional districts constructed primarily from counties, and to have objective criteria for comparing different plans.


also makes sense, but good luck getting that through the PA legislature.  Here's a map for a typical congressional district:



pretty creative, don't you think?  (The area labeled Salisbury Heights is probably where the 5000 people live who are not in the Lancaster MSA but in the Philadelphia MSA.)

In 2014 the Pubs in the OH legislature realized they may not hold the legislative trifecta indefinitely. They put together a bipartisan compromise that didn't help them keep their 2010 gains, but insured that the reverse couldn't happen. It passed as a constitutional amendment in 2015.

OH didn't have all the fine details of our system, but they headed in some of the right direction. The question is whether PA will also recognize that missing the Gov and Supremes, it won't necessarily be enough to have the legislature. When they realize that, they too may go for an amendment.
21  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: 2018: Should the position on gerrymandering be heavily questioned by the media? on: November 18, 2016, 09:39:38 am
It would be less of a problem if federal law did not mandate that underrepresented minoritiesTM had to have their own safe spaces qua congressional districts.

If Dems hadn't used minorities to maximize their seats without giving some of those seats to the minorities there wouldn't be the federal law. When I saw some of the DKos maps in the last cycle, it looks like there are still many partisans who would return to that style of redistricting if given the chance. As long as there is bloc voting based on race or ethnicity it will remain an issue due to the 15th Amendment, particularly given SCOTUS interpretation that the rights are not merely to cast a vote but to be able to elect representatives of their choice.

Quote
Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
22  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: The last movie you've seen thread 2016 on: November 18, 2016, 12:11:17 am
Doctor Strange was an amazing film, I think I may have a new favorite marvel flick. The visuals were stunning, and the acting was superb.

I can't wait for more of these characters, I will be extremely mad if we don't get a sequel. (Fingers crossed for Nightmare being the main villain)

The trailing scene implied that Strange will be paired with Thor in their next movie.
23  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Remaining votes (Update: about 7 million ballots left to count nationwide) on: November 17, 2016, 09:38:29 am
and with that, republicans lose the PV in 6 of 7 elections, historic margins afaik.

that split happening 2 times in 20 years is something very rare too.....

I have an issue with saying you lose the popular vote when the winner is under 50 by a significant amount. The further away from 50 you are, the less "winning the popular vote" means, and this election more than any other recent election saw a larger dispersal of votes to multiple 3rd party candidates as opposed to just one main one. If Clinton had won 50% of the vote, she probably would've won the Electoral College. That makes 1992, 1996, 2000, and 2016 -four of the past 7 elections - where the person that received the most votes did not achieve a majority.

A Democrat has only gotten a majority of the vote twice in the past 10 elections.

In every other election we have in this country, the candidate with the larger vote share wins the election.   The Presidential vote is the only one where huge chunks of the country can just be written off as irrelevant and the candidate can win with a smaller vote share than the one who got the most votes.  

No matter how you put it....it's a deeply flawed system.

Edit - Not to mention....in practically ANY election where there is a third party candidate(s) that get above 5% of the vote, it becomes practically impossible to get 50% of the vote in the polarized country we live in.

That's not always true in states with runoff elections.
24  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Remaining votes (Update: about 7 million ballots left to count nationwide) on: November 17, 2016, 09:11:40 am
Could MN end up voting very slightly to the right of the US ?

The current final margin there is H+1.51

Nationally, Hillary could also end up ahead with about 1.5% when all ballots are counted.

As of this morning according to Leip's page MN has 49.1% of the two party vote for Trump compared to 49.5% for Trump nationally. So at this point it's still to the left.
25  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: 2018: Should the position on gerrymandering be heavily questioned by the media? on: November 17, 2016, 08:55:24 am
It was a position heavily questioned by the media in IL this last cycle and probably will be next cycle as well. The petition drive for a constitutional amendment that was rejected along party lines by the IL SC was fuel for the media questioning this year. The topic remains high on Rauner's agenda and the advocates will probably make another try at a petition drive. I expect Rauner will be campaigning on it in 2018, so it will be a point of focus for media questions again here.
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