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Will someone PLEASE explain to me the significance of the electoral votes? More specifically, how is the popular vote 48% - 51%, yet Obama won by more than double the electoral votes as McCain. Someone make sense of this for me. I understand according to the process, the electoral votes are what matter most, but how can it be so one-sided when the popular vote is so close? Do we as normal citizens really have that little of a say in who runs our country?

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Last Post by Dave Sinkula
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If someone wins in California by 2 votes, they get all of California's electoral votes. If the other side wins in New York by 10 million votes they get all of New York's electoral votes.

do you see where this leads?

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yes i understand that. and it doesn't seem fair. Why does the popular vote not count for more?

If someone wins California by 2 votes all the electoral votes are given to the candidate. But that's 49% to 51%. Why is it fair to count out the 49% of Californians who voted for the other party? Do we just throw those votes away?

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yes i understand that. and it doesn't seem fair. Why does the popular vote not count for more?

Because this is supposed to be a federal republic.

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The Electoral College was set up by land-owners who were afraid that the land-less city-folk would steal the country from its real rulers. It is carried on because the flyover states are afraid California and NewYork will steal the country from its true rulers.

Some are just worried that some cult will take control of the country - tyranny of masses.

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so how does this prevent CA and NY from stealing the country from its true rulers? under the current system, slightly more than half of the votes are all that are required to gain full support from either state.

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If there were 100 million voters in CA and 100 million voters in NY and a 100 million overs in the rest of the US, a 1 person - 1 vote would mean 2 states would control the destiny of the US; the electoral system requires that the candidates at least pretend that the rest of the country exists.

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who cares which state they're from though. a citizen is a citizen. If 80% of Americans are in California NY and TX they would still have to convince the same number of voters if not more. It seems like we're voting as states rather than as citizens

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who cares which state they're from though. a citizen is a citizen. If 80% of Americans are in California NY and TX they would still have to convince the same number of voters if not more. It seems like we're voting as states rather than as citizens

That's the point.

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Who is the bugaboo of the House of Representatives? Pelosi from California; who is the bugaboo from the senate? Clinton from New York. Those 2 states are not where certain religious people think the US should be controlled from (constrained grammar, sorry). The bible belt does not agree with the politics of California, mostly

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it makes sense... sort of. But it's not like the electoral votes make it any more fair. It takes 7 states to equal CA. in electoral votes.

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Weigh the pros and the cons as you will. I did the same things 8 years ago. I don't find alternatives to be an improvement.

A short summation: "popular vote = urban rule". Far short of being "one person, one vote", it might mean that the residents of more half the states have no vote.

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"popular vote = urban rule".
Do you mean the flat landers didn't decide the last two elections?
Of course not. This election is a reaction to the crimes and incompetence of the current administration
I have a problem with the fact that it's possible to lose the popular vote and still win the election. I'm in favor of an amendment to change to popular vote for presidential elections.

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Electors are technically free to vote for anyone eligible to be President, so McCain could still win it! They meet the Monday after the second Wednesday in December to cast their electoral votes, plenty of time to work on those fellows.

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I have a problem with the fact that it's possible to lose the popular vote and still win the election. I'm in favor of an amendment to change to popular vote for presidential elections.

Weigh the pros and cons and be sure you're comfortable in a one-party system.

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At the very least, we should keep the electoral system as a safe-guard, but divide them proportionally so that the popular vote carries more weight. If McCain won 49% of FL and Obama won 51%, McCain should get 13 electoral votes and Obama should get 14. That's fair.

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USA citizens do NOT cast votes for President/VP candidates. They vote for electors
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Electoral_College

Rather than directly voting for the President and Vice President, United States citizens cast votes for electors. Electors are technically free to vote for anyone eligible to be President, but in practice pledge to vote for specific candidates[2] and voters cast ballots for favored presidential and vice presidential candidates by voting for correspondingly pledged electors.

[2]^ Electors are not required by federal law to honor a pledge, however in the overwhelming majority of cases they do vote for the candidate to whom they are pledged. Additionally many states have laws designed to ensure that electors vote for pledged candidates. See The Green Papers

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But where does it say all state electors must go to the same candidate.

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The Constitution allows each state legislature to designate a method of choosing electors. Forty-eight states and the District of Columbia have adopted a winner-take-all popular vote rule where voters choose between statewide slates of electors pledged to vote for a specific presidential and vice presidential candidate. The candidate that wins the most votes in the state wins the support of all of that state’s electors. - The two other states, Maine and Nebraska, use a tiered system where a single elector is chosen within each Congressional district and two electors are chosen by statewide popular vote.

The Federalist Papers are an interesting read; they go through much of the reasoning behind the why of many of the choices made in the Constitution and Bill of Rights, including the fear of the "the faction... a large minority, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community." Madison's Federalist Papers #9&10 cover the reasoning quite well.

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Oddly (interestingly) enough, the Electoral College never meets as a body so that it can not become a "faction" or controlling body.

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I've entertained the notion of the Congressional District Method in the past, but I forget where my position settled -- other than possibly "leave the current Electoral College system alone".

The link is finally working again for the picture of the 2000 results (it was down due to recent high volume there).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._presidential_election,_2004#Presidential_results_by_congressional_district

In his successful bid for reelection in 2004, Republican George W. Bush won the popular vote in 255 of the nation's 435 congressional districts, a 75-seat edge over Democrat John Kerry’s 180. At 255, the President won 27 more districts than the 228 he carried in the 2000 election.

My curiousity may be coming back a bit. I wonder what the CD version of this election would have been.

Attachments pe2000CD2.png 79.42 KB
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How did the colors get swapped? This time it was blue for Dems and red for Reps - had me fooled there for a mo'.

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Dave Liep chose a method and stuck with it.

Why are Republicans in blue and Democrats in red (while most other news organizations have the opposite)?

Elephants have a blue hue and donkeys have a red hue :) (Actually, as a visitor pointed out, elephants are actually gray - but they appear to look more blue than red :) Red and blue are chosen for the maps because they both are primary colors and because they both are incorporated in the flag. The choice of which party is represented by which color was somewhat arbitrary. I was perhaps influenced by maps that I had seen in the distant past (I still remember the solid blue field of Ronald Reagan's re-election in my hometown newspaper in 1984 - I was 14 at the time). Also, internationally, red typically represents parties on the left side of the political spectrum, i.e. the Democrats here in the U.S.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_states_and_blue_states#Origins_of_current_color_scheme

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