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Ive switched stances on the Electoral College

imabench
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4/13/2016 5:23:07 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
Basically, I took the popular vote results from all 50 states from the past 4 presidential elections and organized them into 7 groups based on their current affiliation and which way they are trending just to see what the results are.... Based on the numbers, a very few number of states are shifting from the party they normally vote for to becoming a swing state that votes almost 50-50, while a much larger number of states that vote for a certain party are either remaining static to their party, or are becoming even more affiliated to their party.... 23 states are moving further away from the center, and 18 that were not at the center have not even budged, for a total of 41 states being safely devoted to one party or the other in presidential elections. Only 3 states that usually swing one way are shifting more towards the center, while the remaining 6 states not included in those tallies are already true swing states to begin with.

Here are the categories each state is sorted into based on trends in which party they vote for in presidential elections

- Republican States trending Democrat
- Democrat States trending Republican
- Republican States trending further Republican
- Democrat States trending further Democrat
- Republican States static (<5% overall change from 2000)
- Democrat States static (<5% overall change from 2000)
- True swing states still on the fence

The states are organized by which party won the most votes, and by what percent of the popular vote of the state, for 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012

Example: State........ Dem or Rep and % in 2000.....Dem or Rep and % in 2004...... Dem or Rep and % in 2008...... Dem or Rep and % in 2012

Data:

- Republican States trending Democrat

Alaska - R 58.62 - R 61.07 - R 59.42 - R 54.80
North Carolina - R 56.03 - R 56.02 - D 49.70 - R 50.39

[
[
[

- Democrat States trending Republican

Nevada - R 49.52 - R 50.47 - D 55.15 - D 52.36

[
[
[

- Republican States trending further Republican

Alabama - R 56.48 - R 62.46 - R 60.32 - R 60.55
Arkansas - R 51.31 - R 54.31 - R 58.72 - R 60.57
Kentucky - R 56.50 - R 59.55 - R 57.40 - R 60.49
Louisiana - R 52.55 - R 56.72 - R 58.56 - R 57.78
Oklahoma - R 60.31 - R 65.57 - R 65.65 - R 66.77
Tennessee - R 51.15 - R 56.80 - R 56.90 - R 59.48
Utah - R 66.83 - R 71.54 - R 62.58 - R 72.79
West Virginia - R 51.92 - R 56.06 - R 55.71 - R 62.30

[
[
[

- Democrat States trending further Democrat

California - D 53.45 - D 54.31 - D 61.01 - D 60.24
Connecticut - D 55.91 - D 54.31 - D 60.59 - D 58.06
Delaware - D 54.96 - D 53.35 - D 61.94 - D 58.61
Hawaii - D 55.79 - D 54.01 - D 71.85 - D 70.55
Iowa - D 48.54 - R 49.90 - D 53.93 - D 51.99
Maine - D 49.09 - D 53.57 - D 57.71 - D 56.27
Maryland - D 56.57 - D 55.91 - D 61.92 - D 61.97
Michigan - D 51.28 - D 51.23 - D 57.43 - D 54.21
Minnesota - D 47.91 - D 51.09 - D 54.06 - D 52.65
New Mexico - D 47.91- R 49.84 - D 56.91 - D 52.99
New York - D 60.21 - D 58.37 - D 62.88 - D 63.35
Oregon - D 46.96 - D 51.35 - D 56.75 - D 54.24
Vermont - D 50.63 - R 58.94 - D 67.46 - D 66.57
Washington - D 50.16 - D 52.82 - D 57.65 - D 56.16
Wisconsin - D 47.83 - D 49.70 - D 56.22 - D 52.83

[
[
[

- Republican States static (<4% overall change from 2000)

Arizona - R 51.02 - R 54.87 - R 53.64 - R 53.65
Georgia - R 54.67 - R 57.97 - R 52.20 - R 53.30
Idaho - R 67.17 - R 68.38 - R 61.52 - R 64.53
Indiana - R 56.65 - R 59.94 - D 49.95 - R 54.13
Kansas - R 58.08 - R 62.00 - R 56.61 - R 59.71
Mississippi - R 57.62 - R 59.45 - R 56.18 - R 55.29
Missouri - R 50.42 - R 53.30 - R 49.43 - R 53.76
Montana - R 58.44 - R 59.07 - R 49.51 - R 55.35
Nebraska - R 62.25 - R 65.90 - R 56.53 - R 59.80
North Dakota - R 60.66 - R 62.86 - R 53.25 - R 58.32
South Carolina - R 56.84 - R 57.98 - R 53.87 - R 54.56
South Dakota - R 60.30 - R 59.91 - R 53.16 - R 57.89
Texas - R 59.30 - R 61.09 - R 55.45 - R 57.17
Wyoming - R 67.76 - R 68.86 - R 64.78 - D 68.64

[
[
[

- Democrat States static (<4% overall change from 2000)

Illinois - D 54.60 - D 54.82 - D 61.92 - D 57.60
Massachusetts - D 59.80 - D 61.94 - D 61.80 - D 60.65
New Jersey - D 56.13 - D 52.92 - D 57.27 - D 58.38
Rhode Island - D 60.99 - D 59.42 - D 62.86 - D 62.70

[
[
[

- True swing states on the fence

Colorado - R 50.75 - R 51.69 - D 53.66 - D 51.49
Florida - R 48.85 - R 52.10 - D 51.03 - D 50.01
New Hampshire - R 48.07 - D 50.24 - D 54.13 - D 51.98
Ohio - R 49.97 - R 50.81 - D 51.50 - D 50.67
Pennsylvania - D 50.60 - D 50.92 - D 54.49 - D 51.97
Virginia - R 52.47 - R 53.68 - D 52.63 - D 51.16

https://en.wikipedia.org...
https://en.wikipedia.org...
https://en.wikipedia.org...
https://en.wikipedia.org...

Conclusion based off of the data and why I shifted my stance:

Factoring in the electoral count of all states, both Republicans and Democrats do not have the required 270 votes needed to win the presidency 'in their pocket' from states that are static to their party or are increasingly loyal to their party, meaning that both sides need to win a majority of the undecided swing states in order to win the presidency..... However, given how almost all states that are NOT swing states are either drifting further from the center or are remaining static (the exceptions being Alaska, North Carolina, and Nevada), presidential hopefuls will likely be advised to campaign more and more heavily in contested swing states, rather than all states in the country, since these few swing states are holding increasingly more influence in deciding the outcome of presidential elections.

Looking at only the large swing states that are almost impossible to win the election without them (Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia), current voting trends suggest that in the future, these 4 states will hold an increasingly larger grip on the outcome of the presidency than all of the other 46 states put together, since a majority of the 46 other states decisively lean to one of the two parties, and cancel out each other's impact.

I used to support the electoral college system on the belief that it makes presidential candidates have to give more energy to campaigning in small states rather than just all the large ones with more votes up for grabs. For example, Arizona has 11 electoral votes and California has 55, for a total of FIVE TIMES as many votes as Arizona, but California has almost SIX times the population of Arizona, meaning that the electoral college gives an Arizona voter a little more say in an election than a California voter.

But because of the political trends of the country, a voter in California and in Arizona have far less weight behind their vote than a voter in a major swing state like Ohio or Florida due to the electoral college, and the gap is only widening according to voting trends among states. The electoral college in theory was meant to give more say to small states, but in reality it has not, and only makes pushes some big states down to the level of small states rather than raise small states up to better footing compared to big states......

The Electoral College clearly does not accomplish the job it is meant to do, and only awards larger influence to specific big states rather than all big states. In light of this, I no longer support the system.
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TheFlex
Posts: 1,745
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4/13/2016 6:20:06 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
This was a great post. I had been asking around the forums for opinions and thoughts on a similar topic (Should we abolish the EC system, and similar ones, to favor the popular vote?).
Hayd
Posts: 4,022
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4/13/2016 9:17:19 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
I don't support it because of the winner-takes all. If 43% of the state votes one candidate, it only makes sense that 43% of the electoral votes should go to that candidate. Doing it any other way is undemocratic since giving all electoral votes would represent 100% of the population. Its misrepresentation, and not democratic
Greyparrot
Posts: 14,215
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4/13/2016 9:19:36 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
The EC was supposed to mitigate the effects of pandering to a super-majority of a large state to the detriment of small states, meaning, a politician could say, we will tax Arizona and give the proceeds to California, ensuring he will get 95% of the popular vote in a large state.

However, the reality is that voters are not nearly as divided over state lines as they are over cultural lines. Also, since there is no mechanism in place for, say, a Black president to pander to a super-majority of Blacks, or Hispanics to win 95% of the vote, and democracy still works, then we can safely conclude that the EC is not needed for democracy to work.
Chloe8
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4/13/2016 9:55:55 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/13/2016 5:23:07 PM, imabench wrote:
Basically, I took the popular vote results from all 50 states from the past 4 presidential elections and organized them into 7 groups based on their current affiliation and which way they are trending just to see what the results are.... Based on the numbers, a very few number of states are shifting from the party they normally vote for to becoming a swing state that votes almost 50-50, while a much larger number of states that vote for a certain party are either remaining static to their party, or are becoming even more affiliated to their party.... 23 states are moving further away from the center, and 18 that were not at the center have not even budged, for a total of 41 states being safely devoted to one party or the other in presidential elections. Only 3 states that usually swing one way are shifting more towards the center, while the remaining 6 states not included in those tallies are already true swing states to begin with.

Here are the categories each state is sorted into based on trends in which party they vote for in presidential elections

- Republican States trending Democrat
- Democrat States trending Republican
- Republican States trending further Republican
- Democrat States trending further Democrat
- Republican States static (<5% overall change from 2000)
- Democrat States static (<5% overall change from 2000)
- True swing states still on the fence

The states are organized by which party won the most votes, and by what percent of the popular vote of the state, for 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012

Example: State........ Dem or Rep and % in 2000.....Dem or Rep and % in 2004...... Dem or Rep and % in 2008...... Dem or Rep and % in 2012

Data:

- Republican States trending Democrat

Alaska - R 58.62 - R 61.07 - R 59.42 - R 54.80
North Carolina - R 56.03 - R 56.02 - D 49.70 - R 50.39

[
[
[

- Democrat States trending Republican

Nevada - R 49.52 - R 50.47 - D 55.15 - D 52.36

[
[
[

- Republican States trending further Republican

Alabama - R 56.48 - R 62.46 - R 60.32 - R 60.55
Arkansas - R 51.31 - R 54.31 - R 58.72 - R 60.57
Kentucky - R 56.50 - R 59.55 - R 57.40 - R 60.49
Louisiana - R 52.55 - R 56.72 - R 58.56 - R 57.78
Oklahoma - R 60.31 - R 65.57 - R 65.65 - R 66.77
Tennessee - R 51.15 - R 56.80 - R 56.90 - R 59.48
Utah - R 66.83 - R 71.54 - R 62.58 - R 72.79
West Virginia - R 51.92 - R 56.06 - R 55.71 - R 62.30

[
[
[

- Democrat States trending further Democrat

California - D 53.45 - D 54.31 - D 61.01 - D 60.24
Connecticut - D 55.91 - D 54.31 - D 60.59 - D 58.06
Delaware - D 54.96 - D 53.35 - D 61.94 - D 58.61
Hawaii - D 55.79 - D 54.01 - D 71.85 - D 70.55
Iowa - D 48.54 - R 49.90 - D 53.93 - D 51.99
Maine - D 49.09 - D 53.57 - D 57.71 - D 56.27
Maryland - D 56.57 - D 55.91 - D 61.92 - D 61.97
Michigan - D 51.28 - D 51.23 - D 57.43 - D 54.21
Minnesota - D 47.91 - D 51.09 - D 54.06 - D 52.65
New Mexico - D 47.91- R 49.84 - D 56.91 - D 52.99
New York - D 60.21 - D 58.37 - D 62.88 - D 63.35
Oregon - D 46.96 - D 51.35 - D 56.75 - D 54.24
Vermont - D 50.63 - R 58.94 - D 67.46 - D 66.57
Washington - D 50.16 - D 52.82 - D 57.65 - D 56.16
Wisconsin - D 47.83 - D 49.70 - D 56.22 - D 52.83

[
[
[

- Republican States static (<4% overall change from 2000)

Arizona - R 51.02 - R 54.87 - R 53.64 - R 53.65
Georgia - R 54.67 - R 57.97 - R 52.20 - R 53.30
Idaho - R 67.17 - R 68.38 - R 61.52 - R 64.53
Indiana - R 56.65 - R 59.94 - D 49.95 - R 54.13
Kansas - R 58.08 - R 62.00 - R 56.61 - R 59.71
Mississippi - R 57.62 - R 59.45 - R 56.18 - R 55.29
Missouri - R 50.42 - R 53.30 - R 49.43 - R 53.76
Montana - R 58.44 - R 59.07 - R 49.51 - R 55.35
Nebraska - R 62.25 - R 65.90 - R 56.53 - R 59.80
North Dakota - R 60.66 - R 62.86 - R 53.25 - R 58.32
South Carolina - R 56.84 - R 57.98 - R 53.87 - R 54.56
South Dakota - R 60.30 - R 59.91 - R 53.16 - R 57.89
Texas - R 59.30 - R 61.09 - R 55.45 - R 57.17
Wyoming - R 67.76 - R 68.86 - R 64.78 - D 68.64

[
[
[

- Democrat States static (<4% overall change from 2000)

Illinois - D 54.60 - D 54.82 - D 61.92 - D 57.60
Massachusetts - D 59.80 - D 61.94 - D 61.80 - D 60.65
New Jersey - D 56.13 - D 52.92 - D 57.27 - D 58.38
Rhode Island - D 60.99 - D 59.42 - D 62.86 - D 62.70

[
[
[

- True swing states on the fence

Colorado - R 50.75 - R 51.69 - D 53.66 - D 51.49
Florida - R 48.85 - R 52.10 - D 51.03 - D 50.01
New Hampshire - R 48.07 - D 50.24 - D 54.13 - D 51.98
Ohio - R 49.97 - R 50.81 - D 51.50 - D 50.67
Pennsylvania - D 50.60 - D 50.92 - D 54.49 - D 51.97
Virginia - R 52.47 - R 53.68 - D 52.63 - D 51.16

https://en.wikipedia.org...
https://en.wikipedia.org...
https://en.wikipedia.org...
https://en.wikipedia.org...

Conclusion based off of the data and why I shifted my stance:

Factoring in the electoral count of all states, both Republicans and Democrats do not have the required 270 votes needed to win the presidency 'in their pocket' from states that are static to their party or are increasingly loyal to their party, meaning that both sides need to win a majority of the undecided swing states in order to win the presidency..... However, given how almost all states that are NOT swing states are either drifting further from the center or are remaining static (the exceptions being Alaska, North Carolina, and Nevada), presidential hopefuls will likely be advised to campaign more and more heavily in contested swing states, rather than all states in the country, since these few swing states are holding increasingly more influence in deciding the outcome of presidential elections.

Looking at only the large swing states that are almost impossible to win the election without them (Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia), current voting trends suggest that in the future, these 4 states will hold an increasingly larger grip on the outcome of the presidency than all of the other 46 states put together, since a majority of the 46 other states decisively lean to one of the two parties, and cancel
How about a simple system where total number of votes across the entire country is used to elect the president? The person with the most votes is elected president? this would require candidates to appeal equally to all voters and give all voters an equal say in the election. It would prevent candidates ignoring the safe states and campaigning in certain areas. It would encourage candidates to build a campaign aimed at the entire country.
1harderthanyouthink
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4/13/2016 11:19:18 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/13/2016 9:17:19 PM, Hayd wrote:
I don't support it because of the winner-takes all. If 43% of the state votes one candidate, it only makes sense that 43% of the electoral votes should go to that candidate. Doing it any other way is undemocratic since giving all electoral votes would represent 100% of the population. Its misrepresentation, and not democratic

That would hand Republicans the election.
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And I'm much obliged to you for making it clear - that I'm not here."

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Hayd
Posts: 4,022
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4/13/2016 11:27:56 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/13/2016 11:19:18 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
At 4/13/2016 9:17:19 PM, Hayd wrote:
I don't support it because of the winner-takes all. If 43% of the state votes one candidate, it only makes sense that 43% of the electoral votes should go to that candidate. Doing it any other way is undemocratic since giving all electoral votes would represent 100% of the population. Its misrepresentation, and not democratic

That would hand Republicans the election.

having a democratic election outweighs that
1harderthanyouthink
Posts: 13,098
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4/13/2016 11:29:42 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/13/2016 11:27:56 PM, Hayd wrote:
At 4/13/2016 11:19:18 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
At 4/13/2016 9:17:19 PM, Hayd wrote:
I don't support it because of the winner-takes all. If 43% of the state votes one candidate, it only makes sense that 43% of the electoral votes should go to that candidate. Doing it any other way is undemocratic since giving all electoral votes would represent 100% of the population. Its misrepresentation, and not democratic

That would hand Republicans the election.

having a democratic election outweighs that

Not if it isn't indicative of how the country votes.
"It's awfully considerate of you to think of me here,
And I'm much obliged to you for making it clear - that I'm not here."

-Syd Barrett

DDO Risk King
1harderthanyouthink
Posts: 13,098
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4/13/2016 11:30:00 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/13/2016 11:27:56 PM, Hayd wrote:
At 4/13/2016 11:19:18 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
At 4/13/2016 9:17:19 PM, Hayd wrote:
I don't support it because of the winner-takes all. If 43% of the state votes one candidate, it only makes sense that 43% of the electoral votes should go to that candidate. Doing it any other way is undemocratic since giving all electoral votes would represent 100% of the population. Its misrepresentation, and not democratic

That would hand Republicans the election.

having a democratic election outweighs that

So really, it isn't democratic at all.
"It's awfully considerate of you to think of me here,
And I'm much obliged to you for making it clear - that I'm not here."

-Syd Barrett

DDO Risk King
Hayd
Posts: 4,022
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4/14/2016 12:11:51 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/13/2016 11:29:42 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
At 4/13/2016 11:27:56 PM, Hayd wrote:
At 4/13/2016 11:19:18 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
At 4/13/2016 9:17:19 PM, Hayd wrote:
I don't support it because of the winner-takes all. If 43% of the state votes one candidate, it only makes sense that 43% of the electoral votes should go to that candidate. Doing it any other way is undemocratic since giving all electoral votes would represent 100% of the population. Its misrepresentation, and not democratic

That would hand Republicans the election.

having a democratic election outweighs that

Not if it isn't indicative of how the country votes.

That doesn't make sense. You replied to my post arguing that we shouldn't have the electoral college because it isn't indivative of how the country votes. You then said that that would hand the republicans the election. That would be bad, since they are dumb, but thats indicative on how the country votes. So I would rather have a democratic election that elects a bad person, than an undemocratic election. I'm confused now based on what you just said. Did I assume something wrong?
1harderthanyouthink
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4/14/2016 12:14:48 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/14/2016 12:11:51 AM, Hayd wrote:
At 4/13/2016 11:29:42 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
At 4/13/2016 11:27:56 PM, Hayd wrote:
At 4/13/2016 11:19:18 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
At 4/13/2016 9:17:19 PM, Hayd wrote:
I don't support it because of the winner-takes all. If 43% of the state votes one candidate, it only makes sense that 43% of the electoral votes should go to that candidate. Doing it any other way is undemocratic since giving all electoral votes would represent 100% of the population. Its misrepresentation, and not democratic

That would hand Republicans the election.

having a democratic election outweighs that

Not if it isn't indicative of how the country votes.

That doesn't make sense. You replied to my post arguing that we shouldn't have the electoral college because it isn't indivative of how the country votes. You then said that that would hand the republicans the election. That would be bad, since they are dumb, but thats indicative on how the country votes. So I would rather have a democratic election that elects a bad person, than an undemocratic election. I'm confused now based on what you just said. Did I assume something wrong?

It both doesn't show how the country votes and hands the election to the Republicans.
"It's awfully considerate of you to think of me here,
And I'm much obliged to you for making it clear - that I'm not here."

-Syd Barrett

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ford_prefect
Posts: 4,137
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4/14/2016 12:25:17 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
Obviously the electoral college is a terrible, undemocratic idea, but not only for the reason stated by OP.

Why on earth should a voter in Arizona count more than a voter in California?? That is exactly what is happening in the EC system. Where you live should not determine whether you get more or less sway over a federal election.

For the same reason, having the Senate be composed of 2 from each state is MORONIC. Why do the people of CA, TX, and NY combined have the same influence in the Senate as the people of RI, WY and DE??? And when you tell conservatives this, they answer with some BS about states' rights. But then you say, well let's make DC a state because right now their residents get taxation without representation (no senators).... and... crickets.