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Dad_Scaper December 20th, 2016 11:08 AM

Re: Decision 2016
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Raider30 (Post 2126855)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Dad_Scaper (Post 2126851)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Raider30 (Post 2126836)
Under a popular vote system California single handily turns a Trump plurality into a Clinton plurality.

I don't really care about this debate, because the EC isn't going anywhere and the effect of the EC doesn't really favor anybody one way or the other. It's just a strange sauce for the goose, and we have it, and it isn't going away.

That said, I've seen this a couple of times, including now a couple of times in this thread, and it's just kind of wrong. It's not California that gave Clinton the majority of the popular vote. It's all the people who voted for her, everywhere. Each vote counts as one vote.

It's only through the lens of the weird Electoral College that you count state-by-state. Why should my vote in Maryland count differently from somebody's vote in Sacramento, California? One is one. It's not how we do it, but it certainly makes *sense*.

Like you I don't really care much about this debate, I just happened to read the post shortly after reading the article and thought it ironic.

But addressing what you wrote, I could just as easily say back 'It's not a swing state that gave Trump the majority of the electoral college, it's all the states everywhere.'

Just sayin'

-Raider30

Ps: aside from all that I'm curious as to exactly how much you think your vote or perhaps someone from a 'lesser' state will count when the politicians skip dealing with you to focus on promises and delivering the goods to the more populous states? You know that's exactly what will happen, because that's the way politicians and politics works. I'd prefer to continue to at least keep the appearances up that they have to care about everyone.

A popular vote would not drive politicians toward the populous *states*, Raider, it would drive politicians toward population *centers*. Chicago, Salt Lake City, Miami, Minneapolis, and so on. Which they already do, because it doesn't make sense for them to hold rallies in the middle of cornfields, even when they're campaigning in farm country. They go to where the people are.

Your posts keep tallying by state, but the whole point of one person = one vote is that the state borders wouldn't matter.

Ranior December 20th, 2016 11:28 AM

Re: Decision 2016
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Raider30 (Post 2126855)

Ps: aside from all that I'm curious as to exactly how much you think your vote or perhaps someone from a 'lesser' state will count when the politicians skip dealing with you to focus on promises and delivering the goods to the more populous states? You know that's exactly what will happen, because that's the way politicians and politics works. I'd prefer to continue to at least keep the appearances up that they have to care about everyone.

Others are already hitting this up anyhow, but they're right.

Politicians already campaign in population centers. When they come and campaign in WI they make visits to Madison, Green Bay, Eau Claire, and Milwaukee. They aren't campaigning in Antigo or Phillips or other rural towns.

The point is a national popular vote would encourage campaigns to go to population centers everywhere. The Republican might actually show up to San Fransisco and try to draw up some support and encourage the voters there.

The electoral college just makes the voters in some states have way more of a say than the voters in other states. I cannot see a good reason I in WI should have more say about who the next president is than Dysole does, but that is the simple truth of the current system.

A national popular vote would mean every single individual has the same power to influence who the next president will be. And I would argue that would be good for a democracy. The electoral college adds unnecessary obfuscation to the entire election process and all it manages to do is benefit the voters in swing states.

Raider30 December 20th, 2016 12:01 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by dok (Post 2126860)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Raider30 (Post 2126836)
Quote:

Originally Posted by dok (Post 2126747)
Long article on the effects of the EC. Backs up a lot of the points I've made here about how it doesn't protect smaller states or regional interests or rural interests and so on.

One of the concluding quotes:

Quote:

The point is that the main bias of the Electoral College isnít against big states or regionalism; itís just toward the big battleground states. If they break overwhelmingly one way, thatís who wins. This is not exactly a high-minded Hamiltonian argument. There arenít many justifications for letting a few close states decide a close national election. But thatís basically what the system does, and thereís nothing about those states that ensures they provide a representative outcome.

So I read an interesting little piece that described how Clinton won the popular vote by approximately 2.8 million votes. Which depended on the votes from a single state - California, in which Trump lost by approximately 3.5 million votes. Under a popular vote system California single handily turns a Trump plurality into a Clinton plurality. I find that incredibly ironic given the conclusion of the article cited above.

It seems to me that the electoral college functioned exactly as it was designed in that it prevented a single region, or state in this case, from overriding the results of a diverse nation. As the article said "American voters elected a national president, not California's choice."

Just sayin'....

- Raider30

Did you read the article? This exact point was addressed. Trump won a set of deep red states by a nearly identical margin. Those states also didn't get to decide. (And no, the EC's slant towards less populous states wasn't decisive, either. That point is addressed as well.)

Cherry picking one data point doesn't really tell you very much. If someone starts with a desired conclusion (e.g. "the Electoral College helped my guy this time, so it must be really good") then you can find some data that supports that argument. That won't make it right, nor will it make it "incredibly ironic" if the greater data set doesn't support that argument.

Yes, I read the article. And yes it is still ironic that the conclusion to the article talks about letting a few close states decide the election while a popular vote, at least in this election, would have done the same thing.

The article did address the California issue and its comparison was that Trump won 'appalachifornia'. The problem is that it's not an apples to apples comparison- 'appalachifornia' is conglomeration of *14* states. This only proves how ironic the statement I highlighted actually is. Trump had to take 14 states just to equal a single blue state.

That's all I was pointing out, not whether or not I agree with it or disagree with it, nor should you assume that I'm in favor of the electoral college because it helped "my guy this time".


Raider30

Dad_Scaper December 20th, 2016 12:36 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
People from some places would balance out the votes from some other places. Given one person one vote, the location of the state line is irrelevant.

dok December 20th, 2016 01:14 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Raider30 (Post 2126870)
The article did address the California issue and its comparison was that Trump won 'appalachifornia'. The problem is that it's not an apples to apples comparison- 'appalachifornia' is conglomeration of *14* states. This only proves how ironic the statement I highlighted actually is. Trump had to take 14 states just to equal a single blue state.

The point the article is making there is that when you point out the way one swath of the country delivered extreme margins for one candidate, you are cherry picking, because other parts of the country delivered extreme margins for another candidate. It actually doesn't mean anything, really, that we draw state lines around one of them. Why does that matter? To review, you said:

Quote:

Originally Posted by Raider30 (Post 2126870)
It seems to me that the electoral college functioned exactly as it was designed in that it prevented a single region, or state in this case, from overriding the results of a diverse nation. As the article said "American voters elected a national president, not California's choice."

And that's just a weird distortion of how it went down. If we had a national popular vote, then California would not get to trump the entire country. A Clinton win would require votes from lots of places - and indeed, she couldn't win without lots of votes from sparsely-populated regions. Take away Clinton's votes from "Appalachifornia" and she loses the popular vote.

If we had a national popular vote, it would be equally correct to say that Clinton's supporters in Wyoming, West Virginia, and Idaho provided the key votes, as it would be to say the voters in California did, because all the votes would count the same. This seems kind of obvious, once you say it, but it bears repeating.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Raider30 (Post 2126870)
That's all I was pointing out, not whether or not I agree with it or disagree with it, nor should you assume that I'm in favor of the electoral college because it helped "my guy this time".

I was referring to the author of the article you referenced, not you. I've read and watched a number of these arguments, and I know how they play. But anyway, it sure seems like you are in favor of the EC.

I do wonder how differently this subject would be discussed if Kerry had won the EC and lost the popular vote (which came fairly close to happening).

Raider30 December 20th, 2016 01:19 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Dad_Scaper (Post 2126876)
People from some places would balance out the votes from some other places. Given one person one vote, the location of the state line is irrelevant.

So I'm curious then, why isn't one person per vote acceptable for other forms of government? Why not take the logic all the way out to the House of Representatives? Why should California for example have such a huge sway in the federal government? Why have the House of Representatives at all?

- Raider30

Dad_Scaper December 20th, 2016 01:24 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
In most elections of chief executives - I would guess that all 50 out of 50 governors, I would guess most county-level executives - the election is one person, one vote. Everyone in Baltimore County votes once for County Executive; the winner is the one with the most votes. Everyone in the State of Maryland votes for governor; the winner is (surprise!) the one who gets the most votes. That's the way it normally works.

Even in congressional races, it works the same way. Members of the House are the ones who got the most votes in their districts; members of the Senate are the ones who got the most votes state-wide.

You're asking about the two houses of Congress? Well, the framers set it up so there are two. The Senate, in which every state has two representatives, and the House, in which the numbers are proportional to population. Even those guys, though, only get to serve because they were elected by the home jurisdictions in a one person/one vote system.

The EC is kind of dumb. I mean, I'm not trying to change it, and it doesn't help one party over another. But it's just a peculiar relic, that sometimes puts its thumb on the scales one way or the other.

vegietarian18 December 20th, 2016 01:24 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
I still think the problems of electoral college swinginess and therefore the importance of swing states is much better solved through proportional allocation of current electoral votes. This eliminates any concern of candidates running up the national popular vote in one particular area of the country and keeps candidates campaigning for all 50 states.

Raider30 December 20th, 2016 01:44 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by dok (Post 2126887)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Raider30 (Post 2126870)
The article did address the California issue and its comparison was that Trump won 'appalachifornia'. The problem is that it's not an apples to apples comparison- 'appalachifornia' is conglomeration of *14* states. This only proves how ironic the statement I highlighted actually is. Trump had to take 14 states just to equal a single blue state.

The point the article is making there is that when you point out the way one swath of the country delivered extreme margins for one candidate, you are cherry picking, because other parts of the country delivered extreme margins for another candidate. It actually doesn't mean anything, really, that we draw state lines around one of them. Why does that matter? To review, you said:

Quote:

Originally Posted by Raider30 (Post 2126870)
It seems to me that the electoral college functioned exactly as it was designed in that it prevented a single region, or state in this case, from overriding the results of a diverse nation. As the article said "American voters elected a national president, not California's choice."

And that's just a weird distortion of how it went down. If we had a national popular vote, then California would not get to trump the entire country. A Clinton win would require votes from lots of places - and indeed, she couldn't win without lots of votes from sparsely-populated regions. Take away Clinton's votes from "Appalachifornia" and she loses the popular vote.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Raider30 (Post 2126870)
That's all I was pointing out, not whether or not I agree with it or disagree with it, nor should you assume that I'm in favor of the electoral college because it helped "my guy this time".

I was referring to the author of the article you referenced, not you. I've read and watched a number of these arguments, and I know how they play. But anyway, it sure seems like you are in favor of the EC.

I do wonder how differently this subject would be discussed if Kerry had won the EC and lost the popular vote (which came fairly close to happening).

Except it wasn't a 'swath' it was California. An 'extreme' margin of 60% in California is 3.5million votes and a 69% margin of victory in West Virginia is 300k votes. It's not apples to apples. When you can win one states vote and have it equal approximately 14 other states how can anyone even argue that California doesn't hold a disproportionate amount of power in a popular election?


And a win for anyone requires lots of votes from other places, obviously Hillary doesn't win JUST from California but I thought the whole discussion in this tread about the EC was pointing out how it makes votes disproportionately count.

Would this even be a discussion if Trump had lost MI, PA, WI, and OH for 64 votes but had won CA and WA for 67? I doubt it or at least it wouldn't have carried on for quite so long.

Or perhaps if the situation were reversed and Trump won the popular vote but lost the EC? Again I doubt it, or at least it wouldn't have carried on for quite so long(except for maybe Trump himself would have complained vociferously I think we can all agree.

Raider30

dok December 20th, 2016 01:58 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Raider30 (Post 2126897)
Except it wasn't a 'swath' it was California. An 'extreme' margin of 60% in California is 3.5million votes and a 69% margin of victory in West Virginia is 300k votes. It's not apples to apples. When you can win one states vote and have it equal approximately 14 other states how can anyone even argue that California doesn't hold a disproportionate amount of power in a popular election?

Because every vote would count the same.

How is counting each individual vote as one vote "disproportionate"? It's really odd to think that. The total voting power of California would be proportional to the number of voters in California. Seriously, take a step back and think about what "proportional" and "disproportionate" actually mean.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Raider30 (Post 2126897)
And a win for anyone requires lots of votes from other places, obviously Hillary doesn't win JUST from California but I thought the whole discussion in this tread about the EC was pointing out how it makes votes disproportionately count.

Yes, that, along with pointing out that the EC does not consistently prevent regionalism, or favor rural voters, or any of the other stuff we hear to try to justify it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Raider30 (Post 2126897)
Would this even be a discussion if Trump had lost MI, PA, WI, and OH for 64 votes but had won CA and WA for 67? I doubt it or at least it wouldn't have carried on for quite so long.

Oh, sure it would. It's not the population of the individual swing states that matter, it's that there was a popular vote/electoral vote divide. That's what drives these discussions to the fore.

Nobody cared that the Electoral College strongly favored Barack Obama both years, because he won the popular vote too. the EC being slanted towards him just kept the EC from being close. Similarly, nobody cared when the EC favored Kerry, because GWB won by enough to overcome his Electoral College disadvantage.

People only care about the Electoral College when it differs from the popular vote. This makes sense, because we all intuitively understand that the popular vote means something. There's a reason why we use it to decide every other election, after all.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Raider30 (Post 2126897)
Or perhaps if the situation were reversed and Trump won the popular vote but lost the EC? Again I doubt it, or at least it wouldn't have carried on for quite so long(except for maybe Trump himself would have complained vociferously I think we can all agree.

Oh, hahahaha.

No, there would be super loud complaints. They might be tempered slightly when coming from those who had argued the opposite way 16 years ago, but by and large it would be the same story. If anything Trump would make it even louder. He had been priming his supporters to protest the election as "rigged", after all, until he won. It would be easy for him to fit the EC into that narrative.

Xorlof December 20th, 2016 02:09 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
I just encountered an interesting study. I find the results of this study, if true, depressing, and (depending on how cynical I presently imagine myself) I find them both surprising and unsurprising. Key quote from abstract:

"small payments for correct and "don't know" responses sharply diminish the gap between Democrats and Republicans in responses to "partisan" factual questions": http://www.nber.org/papers/w19080

I hope everyone here is more intellectually honest than the subjects of the paper's experiments.

Ranior December 20th, 2016 02:27 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by vegietarian18 (Post 2126891)
I still think the problems of electoral college swinginess and therefore the importance of swing states is much better solved through proportional allocation of current electoral votes. This eliminates any concern of candidates running up the national popular vote in one particular area of the country and keeps candidates campaigning for all 50 states.

I've seen you suggest this before and I'm just not sure that would have the impact you think it would have.

To be fair I don't necessarily know what impact it would have for certain either. But I think we can safely say it would not incentivize campaigns to actually campaign across all the states. In particular I suspect this would heavily disadvantage small states that have only 5 electoral votes or less roughly. The reason is simple--in those states it would take some truly staggering vote margins to change the outcome.

Let's just focus on Wyoming for a moment. It has three electoral votes. Just looking back quickly it seems that the Republican candidate typically gets about 60-80 percent of the vote while the Democrat gets 20-40. Of course third party and what not throws this off a bit, but it doesn't impact my point. Even though that is a shift of quite a lot percentage wise, in a state like Wyoming that wouldn't have any impact on the allocation of electoral votes--the Republican would always get 2 and the Democrat 1.

In comparison, California with its 55 electoral votes will matter far more for you actually stand to pick up 5 or more votes depending on the exact margin. It's much easier to pick up 2 percentage points over your opponent and therefore gain an electoral vote than it is to gain 33 percentage points to gain one electoral vote.

Therefore your system will instead shift the fight to very populous states I would predict. It may slightly widen the number of states that matter and it will shift around what states matter, but I think issues would still abound.


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