Willisms
Navigation

Buy WILLisms

XML Feed


Featured Entries

The Babe Theory Of Political Movements.
Mar. 21, 2005 11:50 AM

Iran's Sham Election In Houston.
June 20, 2005 5:36 AM

Yes, Kanye, Bush Does Care.
Oct. 31, 2005 12:41 AM

Health Care vs. Wealth Care.
Nov. 23, 2005 3:28 PM

Americans Voting With Their Feet.
Nov. 30, 2005 1:33 PM

Idea Majorities Matter.
May 12, 2006 6:15 PM

Twilight Zone Economics.
Oct. 17, 2006 12:30 AM

The "Shrinking" Middle Class.
Dec. 13, 2006 1:01 PM

From Ashes, GOP Opportunities.
Dec. 18, 2006 6:37 PM

Battle Between Entitlements & Pork.
Dec. 21, 2006 12:31 PM

Let Economic Freedom Reign.
Dec. 22, 2006 10:22 PM

Biggest Health Care Moment In Decades.
July 25, 2007 4:32 PM

Unions Antithetical to Liberty.
May 28, 2008 11:12 PM

Right To Work States Rock.
June 9, 2008 12:25 PM



Donate





Links

Blogroll Me!







Search



Archives

July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004




Social Security Reform Thursday.
March 13, 2008

Caption Contest: Enter Today!
Due: July 29, 2008

The Carnival Of Classiness.
Mar. 14, 2006

Quotational Therapy: Obama.
Apr. 4, 2008

Mainstream Melee: Wolfowitz.
May 19, 2007

Pundit Roundtable: Leaks.
July 9, 2006

A WILLisms.com(ic), by Ken McCracken
July 14, 2006




Credits

Powered by Movable Type 3.17
Site Design by Sekimori




WILLisms.com June 2008 Book of the Month (certified classy):











The WILLisms.com Gift Shop: Support This Site

giftshopbanner.gif











This Week's Carnival of Revolutions: carnivalbutton.gif



Carnival Home Base: homebase.gif

























Willisms

« Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 457 -- Business Climate. | WILLisms.com | Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 459 -- Temperature & Carbon Dioxide. »

Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 458 -- Messing With The Electoral College.

Messing With America-

You may have heard earlier this year about plans to change the way California (and other states) award their Electors to the Electoral College. California, with its 55 Electoral Votes, went 54% for Kerry and 45% for Bush. And all 55 Electors were awarded to Kerry. The same goes for nearly every other state. It's winner-take-all. It encourages Risk-inspired conversations like, "we're gonna take Wisconsin this year, which will leave the Democrats vulnerable and force them to defend Oregon and Washington."

In Nebraska and Maine, however, Electoral Votes are awarded based on a district-by-district basis. That's their prerogative. It was also once the prerogative of Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.

Let's just say that every state adopted the district-by-district plan. How would that have impacted elections over the past half century, and how would it impact future elections?

Generally, the winner, regardless of party, would do worse:

congressionaldistrictelecto.gif

President Bush, interestingly, did much better in "blue state" Congressional districts than Senator Kerry did in "red state" Congressional districts.

Now, clearly, campaign tactics might have been different under these plans. There are plenty of toss-up districts in solidly partisan states (like California and Texas) that would have seen advertisements, volunteers, and other campaign resources considered a complete waste under the winner-take-all rules. Who knows what could have happened under a national district-by-district system.

Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see how this plays out in California over the next year. It has certainly been declared dead emphatically enough by lefties, and resuscitated by serious enough people on the right, to warrant some attention. In 2004, California would have been worth more than the equivalent of Illinois, Ohio, or Pennsylvania to President Bush under the Congressional District plan:

california2004.gif

If California wants a more "progressive" system of awarding Electors, more power to them. If a handful of other states want to join them, fantastic. If anyone wants to impose this on every state or otherwise undermine the Electoral College and replace it with a direct vote, however, they are crossing the line.

The Electoral College actually prevents a lot of election fraud, number one. Imagine how much more meaningful those dead and other fraudulent voters in Chicago and in other political machine cities would be to a national popular vote. Instead of a few hanging chads in Florida, we would have had "missing" votes suddenly found all over the country in 2000. Secondly, the Electoral College helps maintain America's federalist nature. Ultimately, we're a nation of states. While the states have ceded quite a bit of power and responsibility to the national government (the Civil War had a lot to do with that), there's a reason the Founders established this nation as a Federal Republic. Indeed, there is a big reason why Federal Republics protect liberties better than direct democracies. The Electoral College is a safeguard against the tyranny of the mob.

The Electoral College also forces candidates to have more than mere regional appeal; it demands some consensus-building.

As candidates assert their cross-partisan appeal and pundits debate the merits of reforming the Electoral College, one can't help but laugh at some of the transparent partisan reasons people support or oppose these changes.

Ultimately, as long as the rules in place before the election are adhered to after the election, and as long as each state determines how it will award its own Electors to the Electoral College, I am not sure that the California plan, applied nationally, would have significant consequences one partisan way or another over the long run. Indeed, in 2012, solid "red states" will gain Electoral Votes at the expense of solid "blue states" due to reapportionment following the 2010 Census. Regions change. Suburbs change. Inner cities change. Political realities change, domestically and internationally. Crises happen. Economies boom and bust. Parties change.

Projecting out to 2012, 2016, 2020, and beyond, it's difficult to imagine a national district-by-district plan helping either party. In 2008, however, California making the move alone would give the GOP nominee a bit of breathing room in his cruise to victory.


-------------------------------------

Previous Trivia Tidbit: Business Tax Climate Impacts Unemployment Rate.

Posted by Will Franklin · 24 October 2007 01:33 PM

Comments

More power to California for this decision. It has got to suck to vote in the state as a Repub because your vote is meaningless. At least this makes it worthwhile for people to actually vote in a heavily skewed state.

Note that just a few very urban population centers provide the Dems with all of their votes. the suburbs and rural areas across the country now would have some say, especially in states where one or two metropolitan areas are completely determining the voting for the entire state.

Posted by: Justin B. at October 24, 2007 03:29 PM

Any sort of dividing up the votes and allocating some to each candidate is just a watered down straight popular. This is good news for anyone advocated just electing the president on popular votes. This does work toward reducing state's rights and influence in the election. It will lead to a lot more pandering and spending of gov't money in populated areas.

Posted by: rodney dill at October 25, 2007 09:04 PM