Monday, March 19, 2018

The Periodic "Abolish the Electoral College" Noise

Ever since Hillary Clinton's loss in 2016, the left has been in one of their predictable snits about the electoral college system being outdated and needing to be eliminated.  There's currently a petition up on with over 715,000 signatures.  I'm fairly sure those 715,000 must be the "Resistance" members who took a break from trying to determine their gender long enough to find something else to complain about.  Not to mention that Babs Feinstein says she's going to propose legislation to do away with it (sorry, Babs, it would have to be a constitutional amendment).

My friend Bob, N4RFC, and I talked a little about this by email about this, and he followed that up with a good blog post about why we shouldn't restructure our system to a simple one person/one vote system. It's a good look at just what's at stake.  It's worth your time to look at if you have any doubts about the wisdom of this feature of how the founders structured our country.  He starts out with a fact that a different friend dropped on him.
More people live in New York City than in 40 of the 50 states.
Much like I would, his first response was to think, "is that right?" and begin looking into it.  He found this map.  The states with less population than New York City are in red. It turns out the statement was wrong, just not by much.  If you count the gray states, you'll find 12 of them, not 10.  That means more people live in New York City than in 38 of the 50 states.

There are 3,141 counties in the United States.
Trump won 3,084 of them.
Clinton won 57.
There are 62 counties in New York State.
Trump won 46 of them.
Clinton won 16.
Clinton won the popular vote by approx. 2. million + votes.
In the 5 counties that encompass NYC, (Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Richmond and Queens) Clinton received well over 2 million more votes than Trump. (Clinton only won 4 of these counties, Trump won Richmond) Therefore, these 5 counties alone more than accounted for Clinton winning the popular vote of the entire country. These 5 counties comprise 319 square miles. The United States is comprised of 3,797,000 square miles.
Whether they know it or not (and I assume they do know it), the desire to get rid of the electoral college is a desire to avoid those icky flyover-country people (with their bibles and their guns!) and have candidates just campaign in a few big cities.  Forget having a candidate come to any state that's red in this map, and chances are any Evil party candidate would only campaign in the few largest cities, because those are the most reliably blue places.  I know I've written before that the real division in the country isn't the so-called "left/right", it's big city/small city

What are the alternatives to having to win the big cities?  Perhaps it could be done by winning sizable majorities in all of those gray states on the map, and a few of the red states that might have larger populations.  That's a question for a study group/think tank; or a pollster/consultant like Kellyanne Conway or Scott Rasmussen.  While candidate D could virtually get an apartment in New York and campaign there for months with short one or two day trips to Chicago or El Lay, Candidate R would still require a mobile base of operations and a campaign aircraft to crisscross those gray states. 

The disadvantage to us "dirt people" is that your concerns would never come up in a presidential campaign again.  It would strictly be a matter of how much you can transfer to the occupants of a few big cities. 

The arguments that Feinstein makes against the electoral college are all based on the way it actually works.  Of course, she's incapable of seeing them as design features and not bugs.  She sees it as wrong that a tie in the electoral college goes to the house of Representatives and that would "unfairly grant California’s 36 million residents equal status with Wyoming’s 500,000 residents."   But the country is designed from the bottom up for balance of power.  If your idea is that having more citizens in your state means other states have no voice and get nothing, eliminating these balances seems like a good idea. 

If you're a resident of one of those cities, I can see you being in favor of it.  It's a really bad idea for the country as a whole, though.  Thankfully, I don't see much chance of the change happening.


  1. "unfairly grant California’s 36 million residents equal status with Wyoming’s 500,000 residents." Ah, no. The wHORes are based on population. Being in the Senate herself, she has forgotten more about the Constitution than she ever knew.

  2. The "deplorables" who the deep state has a huge mistrust of live in fly-over country for the most part and if counted as a militia army (based on bodies, arms and ammo) outnumber the US military on the order of at least 50 to 1. That's a lot of power in a republic, vested in the hands of deplorables.

  3. Of course, we could just wait for Iran to get The Bomb, and for the Norks to perfect their missiles. The voting demographics would change rather suddenly and rapidly after that. (I'm a bad, bad person.)

  4. If someone would just get the 16th amendment repealed, the Senate would be 70 Republicans, M-O-R RINO squishes would be tossed on the street, the next three Supreme Court Justices would be Andrew Napolitano, Jeanine Pirro, and Ann Coulter, and Trump would be the least conservative presidential administration for the next century.

    Whereas disenfranchising those 38 state would see them blockade an besiege D.C., NYFC, and the coastal enclave in CA until the residents there starved to death, or the pitiful few survivors renounced their US citizenship, and were allowed to flee to lifetime exile in Cuba and Venezuela.

    I'm okay with that either way.

    Then go in and reclaim and repopulate the territory.

    1. Blockade is not necessary. Cut their power. Cut their water supply. They will collapse without ANY blockade. NONE of the hives are able to supply food, water, fuel, or power from within their metropolitan limits. Food or fuel would indeed require a blockade. Power and water do not.

    2. Now that's a platform I could get behind! Both, actually: repeal the 16th amendment, and if not, let the 38 states withhold the food and supplies from the urban centers.

      Aesop for Senate! I'm the Silicon Graybeard and I approve this message.

      And, seriously, how much trouble has the start of the 20th century caused us, with Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and the 16th, 17th and 18th amendments?

  5. Interestingly, the urban/rural divide is something that the Founding Fathers would have understood.

  6. It is as simple as this: Some 50 years ago the Democrat party lead by Ted Kennedy decided to flood the country with immigrants legal and illegal. The plan was to bring in people who would not believe in America but would believe in "free stuff" for votes. What we are seeing today is this plan almost coming to fruition and it won't be long before everyone who was an American 50 years ago or a child of one will be ruled by those who were brought here to facilitate a takeover. They will stack the Supreme Court, they will tax you into poverty (because "free stuff" isn't free) and they will eventually begin the purge. That is why it is so important to take the guns.

    Now the planning isn't perfect. Hillary was supposed to win, congress was supposed to be Democrat and gun laws were supposed to be confiscatory already. But because they screwed this up it is quite possible that the kulaks will still be armed when the purge/genocide begins and that will be a little messy. That is why they are so desperate about getting rid of Trump. He has actually set back the effort by a decade or more.

    There are half a dozen red states that are easy pickings for politics to take over. States like Montana for example with such a small population that just a few thousand more liberals and it would have two Democrat senators and a Democrat rep. Soros is spending tens of millions to elect far left state attorney generals. It's all happening and when most of the pieces are in place it will be over.

  7. That pesky old Constitution thingy ... not much left anymore ... except an Oath - which means nothing more than a box to be checked on a computer form.


  8. In 2012, under the current state-by-state winner-take-all system (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but later enacted by 48 states), voters in just 60 counties and DC could have won states with a majority of electoral votes, and elected the President– even though they represented just 26.3% of voters.


  9. Because of state-by-state winner-take-all laws, not mentioned, much less endorsed, in the Constitution. . .

    Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in 2015 was correct when he said
    "The nation as a whole is not going to elect the next president,"
    “The presidential election will not be decided by all states, but rather just 12 of them.

    Candidates have no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, campaign, or care about the voter concerns in the dozens of states where they are safely ahead or hopelessly behind.

    With the end of the primaries, without the National Popular Vote bill in effect, the political relevance of 70% of all Americans was finished for the presidential election.

    In the 2016 general election campaign

    Over half (57%) of the campaign events were held in just 4 states (Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Ohio).

    Virtually all (94%) of the campaign events were in just 12 states (containing only 30% of the country's population).

  10. The population of the top five cities (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston and Philadelphia) is only 6% of the population of the United States.

    Voters in the biggest cities in the US are almost exactly balanced out by rural areas in terms of population and partisan composition.

    16% of the U.S. population lives outside the nation's Metropolitan Statistical Areas. Rural America has voted 60% Republican. None of the 10 most rural states matter now.

    16% of the U.S. population lives in the top 100 cities. They voted 63% Democratic in 2004.
    The population of the top 50 cities (going as far down as Arlington, TX) is only 15% of the population of the United States.

    The rest of the U.S., in suburbs, divide almost exactly equally between Republicans and Democrats.

  11. A successful nationwide presidential campaign of polling, organizing, ad spending, and visits, with every voter equal, would be run the way presidential candidates campaign to win the electoral votes of closely divided battleground states, such as Ohio and Florida, under the state-by-state winner-take-all methods. The big cities in those battleground states do not receive all the attention, much less control the outcome. Cleveland and Miami do not receive all the attention or control the outcome in Ohio and Florida. In the 4 states that accounted for over two-thirds of all general-election activity in the 2012 presidential election, rural areas, suburbs, exurbs, and cities all received attention—roughly in proportion to their population.

    The itineraries of presidential candidates in battleground states (and their allocation of other campaign resources in battleground states, including polling, organizing, and ad spending) reflect the political reality that every gubernatorial or senatorial candidate knows. When and where every voter is equal, a campaign must be run everywhere.

    With National Popular Vote, when every voter is equal, everywhere, it makes sense for presidential candidates to try and elevate their votes where they are and aren't so well liked. But, under the state-by-state winner-take-all laws, it makes no sense for a Democrat to try and do that in Vermont or Wyoming, or for a Republican to try it in Wyoming or Vermont.

    The main media at the moment, TV, costs much more per impression in big cities than in smaller towns and rural area. Candidates get more bang for the buck in smaller towns and rural areas.

  12. The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the majority of Electoral College votes and the presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in the country. It does not abolish the Electoral College.

    The National Popular Vote bill would replace state winner-take-all laws that award all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate who get the most popular votes in each separate state (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but later enacted by 48 states), in the enacting states, to guarantee the majority of Electoral College votes for, and the Presidency to, the candidate getting the most popular votes in the entire United States.

    The bill retains the constitutionally mandated Electoral College and state control of elections, and uses the built-in method that the Constitution provides for states to make changes. It ensures that every voter is equal, every voter will matter, in every state, in every presidential election, and the candidate with the most votes wins, as in virtually every other election in the country.

    Under National Popular Vote, every voter, everywhere, for every candidate, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election. Every vote would matter equally in the state counts and national count.

    The bill would take effect when enacted by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes—270 of 538.
    All of the presidential electors from the enacting states will be supporters of the presidential candidate receiving the most popular votes among all 50 states (and DC)—thereby guaranteeing that candidate with an Electoral College majority.

  13. In 1969, The U.S. House of Representatives voted for a national popular vote by a 338–70 margin. It was endorsed by Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and various members of Congress who later ran for Vice President and President such as then-Congressman George H.W. Bush, and then-Senator Bob Dole.

    Recent and past presidential candidates with a public record of support, before November 2016, for the National Popular Vote bill that would guarantee the majority of Electoral College votes and the presidency to the candidate with the most national popular votes: Bob Barr (Libertarian- GA), U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R–GA), Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO), and Senator Fred Thompson (R–TN),

    Newt Gingrich summarized his support for the National Popular Vote bill by saying: “No one should become president of the United States without speaking to the needs and hopes of Americans in all 50 states. … America would be better served with a presidential election process that treated citizens across the country equally. The National Popular Vote bill accomplishes this in a manner consistent with the Constitution and with our fundamental democratic principles.”

    The bill was approved in 2016 by a unanimous bipartisan House committee vote in both Georgia (16 electoral votes) and Missouri (10).

    In 2016 the Arizona House of Representatives passed the bill 40-16-4.
    Two-thirds of the Republicans and two-thirds of the Democrats in the Arizona House of Representatives sponsored the bill.
    In January 2016, two-thirds of the Arizona Senate sponsored the bill.

    In 2014, the Oklahoma Senate passed the bill by a 28–18 margin.

    Since 2006, the bill has passed 35 state legislative chambers in 23 rural, small, medium, large, Democratic, Republican and purple states with 261 electoral votes, including one house in Arizona (11), Arkansas (6), Connecticut (7), Delaware (3), The District of Columbia, Maine (4), Michigan (16), Nevada (6), North Carolina (15), Oklahoma (7), and Oregon (7), and both houses in California, Colorado (9), Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico (5), New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.