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Author Topic: Is there any plausible argument in favor of the electoral college?  (Read 35519 times)
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« Reply #50 on: February 03, 2010, 07:53:16 pm »
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Can you imagine if this happened? It never would though, since it's nearly impossible.



The red states on that map were won with 50.1% of the vote and the blue states were won with 90% or more of the vote. This would give the winner of the red states a 284-254 win. Take out NJ, NC or GA and you could still get a 269-269 tie and then congress elect the red state winner as President.

Give VA to the other side. It is unnecessary to have Virginia to win in this case. The other 11 red states have a combined total of 271 EV, 1 more than necessary to win.
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« Reply #51 on: February 25, 2010, 09:55:48 pm »
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It prevents a regional candidate from controlling the whole country.  I candidate can't run up huge totals in New York, New Jersey and New England and still win the presidency.

Quite the opposite is true. Abraham Lincoln wouldn't have had a prayer in the 1860 popular vote. Lincoln was a regional candidate and won only because of the EC.
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« Reply #52 on: February 26, 2010, 12:13:32 am »
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Gives minorities a bigger say, and every reason you can think of not to have a "national" media campaign, which would happen in a system soley based on the popular vote. Who would visit Iowa then?

Why does Iowa deserve to have people visit?

Lonely corn tastes terrible!
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« Reply #53 on: February 26, 2010, 03:51:46 am »
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Obviously not. It's a basic violation of every fairness rule.

But damn, it makes American electoral geography so interesting... Grin
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« Reply #54 on: February 26, 2010, 07:55:07 am »
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Obviously not. It's a basic violation of every fairness rule.

But damn, it makes American electoral geography so interesting... Grin

Imagine this forum without EC. No more "discuss with maps".
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« Reply #55 on: February 26, 2010, 11:53:35 am »
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Obviously not. It's a basic violation of every fairness rule.

But damn, it makes American electoral geography so interesting... Grin

Imagine this forum without EC. No more "discuss with maps".

True. And probably I wouldn't even have registered here since I wouldn't have become the American politics junkie I am.
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« Reply #56 on: February 26, 2010, 06:21:29 pm »
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It prevents a regional candidate from controlling the whole country.  I candidate can't run up huge totals in New York, New Jersey and New England and still win the presidency.

Quite the opposite is true. Abraham Lincoln wouldn't have had a prayer in the 1860 popular vote. Lincoln was a regional candidate and won only because of the EC.

Lincoln actually had support, and won, across many regions, the Northeast, the Midwest, and the West.  Had he just carried New England and the Mid Atlantic states that he carried, the race would have gone to the House.
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« Reply #57 on: February 26, 2010, 06:36:06 pm »
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It prevents a regional candidate from controlling the whole country.  I candidate can't run up huge totals in New York, New Jersey and New England and still win the presidency.

Quite the opposite is true. Abraham Lincoln wouldn't have had a prayer in the 1860 popular vote. Lincoln was a regional candidate and won only because of the EC.

Lincoln won the west, Midwest, and North east. He also handily won the popular vote.
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« Reply #58 on: February 26, 2010, 07:09:06 pm »
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It prevents a regional candidate from controlling the whole country.  I candidate can't run up huge totals in New York, New Jersey and New England and still win the presidency.

Quite the opposite is true. Abraham Lincoln wouldn't have had a prayer in the 1860 popular vote. Lincoln was a regional candidate and won only because of the EC.

Lincoln won the west, Midwest, and North east. He also handily won the popular vote.

He was nowhere near a majority in the popular vote. I think it's safe to say that Breckinridge and Bell voters would take Douglas over Lincoln.
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« Reply #59 on: February 26, 2010, 08:02:44 pm »
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It prevents a regional candidate from controlling the whole country.  I candidate can't run up huge totals in New York, New Jersey and New England and still win the presidency.

Quite the opposite is true. Abraham Lincoln wouldn't have had a prayer in the 1860 popular vote. Lincoln was a regional candidate and won only because of the EC.

Lincoln actually had support, and won, across many regions, the Northeast, the Midwest, and the West.  Had he just carried New England and the Mid Atlantic states that he carried, the race would have gone to the House.
There's no way anybody could win with just New England and Mid-Atlantic in PV either.
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« Reply #60 on: February 26, 2010, 11:10:47 pm »
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It prevents a regional candidate from controlling the whole country.  I candidate can't run up huge totals in New York, New Jersey and New England and still win the presidency.

Quite the opposite is true. Abraham Lincoln wouldn't have had a prayer in the 1860 popular vote. Lincoln was a regional candidate and won only because of the EC.

Lincoln actually had support, and won, across many regions, the Northeast, the Midwest, and the West.  Had he just carried New England and the Mid Atlantic states that he carried, the race would have gone to the House.
There's no way anybody could win with just New England and Mid-Atlantic in PV either.

No, and that is my point. Roll Eyes Even in 1860, Lincoln, or any other candidate, had to be more broadly acceptable to the electorate, in order to get a majority of the electoral votes.  And this was probably the most divisive election in US history.

The Electoral College basically forces candidates to have a broad based appeal.
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memphis
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« Reply #61 on: February 26, 2010, 11:28:43 pm »
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It prevents a regional candidate from controlling the whole country.  I candidate can't run up huge totals in New York, New Jersey and New England and still win the presidency.

Quite the opposite is true. Abraham Lincoln wouldn't have had a prayer in the 1860 popular vote. Lincoln was a regional candidate and won only because of the EC.

Lincoln actually had support, and won, across many regions, the Northeast, the Midwest, and the West.  Had he just carried New England and the Mid Atlantic states that he carried, the race would have gone to the House.
There's no way anybody could win with just New England and Mid-Atlantic in PV either.

No, and that is my point. Roll Eyes Even in 1860, Lincoln, or any other candidate, had to be more broadly acceptable to the electorate, in order to get a majority of the electoral votes.  And this was probably the most divisive election in US history.

The Electoral College basically forces candidates to have a broad based appeal.
Your point is that the EC does something the popular vote does anyway? Lincoln would have had to have had even broader support to win a popular vote. Only the EC college allowed him to win with less than 40% of the vote and receiving zero support in half the country.
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« Reply #62 on: February 26, 2010, 11:47:42 pm »
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It prevents a regional candidate from controlling the whole country.  I candidate can't run up huge totals in New York, New Jersey and New England and still win the presidency.

Quite the opposite is true. Abraham Lincoln wouldn't have had a prayer in the 1860 popular vote. Lincoln was a regional candidate and won only because of the EC.

Lincoln won the west, Midwest, and North east. He also handily won the popular vote.

He was nowhere near a majority in the popular vote. I think it's safe to say that Breckinridge and Bell voters would take Douglas over Lincoln.

True, but FPTP would have replaced the EC anyway.
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« Reply #63 on: February 28, 2010, 01:57:20 pm »
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It prevents a regional candidate from controlling the whole country.  I candidate can't run up huge totals in New York, New Jersey and New England and still win the presidency.

Quite the opposite is true. Abraham Lincoln wouldn't have had a prayer in the 1860 popular vote. Lincoln was a regional candidate and won only because of the EC.

Lincoln won the west, Midwest, and North east. He also handily won the popular vote.

He was nowhere near a majority in the popular vote. I think it's safe to say that Breckinridge and Bell voters would take Douglas over Lincoln.

True, but FPTP would have replaced the EC anyway.

If FPTP had been used, the Democrats wouldn't have nominated three candidates and handed Lincoln the election.
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« Reply #64 on: April 08, 2010, 10:31:18 pm »
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The electoral college creates a fair balance between the less densely populated areas and the most densely populated ones. Elections that are held as straight votes would be unfair and create an unbalance in the system. The biggest flaw currently in the EC is the winner take all system which creates the same imbalance that a one man one vote system has.
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« Reply #65 on: April 08, 2010, 10:35:45 pm »
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The electoral college is an absurd anachronism whose best argument for retention is the sentimental value that might be attached to the notion of federalism in Presidential elections, but really ought to have been abolished a long, long time ago; and has only survived as long as it has because it has for the most part seemed a mere formality. But the distortion that it creates in politics hurts the United States every day.

For example, notice how the President never has any incentive to visit states that went strongly for his or her opponent. People say that the EC benefits small states at expense of the large but that's not really true (that would be the US Senate). The real losers in the EC system are solid partisan states; the winners are swing states. Alabama is as much of a loser in the EC as is New York. Florida is as much of a winner as is New Hampshire.
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« Reply #66 on: April 08, 2010, 10:39:17 pm »
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The electoral college is an absurd anachronism whose best argument for retention is the sentimental value that might be attached to the notion of federalism in Presidential elections, but really ought to have been abolished a long, long time ago; and has only survived as long as it has because it has for the most part seemed a mere formality. But the distortion that it creates in politics hurts the United States every day.

For example, notice how the President never has any incentive to visit states that went strongly for his or her opponent. People say that the EC benefits small states at expense of the large but that's not really true (that would be the US Senate). The real losers in the EC system are solid partisan states; the winners are swing states. Alabama is as much of a loser in the EC as is New York. Florida is as much of a winner as is New Hampshire.

As opposed to a system where NY city, LA, Miami, etc would decide elections? Talk about depressing turnout.
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« Reply #67 on: April 08, 2010, 10:40:47 pm »
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The electoral college is an absurd anachronism whose best argument for retention is the sentimental value that might be attached to the notion of federalism in Presidential elections, but really ought to have been abolished a long, long time ago; and has only survived as long as it has because it has for the most part seemed a mere formality. But the distortion that it creates in politics hurts the United States every day.

For example, notice how the President never has any incentive to visit states that went strongly for his or her opponent. People say that the EC benefits small states at expense of the large but that's not really true (that would be the US Senate). The real losers in the EC system are solid partisan states; the winners are swing states. Alabama is as much of a loser in the EC as is New York. Florida is as much of a winner as is New Hampshire.

As opposed to a system where NY city, LA, Miami, etc would decide elections? Talk about depressing turnout.

Funny, that doesn't happen in other countries that use direct votes for their presidential elections.
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« Reply #68 on: April 08, 2010, 10:46:04 pm »
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The electoral college is an absurd anachronism whose best argument for retention is the sentimental value that might be attached to the notion of federalism in Presidential elections, but really ought to have been abolished a long, long time ago; and has only survived as long as it has because it has for the most part seemed a mere formality. But the distortion that it creates in politics hurts the United States every day.

For example, notice how the President never has any incentive to visit states that went strongly for his or her opponent. People say that the EC benefits small states at expense of the large but that's not really true (that would be the US Senate). The real losers in the EC system are solid partisan states; the winners are swing states. Alabama is as much of a loser in the EC as is New York. Florida is as much of a winner as is New Hampshire.

As opposed to a system where NY city, LA, Miami, etc would decide elections? Talk about depressing turnout.

If that were true, the EC would have benefited McCain in the last election, because he lost all those cities. But instead, the EC benefited Obama. If you gave McCain a victory in the popular vote by adding 4% to his totals (to 49.6) an subtracting 4% to Obama's totals (to 48.9) that gives McCain a popular vote win of about 100,000. But he still would have lost the EC because he would have lost all the Kerry states plus IA, CO, NV, and NM.

Anyway I don't see how you can say there's "one man one vote" which seems intuitively fair when everything is distorted by 535 elitist "electors".
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« Reply #69 on: April 08, 2010, 10:53:07 pm »
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The electoral college is an absurd anachronism whose best argument for retention is the sentimental value that might be attached to the notion of federalism in Presidential elections, but really ought to have been abolished a long, long time ago; and has only survived as long as it has because it has for the most part seemed a mere formality. But the distortion that it creates in politics hurts the United States every day.

For example, notice how the President never has any incentive to visit states that went strongly for his or her opponent. People say that the EC benefits small states at expense of the large but that's not really true (that would be the US Senate). The real losers in the EC system are solid partisan states; the winners are swing states. Alabama is as much of a loser in the EC as is New York. Florida is as much of a winner as is New Hampshire.

As opposed to a system where NY city, LA, Miami, etc would decide elections? Talk about depressing turnout.

If that were true, the EC would have benefited McCain in the last election, because he lost all those cities. But instead, the EC benefited Obama. If you gave McCain a victory in the popular vote by adding 4% to his totals (to 49.6) an subtracting 4% to Obama's totals (to 48.9) that gives McCain a popular vote win of about 100,000. But he still would have lost the EC because he would have lost all the Kerry states plus IA, CO, NV, and NM.

Anyway I don't see how you can say there's "one man one vote" which seems intuitively fair when everything is distorted by 535 elitist "electors".

The problem is the winner take all system in the EC. Otherwise McCain could have potentially won, I'm to lazy to add the numbers up, the election.

Funny, that doesn't happen in other countries that use direct votes for their presidential elections.

Their aren't many other countries (if any) of our size with such free and fair elections to compare ourselves to.
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« Reply #70 on: April 08, 2010, 10:57:26 pm »
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What do you mean the problem is the winner take all system in the EC? How would you reform it?
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« Reply #71 on: April 08, 2010, 11:26:22 pm »
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What do you mean the problem is the winner take all system in the EC? How would you reform it?

The Maine-Nebraska system is preferable.
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« Reply #72 on: April 08, 2010, 11:29:04 pm »
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What do you mean the problem is the winner take all system in the EC? How would you reform it?

The Maine-Nebraska system is preferable.

Isn't that still winner take all, only on a more granular level?
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« Reply #73 on: April 08, 2010, 11:30:00 pm »
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Funny, that doesn't happen in other countries that use direct votes for their presidential elections.

Their aren't many other countries (if any) of our size with such free and fair elections to compare ourselves to.

Out of the five largest countries, four are democracies. India's larger than the United States, but it doesn't have direct presidential elections. Indonesia and Brazil, which are smaller than the United States (but not by that much) both do. In Indonesia in 2009, the election was certainly not dominated by cities; the winning candidate, Yudhoyono, won in urban and rural areas. In Brazil, both left-wing city-backed candidates and right-wing rural candidates have won.
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« Reply #74 on: April 08, 2010, 11:36:13 pm »
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What do you mean the problem is the winner take all system in the EC? How would you reform it?

The Maine-Nebraska system is preferable.

I would agree, if only for the effect of gerrymandering in the larger states.  Perhaps the EVs that are paired with the number of representatives could be allocated proportionally rather than by congressional district, and then the two remaining EVs allocated to the statewide winner a la Maine-Nebraska.

Welcome back, btw.
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