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Author Topic: If we got rid of the electoral vote system....  (Read 11808 times)
Psychic Octopus
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« on: February 26, 2009, 08:43:25 pm »
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Would it make presidential elections more boring?
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Ronnie
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« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2009, 01:21:08 am »
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Yes, very much so, in my opinion.  It would just be a turnout game between rural and urban places.  You would probably see the GOP campaigning in Laguna Niguel, CA and the Democrats campaigning in New York, New York.

Swing voters would be pretty much worthless.  Yes, I am talking to you worthless parasites.  Go eat your hearts out!
« Last Edit: February 27, 2009, 01:23:01 am by Ronnie »Logged

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Verily
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« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2009, 12:53:20 pm »
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Absolutely.  Most of us would never see the candidates or hear anything about their plans that pertain to us.  The only places anyone would campaign are the ten biggest cities.

LOL. That would be such a terrible campaign strategy even FDR wouldn't win with it in 1932. Combine the top fifty metropolitan areas in the country and you still don't even have half of the population.

(For the record, MSA #50 is Rochester, NY.)

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« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2009, 12:59:31 pm »
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Depends from what perspective. It'd make election night less interesting for people like us that want to project the states, but it would definitely make for a better and more meaningful election all together.
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« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2009, 02:30:16 pm »
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Absolutely.  Most of us would never see the candidates or hear anything about their plans that pertain to us.  The only places anyone would campaign are the ten biggest cities.

LOL. That would be such a terrible campaign strategy even FDR wouldn't win with it in 1932. Combine the top fifty metropolitan areas in the country and you still don't even have half of the population.

(For the record, MSA #50 is Rochester, NY.)

^^^

Take a look at Gubernatorial and Senatorial elections. Candidates go all over the state - not just the big cities. A nationwide popular vote election would be no different.
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« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2009, 02:44:52 pm »
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Absolutely.  Most of us would never see the candidates or hear anything about their plans that pertain to us.  The only places anyone would campaign are the ten biggest cities.

LOL. That would be such a terrible campaign strategy even FDR wouldn't win with it in 1932. Combine the top fifty metropolitan areas in the country and you still don't even have half of the population.

(For the record, MSA #50 is Rochester, NY.)

^^^

Take a look at Gubernatorial and Senatorial elections. Candidates go all over the state - not just the big cities. A nationwide popular vote election would be no different.

Exactly. If you're in a close Gubernatorial race in California, you're going to go to a lot of places other than the bay area and LA county.
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« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2009, 01:58:35 pm »
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It would be boring, but it would also be fair.
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« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2009, 01:07:44 pm »
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Absolutely.  Most of us would never see the candidates or hear anything about their plans that pertain to us.  The only places anyone would campaign are the ten biggest cities.

LOL. That would be such a terrible campaign strategy even FDR wouldn't win with it in 1932. Combine the top fifty metropolitan areas in the country and you still don't even have half of the population.

(For the record, MSA #50 is Rochester, NY.)

Right, but you can swing the highest amount.  Obviously no one is going to lose the entire rural vote for not visiting.  Look at the Republicans in every election.  McCain didn't campaign hardcore in Utah, but won it big time.  If he wanted to swing the popular vote, he would head to the highest concentration of voters.  It's not a terrible strategy at all, it's common sense.

No actually you can't. McCain could've spent the entire election campaigning in New York City and nowhere else, and he still wouldn't have broken 30%. It would make way more sense for him to campaign in rural areas than places like NYC and Chicago.
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« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2009, 09:34:05 pm »
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Yes, very much so, in my opinion.  It would just be a turnout game between rural and urban places.  You would probably see the GOP campaigning in Laguna Niguel, CA and the Democrats campaigning in New York, New York.


Exactly. Democrats would concentrate on the big inner city areas while republicans would focus on the suburban areas that still vote GOP as well as small towns and cities, which is the real GOP base. So for example in California candidates would obviously visit the LA area as well as the bay area, but also other big centers like San Diego and Sacramento. In addition a republican candidate is likely to swing by a place like Bakersfield or Fresno, while a democrat might go down to the Monterey bay region or out to SLO/SB. But I doubt either candidate would go to a very small place like Redding or Eureka. Also any rural area that does get visited will likely be close to a major city or will be on the path the candidate was already taking in order to transit from one city to another.
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Sibboleth
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« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2009, 04:19:00 pm »
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The vast majority of votes for both parties come from places that are clearly more urban than they are rural. Even now candidates don't turn up in rural areas to squeeze more votes out of them (not usually, anyway). They turn up in rural areas to project an image of themselves, to connect with an imagined, er, "real America", haha. And they'd continue to do this even if the electoral college was abolished.
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« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2009, 04:00:28 pm »
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The vast majority of votes for both parties come from places that are clearly more urban than they are rural. Even now candidates don't turn up in rural areas to squeeze more votes out of them (not usually, anyway). They turn up in rural areas to project an image of themselves, to connect with an imagined, er, "real America", haha. And they'd continue to do this even if the electoral college was abolished.

For Presidential races, I agree, with the (sole?) exception of the Iowa Caucuses, which are so absurd that they belong in their own category.
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« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2009, 04:25:19 pm »
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It would be more boring, but...
I don't like the current system either. Al Gore should have been elected President in 2000. It really sucks, especially for him and his supporters. More Americans supported him. I wish they could divide it into 3 parts, and you have to get 2 of them to win. Like...
1. Electoral Vote
2. Popular Vote
3. Huh
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« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2009, 06:11:35 pm »
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It would be more boring, but...
I don't like the current system either. Al Gore should have been elected President in 2000. It really sucks, especially for him and his supporters. More Americans supported him. I wish they could divide it into 3 parts, and you have to get 2 of them to win. Like...
1. Electoral Vote
2. Popular Vote
3. Huh

Unfortunately, all systems have glitches when elections get close. Even a pure FPTP election has the problem that a small but certain percentage of the ballots will be ambiguous in some way. The right question to ask is what system would you like to resolve the outcome when votes are close or there is no clear majority?

For instance, if FL had instant runoff voting for the electors when no party got 50% of the vote, there's a good chance that Gore would have won. In that case a change to the EC would not have been necessary, just a change to FL law.
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« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2009, 06:54:53 pm »
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No, absolutely not!  Candidates would actually have to campaign in more than a handful of swing states because every vote would suddenly be important.  Even if they didn't have a shot at winning a state, it would be important to keep their opponent's margin down in the state.  Conversely, even if they knew they were going to win a state, they would still need to campaign there in order to bolster their margin.  Candidates would visit long forgetten places in Presidential elections such as Washington D.C., Salt Lake City, Utah., Los Angeles California, and Birmingham, Alabama.  You better believe that the candidates would also visit rural portions of America in order to get good photo ops so as to persuade rural voters that they are on their side as well, so to me the argument that abandoning the electoral college would result in candidates only visiting large metropolitan areas simply doesn't hold water.
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« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2009, 10:48:35 pm »
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No, absolutely not!  Candidates would actually have to campaign in more than a handful of swing states because every vote would suddenly be important.  Even if they didn't have a shot at winning a state, it would be important to keep their opponent's margin down in the state. 

Swing states are swing states because they have a greater proportion of swinging voters. Since swinging voters will always determine the outcome, candidates will continue to campaign in swing states. It would lead to very few differences in campaign strategy. The only real difference is that in a close election, recounts become important all over the country, not just in close states - so it would likely lead to more legal challenges and the Supreme Court making more decisions like in 2000.
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« Reply #15 on: May 26, 2009, 10:58:47 pm »
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The right question to ask is what system would you like to resolve the outcome when votes are close or there is no clear majority?

This is why I support the electoral college. I believe another person on this board said this, but I will reiterate it. The electoral college and popular vote only differ, for all realistic scenarios, when the nation popular vote is so close that it is almost a tie. In this case, the candidate with more regional appeal wins the election.

Besides, as the resident of a swing state, I can't complain. Wink
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« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2009, 05:17:20 am »
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Maybe the relevant body should bring  the EC votes within closer touching distance of each other, there'll remain a system where only a few States count.
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Vepres
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« Reply #17 on: June 08, 2009, 11:39:34 pm »
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Here's what an election without the electoral college would look like. A candidate would visit the top 1-5 cities (depending on the state's size) in a state and try to get high turnout among their base. For example, my home state of Colorado. Swing voters in Pueblo or Grand Junction wouldn't matter. No, it would be who could get higher turnout. Democrats in Denver, or Republicans in Colorado Springs. Pennsylvania, high Dem turnout in Philly vs. high Rep turnout in Pittsburgh, while ignoring the central area. Arizona, high Dem in Tuscon vs. high Rep in Phoenix while ignoring the northern areas. You see where I'm going. Even medium sized cities would get no attention, and swing voters wouldn't matter.

Consider this. Without the electoral college, Obama and McCain would've been far less moderate than they were.

Besides, it's a reminder that we are a federalist country.
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Vepres
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« Reply #18 on: June 27, 2009, 09:14:39 am »
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No, absolutely not!  Candidates would actually have to campaign in more than a handful of swing states because every vote would suddenly be important.  Even if they didn't have a shot at winning a state, it would be important to keep their opponent's margin down in the state.  Conversely, even if they knew they were going to win a state, they would still need to campaign there in order to bolster their margin.  Candidates would visit long forgetten places in Presidential elections such as Washington D.C., Salt Lake City, Utah., Los Angeles California, and Birmingham, Alabama.  You better believe that the candidates would also visit rural portions of America in order to get good photo ops so as to persuade rural voters that they are on their side as well, so to me the argument that abandoning the electoral college would result in candidates only visiting large metropolitan areas simply doesn't hold water.

But their campaign would be focused not on swing voters but on turning out the base.
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« Reply #19 on: July 15, 2009, 06:01:25 pm »
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No, absolutely not!  Candidates would actually have to campaign in more than a handful of swing states because every vote would suddenly be important.  Even if they didn't have a shot at winning a state, it would be important to keep their opponent's margin down in the state. 

Swing states are swing states because they have a greater proportion of swinging voters. Since swinging voters will always determine the outcome, candidates will continue to campaign in swing states. It would lead to very few differences in campaign strategy. The only real difference is that in a close election, recounts become important all over the country, not just in close states - so it would likely lead to more legal challenges and the Supreme Court making more decisions like in 2000.

Not really. A national pool would make recounts far less necessary. Not a single election in the past 100 years would have required one, save, possibly, Kennedy vs. Nixon. Simple statistics dictate that the margins of error decrease substantially the larger the sample size. Overturning a 500,000+ vote lead, even if that's less than a 1% difference, is extremely unlikely.

And in any event, so long as there are national standards and clear guidelines it shouldn't be a problem in the unlikely event that there is a recount. We could even add a provision that if a president isn't certified by inauguration day, then the incumbent president stays on as acting president until a new president is certified.
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« Reply #20 on: July 18, 2009, 11:14:08 am »
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No, absolutely not!  Candidates would actually have to campaign in more than a handful of swing states because every vote would suddenly be important.  Even if they didn't have a shot at winning a state, it would be important to keep their opponent's margin down in the state. 

Swing states are swing states because they have a greater proportion of swinging voters. Since swinging voters will always determine the outcome, candidates will continue to campaign in swing states. It would lead to very few differences in campaign strategy. The only real difference is that in a close election, recounts become important all over the country, not just in close states - so it would likely lead to more legal challenges and the Supreme Court making more decisions like in 2000.

Do you have any statistics to actually back that up?  Because I doubt that's the case.  In fact if you look at the "swing" that took place in various states in the 2008 election, it turns out that some of the largest swings were in states that are not "swing" states, including Utah.  Swing states are such largely because of their demographics, not because they have more swing voters.
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« Reply #21 on: May 24, 2010, 12:38:20 am »
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It would be more boring, but...
I don't like the current system either. Al Gore should have been elected President in 2000. It really sucks, especially for him and his supporters. More Americans supported him. I wish they could divide it into 3 parts, and you have to get 2 of them to win. Like...
1. Electoral Vote
2. Popular Vote
3. Huh

# of states won.
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« Reply #22 on: May 24, 2010, 01:33:59 am »
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Candidates already spend most of their time in urban areas. They just do it in urban areas in swing states. It'd be nice for a candidate to come to Boston or Salt Lake City for a change. At the same time, with today's relentless media, I don't think physical presence is such a big deal.
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« Reply #23 on: May 24, 2010, 11:26:59 am »
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Can anybody explain why exactly it would be a bad thing if candidates spend time in urban areas?

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« Reply #24 on: May 24, 2010, 11:31:55 am »
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Can anybody explain why exactly it would be a bad thing if candidates spend time in urban areas?

Because people in urban areas don't have opinions worth considering.
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