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Author Topic: Democrats who support the electoral college  (Read 1259 times)
McGovernForPrez
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« on: May 16, 2017, 09:26:20 pm »
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How many of us are there. Share your reasoning for supporting it despite what it has done to our past candidates.
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« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2017, 02:27:53 am »
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xChickenhawk

Rural areas and small states have always been protected in our system, and it's broadly consistent with the aim of protecting (political and numerical) minorities that have been with us since the founding of tne country. You might as well allocate Senate seats based on population as eliminate the EC.
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« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2017, 02:39:06 am »
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xChickenhawk

Rural areas and small states have always been protected in our system, and it's broadly consistent with the aim of protecting (political and numerical) minorities that have been with us since the founding of tne country. You might as well allocate Senate seats based on population as eliminate the EC.

As I said in the other thread, the electoral college does not protect rural areas. Most rural areas, such as upstate New York, downstate Illinois, or Oklahoma, it renders even more irrelevant.

Nor does the electoral college protect political or numerical minorities -- the filibuster does. The electoral college does not.

The Senate would be nicer if it was allocated based on population.
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« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2017, 03:23:02 am »
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xChickenhawk

Rural areas and small states have always been protected in our system, and it's broadly consistent with the aim of protecting (political and numerical) minorities that have been with us since the founding of tne country. You might as well allocate Senate seats based on population as eliminate the EC.

As I said in the other thread, the electoral college does not protect rural areas. Most rural areas, such as upstate New York, downstate Illinois, or Oklahoma, it renders even more irrelevant.

Nor does the electoral college protect political or numerical minorities -- the filibuster does. The electoral college does not.

The Senate would be nicer if it was allocated based on population.

No lol that would destroy the purposes of the senate . The way the senate is currently allocated totally fine and
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McGovernForPrez
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« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2017, 10:59:43 am »
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xChickenhawk

Rural areas and small states have always been protected in our system, and it's broadly consistent with the aim of protecting (political and numerical) minorities that have been with us since the founding of tne country. You might as well allocate Senate seats based on population as eliminate the EC.

As I said in the other thread, the electoral college does not protect rural areas. Most rural areas, such as upstate New York, downstate Illinois, or Oklahoma, it renders even more irrelevant.

Nor does the electoral college protect political or numerical minorities -- the filibuster does. The electoral college does not.

The Senate would be nicer if it was allocated based on population.
Upstate NY and Downstate IL, are the exceptions not the rule. Don't know how Oklahoma is rendered "irrelevant" considering it's almost completely rural and their vote reflects that. States which are mostly rural typically vote accordingly. IL and NY aren't mostly rural states, they are mostly urban.

Sorta confused about why you think the filibuster is the only thing we should have to protect political minorities? The filibuster is incredibly weak and has already been highly eroded. There needs to be protections for the minorities in all branches of government. The amount of times the PV winner =/= EV winner is already negligible. Usually when the PV winner loses the EV it's evidence of a regional party.

Also lol at your opinion on the Senate. Might as well abolish the Senate at that point lol.
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« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2017, 12:58:55 pm »
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I simply don't care enough about the EC to want to change it. There are many more pressing concerns when it comes to democracy.
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« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2017, 02:53:41 pm »
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xChickenhawk

Rural areas and small states have always been protected in our system, and it's broadly consistent with the aim of protecting (political and numerical) minorities that have been with us since the founding of tne country. You might as well allocate Senate seats based on population as eliminate the EC.

As I said in the other thread, the electoral college does not protect rural areas. Most rural areas, such as upstate New York, downstate Illinois, or Oklahoma, it renders even more irrelevant.

Nor does the electoral college protect political or numerical minorities -- the filibuster does. The electoral college does not.

The Senate would be nicer if it was allocated based on population.
Upstate NY and Downstate IL, are the exceptions not the rule.

Sure, they are the rule. Do you want me to come up with more examples? The Texas panhandle. Western Massachusetts. Alaska. Western Nebraska. Eastern Washington.

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Don't know how Oklahoma is rendered "irrelevant" considering it's almost completely rural and their vote reflects that.

Because, the electoral college means the state doesn't matter for presidential elections, whereas otherwise it would.

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States which are mostly rural typically vote accordingly. IL and NY aren't mostly rural states, they are mostly urban.

That depends on your definitions, but what does that have to do with my point? The electoral college doesn't help rural areas.

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Sorta confused about why you think the filibuster is the only thing we should have to protect political minorities? The filibuster is incredibly weak and has already been highly eroded. There needs to be protections for the minorities in all branches of government. The amount of times the PV winner =/= EV winner is already negligible. Usually when the PV winner loses the EV it's evidence of a regional party.

I didn't say the filibuster is the only thing we should have, but the filibuster is something that protects political minorities, whereas the EC doesn't. The political minority that loses the EC or the PV gets no protection from the EC after it has voted. The presidency is unitary, so it's not a good vehicle to protect political minorities to begin with.

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Also lol at your opinion on the Senate. Might as well abolish the Senate at that point lol.

You're the one who brought up the Senate. FTR, a unicameral legislature would be nice.
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« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2017, 02:00:35 am »
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@Beet -

Your point about upstate NY and downstate IL is well taken, which is why my more nuanced opinion is that we should adopt universal Mainebraska and redistricting reform.

However, your notion that western Nebraska is irrelevant is completely off base. Yes, no one has to campaign in Hastings or Scottsbluff. But that's because they, when couple with WY, MT, ID, ND, SD, KS &c &c form a very big part of the electoral vote base for any GOP candidate. An entire political party's realm of the possible is formed based on Plains and Southern opinion, much as any Democratic candidate might as well write their concession speech if they go outside of what's acceptable in NYC or CA.

Likewise, I'm not willing to consign the political influence of VT, ME, NH, MT &c &c's role in the Presidential selection process because small states tend to vote against my party.

As for a unicameral legislature, that's just silly-talk.
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« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2017, 02:21:06 pm »
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@Beet -

Your point about upstate NY and downstate IL is well taken, which is why my more nuanced opinion is that we should adopt universal Mainebraska and redistricting reform.

Mainebraska unfortunately suffers from the same problem, only on a smaller scale. For any district that encompasses both urban and rural areas, the rural areas would be irrelevant if they are smaller than the urban areas. It does reduce the scale of the problem, but it doesn't eliminate it as a straight-up PV would.

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However, your notion that western Nebraska is irrelevant is completely off base. Yes, no one has to campaign in Hastings or Scottsbluff. But that's because they, when couple with WY, MT, ID, ND, SD, KS &c &c form a very big part of the electoral vote base for any GOP candidate. An entire political party's realm of the possible is formed based on Plains and Southern opinion, much as any Democratic candidate might as well write their concession speech if they go outside of what's acceptable in NYC or CA.

That assumes that a place like western Nebraska (or more broadly, the rural Midwest) is only significant as a part of the 'Republican coalition.'  But if that were the case, why does it need special representation as a place? The same would be true under the national popular vote. What the electoral college removes that the national popular vote would respect is western Nebraska's interests as western Nebraska. In other words, any factor that distinguishes this place, in particular, from all other places. Does it have a particular export? Is it home to a particular company? It is these concerns that are erased. Sure, the place is significant as part of a party coalition, but this only matters as far as the balance between the parties. It's as if saying the only thing worth representing about western Nebraska is it's Republicanism. If that were the case, the same result could be achieved by giving the GOP an automatic bonus in the EC.

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Likewise, I'm not willing to consign the political influence of VT, ME, NH, MT &c &c's role in the Presidential selection process because small states tend to vote against my party.

To be clear, I opposed the EC when the Democrats were advantaged by it in 2008 and 2012. This is not about party, but the principle of democracy, and equal representation. My point is that VT and MT are on the losing side of the EC, while ME and NH are on the winning side. VT is on the same side as NY. The divide the EC creates is not between urban and rural areas, but between swing states and non-swing states.
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« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2017, 04:45:02 pm »
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We would be at the mercy of the big cities without the electoral college system. LA county, Cook County and NYC combined have about 23 million people that would mean those 3 metros alone could out weigh WY AK VT ND SD MT HI DE ME NH RI IDNE  NM UT NV and IA combined
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« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2017, 05:26:53 pm »
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By that standard, Floridians are at the mercy of Miami. Miami has about 6 million people and that means that metro alone can outweigh Collier Marion Osceola Lake Escambia St. Lucie Leon Alachua St. Johns Clay Okaloosa Bay Hernando Charlotte Santa Rosa Martin Indian River, Citrus and Sumter counties combined. The rest of Florida might as well not even vote and just like Miami decide!
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« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2017, 06:17:49 pm »
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We would be at the mercy of the big cities without the electoral college system. LA county, Cook County and NYC combined have about 23 million people that would mean those 3 metros alone could out weigh WY AK VT ND SD MT HI DE ME NH RI IDNE  NM UT NV and IA combined

But that's where people actually live.  Why should their votes matter less just because of population density?

Also, even if we assume big cities vote collectively as one bloc(k?), which they're certainly doing lately, it's not like a Republican can't win the popular vote (GW Bush won it by ~3M in '04, IIRC - and also basically tied it in '00; '08 and '12 would've been decisive losses either way).
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« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2017, 09:49:35 pm »
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Thanks, McGovern, for getting back to me on this subject buried in a different sub-forum and thread.

I thought it'd be better to continue here.  I never favored the current system all that much and have oscillated between slight dislike and ambivalence.  I feel worse about it now, but I admit that that may be from still being butt-hurt about last year.  I'm still trying to get my head around both sides of the argument, purely as a hypothetical exercise, and your points bring in considerations other than the usual talking points, which are almost partisan at this point.  So, thanks.

I hadn't thought about the discrete state cultures (e.g., VT vs. NH).  But why should that matter?  A vote for the Democrat is a vote for the Democrat, be it from VT, NH or TX.  To me, it means a conscious decision to want the same outcome.

...The vast majority of the 3 million votes came from one state, California. Californians decided how they wanted their electoral votes to be spent. Similarly the people of PA, Wisconsin, and MI also decided how they wanted their electoral votes spent.  Everybody's vote counts within a given state.

The president was never and has never been elected by the people. He's been elected by the 538 electors, who in turn are beholden to the people of each given state. It's two tiered and always has been. The presidential election isn't one election, it's 50. This is better because as I said it allows the unique socioeconomic and political cultures of each state to have better representation.

Ehh...I just don't buy the argument that CA provided her the margin of popular vote victory.  It couldn't have done so without the 60M or so votes from all the other states, whose votes count the same for that purpose.  In a way, it's like saying Anthony Kennedy is the deciding vote on the Supreme Court -- he only is "the deciding vote" when exactly 4 other justices also vote the same as he.  This would also be true if he, like CA, were significant enough to be weighted more heavily.

I still think there are other ways to represent those competing priorities and political cultures than the election of one chief executive.  Yes, we're a republic, but I don't feel so attached to a system from 200 years ago, when only white property-owning males could vote and slaves were counted as fractional people for the voting benefit of their masters.  They also didn't favor the direct election of senators, but we changed that 100 years ago and we're still a republic.  Just b/c it's this way and is virtually impossible to change, and candidates "know the rules", we don't have to like it.  No one was around when the 12th amendment was ratified and folks like CA Republicans have no way of changing winner-take-all and they're just stuck. 

Small states, rural regions of states, etc., get boosted powers within their own states and in their representation in the House and the Senate.  In a nation as closely divided as this one, I just don't see how it's a good thing that the plurality of voters for President and the bare-minority of voters for Congressional elections get effectively no power whatsoever at the federal level. 

...[The EC] forces candidates to reach out beyond "rallying the base".
Depends on how efficiently typical party votes are distributed.

Republicans in 2016 were forced to step outside their free trade comfort zone, and they were rewarded by winning a number of swing states. It forces the parties to constantly evolve on issues that are relevant to our time and that's ultimately a good thing.


These were very narrow victories in an all-or-nothing by-state system in which there can only be one winner overall.

Party platforms evolve anyway, at least when they want to keep power and know how to do it.  Bill Clinton was a popular corporate centrist who won in '92 after three consecutive Democratic ass-kickings.  That same corporate centrism burned his wife big-league when she ran for the same job under the same party two decades later.

and also...

... It's about economic and political identity. The state you were born in directly affects your own political culture. Each state has a unique political culture and that needs to be protected.

There are other ways to do that, and I'm not convinced it needs to be a priority when deciding the chief executive, of which there can only be one.

 Obama won states within a fairly diverse region to be quite honest. He won the Pacific coast, New England, Rust Belt, Mid-Atlantic, and even some more of the upper southern states, like Virginia and North Carolina...


Don't forget Florida! Smiley  As a different example, Kerry only won the Northeast, the West Coast and a chunk of the Rust Belt.  If things were a little different in Ohio, he'd have had just slightly more dominance in the Rust Belt, losing everything else, the popular vote, but would've been elected President regardless.  I guess the EC might be good at measuring regional dominance (I'm not sure it is), but I don't see why it should be paramount.

...Gore won the popular vote and just narrowly lost the electoral vote. In these cases I would enjoy to see PV award to rectify such a small EV loss.

Funny, I had a possibly-unworkable opposite idea -- i.e., in cases where the national popular vote difference between the top 2 candidates, possibly after instant run-off, is within, say, 1%, the EC is the decider.

However in the case of Clinton and Trump the EV vote compared to the PV vote was so large that I think it says something about the base of Clinton's support.

That they're just not efficiently distributed.  It wasn't like she had 0% Rust Belt voters; she had roughly half of them.  A change of merely 40,000 votes (out of > 100M cast) in just the right places and she wins the EC and the popular vote, roughly the same as Bush did in '04, when there was no outcry about the way the we do this. 

Without the electoral college the United States would be dominated by regional parties...
In part b/c of the EC, we have two bought-off national parties who function worse than a class of misbehaving 2nd graders.  What are we clinging to? lol
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« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2017, 07:20:40 am »
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i am okay with rural (or more correctly: sparse-populated small states voters) voters being over-represented in the senate.  the EC on the other hand is a mistake from hell and outdated.
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« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2017, 02:42:36 pm »
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Too much weight is given to Ohio, Iowa and Virginia.  Clinton and Gore came close and should of won the elections based on popular vote swing than electoral college.
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« Reply #15 on: May 25, 2017, 03:49:04 pm »
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Don't know how Oklahoma is rendered "irrelevant" considering it's almost completely rural and their vote reflects that.

What? Oklahoma is only a third rural.
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« Reply #16 on: May 25, 2017, 03:55:30 pm »
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The problem with the electoral college isn't that it benefits "small states"--even if each states had a number of EVs exactly corresponding to its population, Trump would still win. The problem is that if a slim majority of people in a state vote for a particular candidate, that candidate wins ALL of the state's electoral votes. Trump won Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Florida, Arizona, North Carolina, and Georgia--all very populous states--by relatively slim margins, thus winning those states despite the existence of huge minorities in those states that voted for Clinton.
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« Reply #17 on: May 25, 2017, 04:00:46 pm »
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We would be at the mercy of the big cities without the electoral college system. LA county, Cook County and NYC combined have about 23 million people that would mean those 3 metros alone could out weigh WY AK VT ND SD MT HI DE ME NH RI IDNE  NM UT NV and IA combined

Not necessarily. If the states you listed vote a combined 80% for Trump, and the cities you listed vote a combined 60% for Clinton, the states would outvote the cities. What electoral college supporters just can't accept is that that isn't the case--there aren't as many Republicans in Manhattan as there are Democrats in rural Nebraska, so Clinton ends up having more total support. You're using this bogus geographical argument to make up for the fact that your candidate just isn't popular.
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