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Author Topic: What Is The Biggest Plausible Discrepancy Between the EV and the PV?  (Read 6273 times)
Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey
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« on: February 25, 2010, 04:44:19 pm »
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Well? Do you think that it's plausible that a candidate could win with 60% of the popular vote but STILL lose the electoral vote? Or do you think it's likely that a candidate could win 400+ in the EV but lose the popular vote to another candidate?

If you look at all the elections where a candidate won the popular vote but somebody else won the electoral vote, you'll notice that with 2 of them, the winner of the EV needed to carry every single state he carried in order to win. Had Bush or Hayes lost one state that they carried, they would have lost.

I'm interested in hearing your opinions, but if I had to take a guess, I'd guess the highest plausible percentage of the PV you could get and still lose the election would be like 52-53% and the highest plausible amount of electoral votes you could get and still lose the PV would be like maybe 310-320, and that's already high...What do you guys think?
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« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2010, 07:44:35 pm »
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The answer is yes to both questions. If a candidate wins the 11 largest states in the U.S. he wins 271 EV, 1 more than enough to win the election. Candidate X can win all those states (which form about half the nations' population) with 51% of the vote while winning only 1% of the vote in the other 39 states. This will cause Candidate X to win about 25% of the PV, but still win the election.

To the second question: A candidate can win over 400 EV and still lose the popular vote. Candidate X (who won over 400 EV) can win all his states by 1 vote each, while Candidate Y will win all the other states in massive landslides, thus allowing Candidate X to win the election with over 400 EV while allowing Candidate Y to win the PV.

Neither of these two outcomes are very likely, but they are possible.
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« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2010, 09:32:16 pm »
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Rochambeau, that's theoretically possible. He meant what would be realistically possible.
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« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2010, 09:49:08 pm »
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In any attempt to skew the numbers so that a candidate wins with the smallest popular vote, one shoud work with the smallest states, not the largest, since they are advantaged in the EC.
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« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2010, 01:59:13 pm »
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I actually did the math on this once using 2004 vote totals. Using those numbers, in the most extreme of cases, a candidate could win the electoral college while earning only 22% of the popular vote.

(Yes I understand he wanted what was "realistically" possible, but who the hell is to say what that is?)
« Last Edit: February 28, 2010, 02:01:57 pm by Meeker »Logged
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« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2010, 05:08:22 pm »
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Theorically, someone can win EVs with 1% of the vote (ridiculous turnout, structural luck, victory in small States, division of opponents). Tongue

Reallistically, the PV margin should be inferior to 3%.
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« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2010, 08:11:49 pm »
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Theorically, someone can win EVs with 1% of the vote (ridiculous turnout, structural luck, victory in small States, division of opponents). Tongue

All you need is 11 votes.  Just have one person vote for you in each of the 11 biggest states, and have those 11 people be the *only* people to turn out, and you win.  Regardless of how many million people vote against you in the other 39 states.
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« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2010, 07:26:53 pm »
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Theorically, someone can win EVs with 1% of the vote (ridiculous turnout, structural luck, victory in small States, division of opponents). Tongue

Reallistically, the PV margin should be inferior to 3%.

Yeah. I noticed that the largest popular vote difference between the winner and the loser where the loser of the popular vote won the election was a 3% PV margin (Hayes' 48% to Tilden's 51%). That being said, I think a 5% margin could be realistic, since in 1948, had Dewey carried Ohio, Illinois, and California (all which were won within less than 1% of the vote), he would have won the election despite losing the popular vote by a 4.5 margin.
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« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2010, 04:31:58 am »
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Theorically, someone can win EVs with 1% of the vote (ridiculous turnout, structural luck, victory in small States, division of opponents). Tongue

Reallistically, the PV margin should be inferior to 3%.

Yeah. I noticed that the largest popular vote difference between the winner and the loser where the loser of the popular vote won the election was a 3% PV margin (Hayes' 48% to Tilden's 51%). That being said, I think a 5% margin could be realistic, since in 1948, had Dewey carried Ohio, Illinois, and California (all which were won within less than 1% of the vote), he would have won the election despite losing the popular vote by a 4.5 margin.

Yeah, you're right. Also think to 1916, when Hughes just needed California to win, despite Wilson would still win PV with 2,74 more points. 1948 is really a unique event in the history, considering that even in 1876, voter fraud, an uncorrect apportionment, and te Colorado's 3 unlegitimate EVs caused an extremely narrow Hayes victory.
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« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2010, 07:04:29 pm »
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What was illegitimate about Colorado's electoral votes? The legislature was completely within its rights to choose electors.
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« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2010, 10:35:39 pm »
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Theorically, someone can win EVs with 1% of the vote (ridiculous turnout, structural luck, victory in small States, division of opponents). Tongue

Reallistically, the PV margin should be inferior to 3%.

Yeah. I noticed that the largest popular vote difference between the winner and the loser where the loser of the popular vote won the election was a 3% PV margin (Hayes' 48% to Tilden's 51%). That being said, I think a 5% margin could be realistic, since in 1948, had Dewey carried Ohio, Illinois, and California (all which were won within less than 1% of the vote), he would have won the election despite losing the popular vote by a 4.5 margin.

Yeah, you're right. Also think to 1916, when Hughes just needed California to win, despite Wilson would still win PV with 2,74 more points. 1948 is really a unique event in the history, considering that even in 1876, voter fraud, an uncorrect apportionment, and te Colorado's 3 unlegitimate EVs caused an extremely narrow Hayes victory.

Some of the voter fraud in 1876 favored Tilden, like in Mississippi.
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« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2010, 05:06:14 am »
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What was illegitimate about Colorado's electoral votes? The legislature was completely within its rights to choose electors.

It was certyainly legal, but still morally uncorrect to give Hayes 3 more EVs without any mandate from the people (of course, CO would have gone to Hayes anyways, but still).


Theorically, someone can win EVs with 1% of the vote (ridiculous turnout, structural luck, victory in small States, division of opponents). Tongue

Reallistically, the PV margin should be inferior to 3%.

Yeah. I noticed that the largest popular vote difference between the winner and the loser where the loser of the popular vote won the election was a 3% PV margin (Hayes' 48% to Tilden's 51%). That being said, I think a 5% margin could be realistic, since in 1948, had Dewey carried Ohio, Illinois, and California (all which were won within less than 1% of the vote), he would have won the election despite losing the popular vote by a 4.5 margin.

Yeah, you're right. Also think to 1916, when Hughes just needed California to win, despite Wilson would still win PV with 2,74 more points. 1948 is really a unique event in the history, considering that even in 1876, voter fraud, an uncorrect apportionment, and te Colorado's 3 unlegitimate EVs caused an extremely narrow Hayes victory.

Some of the voter fraud in 1876 favored Tilden, like in Mississippi.

It was irrelevant since he won 2-1. Frauds allowed Hayes to win in LA, SC and OR by extremely narrow margins.
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It really is.



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« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2010, 04:22:32 pm »
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What was illegitimate about Colorado's electoral votes? The legislature was completely within its rights to choose electors.

It was certyainly legal, but still morally uncorrect to give Hayes 3 more EVs without any mandate from the people (of course, CO would have gone to Hayes anyways, but still).

Given that there wasn't enough time after Colorado became a state to hold an eleciton, what would you propose doing?
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« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2010, 05:49:07 am »
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What was illegitimate about Colorado's electoral votes? The legislature was completely within its rights to choose electors.

It was certyainly legal, but still morally uncorrect to give Hayes 3 more EVs without any mandate from the people (of course, CO would have gone to Hayes anyways, but still).

Given that there wasn't enough time after Colorado became a state to hold an eleciton, what would you propose doing?

They could simply have waited a few months before admitting Colorado. But obviously adding another Republican State would have been very useful in such circumstance, as it proved to be.
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22:15   ComradeSibboleth   this is all extremely terrible and in all respects absolutely fycking dire.

It really is.



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« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2010, 11:34:42 pm »
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What was illegitimate about Colorado's electoral votes? The legislature was completely within its rights to choose electors.

It was certyainly legal, but still morally uncorrect to give Hayes 3 more EVs without any mandate from the people (of course, CO would have gone to Hayes anyways, but still).


Theorically, someone can win EVs with 1% of the vote (ridiculous turnout, structural luck, victory in small States, division of opponents). Tongue

Reallistically, the PV margin should be inferior to 3%.

Yeah. I noticed that the largest popular vote difference between the winner and the loser where the loser of the popular vote won the election was a 3% PV margin (Hayes' 48% to Tilden's 51%). That being said, I think a 5% margin could be realistic, since in 1948, had Dewey carried Ohio, Illinois, and California (all which were won within less than 1% of the vote), he would have won the election despite losing the popular vote by a 4.5 margin.

Yeah, you're right. Also think to 1916, when Hughes just needed California to win, despite Wilson would still win PV with 2,74 more points. 1948 is really a unique event in the history, considering that even in 1876, voter fraud, an uncorrect apportionment, and te Colorado's 3 unlegitimate EVs caused an extremely narrow Hayes victory.

Some of the voter fraud in 1876 favored Tilden, like in Mississippi.

It was irrelevant since he won 2-1. Frauds allowed Hayes to win in LA, SC and OR by extremely narrow margins.

Actually, it is relevant. Mississippi, Louisiana, and South Carolina had black majority populations in 1876. Also, Florida was almost 50% black that same year. Almost all blacks would have voted Republican in a free and fair election, and thus Hayes would have likely won MS, LA, and SC (and possibly FL), allowing him to win the Presidency with 189 (or 193) EVs instead of the 185 he won in RL. Also, Grant (a Republican) won MS in 1872 with 63.5% of the vote. The only reason Tilden won MS 2-1 in 1876 was because many blacks were threatened and intimidated and thus did not vote. This is the same reason why Goldwater won 87% of the vote in MS in 1964--most blacks were were not registered to vote there.
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« Reply #15 on: March 04, 2010, 11:37:12 pm »
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IIRC, as of the most recent Census, one could theoretically win the Electoral College with only 30% of the vote in a two-way race.
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« Reply #16 on: March 05, 2010, 11:05:46 am »
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I know it's a technicality, but the biggest plausible discrepancy is darn close to 100%:

A candidate for President wins election in a massive landslide, carrying nearly every state (for a Republican, say everything but DC). That's plausible—a EC win of 99.4% to 0.6%.

That candidate then dies almost immediately after election. The Electoral College meets in December and the Republican loyalists sent to cast their ballots for the deceased instead vote for a replacement candidate, say the VP nominee, or possibly even the Senate Minority leader or House Speaker—someone who got 0% of the votes for president.

The discrepancy is then 99.4%.

It's not a likely scenario, but it's certainly plausible.
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« Reply #17 on: March 05, 2010, 08:17:03 pm »
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With a strong third-party candidate the discrepancies get larger, since you can win 100% of a state's electoral voted with just over 33% of the popular vote.

(This effect gets bigger the more candidates you have, but obviously having a free-for-all with many viable candidates in a general election is not remotely plausible with the current party system).
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« Reply #18 on: March 05, 2010, 10:25:44 pm »
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What was illegitimate about Colorado's electoral votes? The legislature was completely within its rights to choose electors.

It was certyainly legal, but still morally uncorrect to give Hayes 3 more EVs without any mandate from the people (of course, CO would have gone to Hayes anyways, but still).

Given that there wasn't enough time after Colorado became a state to hold an eleciton, what would you propose doing?

Hold the election anyway. Organize it very quickly.
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« Reply #19 on: March 08, 2010, 12:32:37 pm »
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Rochambeau, that's theoretically possible. He meant what would be realistically possible.
The problem is that "realistic" is a fuzzy concept. No matter how you draw the line, there's always an only slightly more lopsided, only slightly less realistic scenario.
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« Reply #20 on: March 08, 2010, 02:40:52 pm »
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_1800

Interesting fact, although Jefferson won 61.4% of the popular vote, he only won 52.9% of the electoral vote.
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« Reply #21 on: March 09, 2010, 11:25:06 am »
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_1800

Interesting fact, although Jefferson won 61.4% of the electoral vote, he only won 52.9% of the popular vote.

Hell, in 1912 Wilson won 81.92% of EVs, while only 41.8% PVs.
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« Reply #22 on: March 09, 2010, 12:11:13 pm »
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_1800

Interesting fact, although Jefferson won 61.4% of the electoral vote, he only won 52.9% of the popular vote.

Hell, in 1912 Wilson won 81.92% of EVs, while only 41.8% PVs.

Arr. Just realized I made a typo.
I meant "61.4% of the popular vote" and "52.9% of the electoral vote".
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« Reply #23 on: March 09, 2010, 12:48:27 pm »
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_1800

Interesting fact, although Jefferson won 61.4% of the electoral vote, he only won 52.9% of the popular vote.

Hell, in 1912 Wilson won 81.92% of EVs, while only 41.8% PVs.

Arr. Just realized I made a typo.
I meant "61.4% of the popular vote" and "52.9% of the electoral vote".

Yeah, it's pretty weird indeed. Guess it has something to do with many States not yet using PV, mostly in solidly federalist New England.
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22:15   ComradeSibboleth   this is all extremely terrible and in all respects absolutely fycking dire.

It really is.



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« Reply #24 on: March 15, 2010, 06:59:32 pm »
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I actually did the math on this once using 2004 vote totals. Using those numbers, in the most extreme of cases, a candidate could win the electoral college while earning only 22% of the popular vote.

(Yes I understand he wanted what was "realistically" possible, but who the hell is to say what that is?)
A president only needs one electoral vote to be elected (in a 3-way race).  The smallest popular vote total is NE-3.  So a candidate could be elected president with 82,509 popular votes, which is about 0.06% of the national total.
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