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Thread: Electoral College Nightmares

  1. #1
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    I could get interesting. After not being a factor since 1876, it could come into play for the 2nd time in a row.

    From NR-


    October 21, 2004, 8:36 a.m.
    Another Long Night?
    What Could Happen on November 2.


    With an election this close, the table is set for a series of scenarios that could keep us up all night and may have us watching court dockets as much as vote totals in the days and weeks following November 2. Ignoring the real possibility of voter fraud and legal shenanigans in various states, here are some scenarios that might keep you up all night.

    2000 All Over Again
    If Bush and Kerry split the states just as Bush and Gore did in 2000, Bush would win the presidency with 278 electoral votes. After the 2000 census, Bush states picked up seven electors giving him the cushion he needs in case he would lose a state like West Virginia, Arkansas, Nevada, or New Hampshire. Still, Kerry could win the popular vote by wracking up big margins in cities and the coastal counties of California. In 2000, Al Gore won the popular vote by almost 540,000 votes but only after winning California by more than 1.5 million.

    2000 in Reverse
    Bush seems to have successfully stopped his debate-inspired slide and has rebounded in many national polls. The most recent polls in battleground states, however, show some signs of weakness for the president. Bush can win substantial margins in Texas, across the south, and in the Mountain West while doing tolerably well in the midwest so that he can win the national popular vote. He can do this and still lose the electoral-college vote. If every state voted as it did in 2000, with the exception of Florida going to Kerry, the Democrat would win with 287 electoral votes. If he only added Ohio to Gore's 2000 mix of states, he would win with 280 electoral votes. Interestingly, most of us would have predicted this scenario as the more likely one for 2000 than Bush winning the electoral college but losing the popular vote to Al Gore.

    Disputed Votes in Disputed States
    We have already begun to see both sides preparing for a possible post-election fight. Like the Persian King Xerxes who went into battle with his "10,000 Immortals," Kerry has surrounded himself with 10,000 volunteer lawyers ready to battle in courts all over the nation. Bush's team has also assembled its own legal department. Here is why: In 2000, 59 electoral-college votes were controlled by just 24,731 voters. Florida was won by just 537; New Mexico by 366; Iowa by 4,144; Wisconsin by 5,708; Oregon by 6,765; New Hampshire by 7,211. Slight changes in any of those states could have meant a very different electoral outcome. The reason we didn't see "hanging-chad" like recounts in the other states was that the Gore campaign calculated that Florida was their best chance of picking up the needed electors (New Hampshire being the only other close state Bush won). If the electoral gods conspire to give us several states that are close and that could tip the balance, we could see Kerry's army of lawyers take to the battlefield.

    It's All Tied up
    It is possible that we could end election night with a 269-269 tie in the electoral college. If it happens, two possibilities could unfold. First, an elector could defect from one camp to the other before voting. That is not likely. Otherwise the House of Representatives would be called upon to choose the president. What could happen in the House? Stay tuned to this column in coming days for an analysis of that eventuality. A tie could happen in several ways. Based on a starting point of the 2000 results, the most likely scenarios resulting in a tie would be:

    Scenario 1: All states vote the way they did in 2000 except the swing states of New Hampshire and West Virginia that both go to Kerry.

    Scenario 2: All other states vote as they did in 2000 except Colorado or Louisiana who vote for Kerry.

    Scenario 3: All other states vote as they did in 2000 except Colorado voters vote to split their vote and Kerry takes four of the nine electoral votes and Kerry is also able to win West Virginia.

    Scenario 4: All other states vote as they did in 2000 except Colorado voters vote to split their vote and Kerry takes five to Bush's four and Bush wins New Mexico.

    Scenario 5: All other states vote as they did in 2000 except Bush picks up Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and New Mexico but Kerry picks up Colorado, Florida, and West Virginia.

    Scenario 6: All other states vote as they did in 2000 except Colorado and Arkansas vote for Kerry while Bush picks up New Mexico and Maine's 2nd Congressional District.

    Stock up on your snacks and beverages of choice, practice your deep-breathing techniques, settle into a comfortable chair, and get ready for a possibly long night!

    — Gary L. Gregg is director of the McConnell Center for Political Leadership at the University of Louisville and editor of Securing Democracy: Why We Have an Electoral College and Considering the Bush Presidency (with Mark Rozell). Gregg is also NRO's official electoral-college dean.

  2. #2
    Yesterday Bush could have counted the necessary 270 electoral votes needed to win the Presidency.

    As of today he falls short of the 270 mark.

    He will continue to lose momentum throughout this week and thus the election.


    [url]www.votenader.org[/url]

  3. #3
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    It looks like Bush will take Florida. His rallies are in stadiums: Kerry's cannot sell out a Miami nightclub.

    Still if Bush doesn't take Ohio, I don't see how the math works for him. The shoe could be on the other foot this time around-a majority or plurality of the popular vote for Bush, but the EC for Kerry.

  4. #4
    The Electoral Collage System has outlived it's usefulness. I like the idea that Colorado is currently persuing, a split of Electoral voters based on the % of the Popualr vote within that state. No more "Winner Take All".

    Think, in the vast majority of states, if Candidate A wins a state with a population of say, 10 Million People, by a grand total of 10 votes, ALL of that states Electoral College votes go to the winner. In effect, the Votes of 4,999,999 simply did not count. To me, and my way of thinking, that is just wrong.

    By divvying up the Elctoral Voters of Each State based on percentages of the Popular Vote, a fair election is much more likely, and every vote would actually count (and third parties might actually have a chance to get an electoral voter or two, further broadening and opening the Political Process in America.)

  5. #5
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    The only problem with eliminating the electoral college is that EVERY candidate will simply pander to the big cities.

    The other 99% of the geographical US will simply be outside-looking-in.

  6. #6
    [quote][i]Originally posted by JetFanTransplant[/i]@Oct 25 2004, 07:26 AM
    [b] The only problem with eliminating the electoral college is that EVERY candidate will simply pander to the big cities.

    The other 99% of the geographical US will simply be outside-looking-in. [/b][/quote]
    I am aware of that. However, shouldn't that be how it is? Shouldn't the needs of the many (i.e. the most populous Cities and States) take precedence over the special interests needs of the few, the small little states with tiny little cities??

    In a system were every vote actually equals one vote, the desires of the majority will win out, as it should in a Democracy (er, Representative Republic).

  7. #7
    [quote][i]Originally posted by Warfish[/i]@Oct 24 2004, 08:51 PM
    [b] The Electoral Collage System has outlived it's usefulness. I like the idea that Colorado is currently persuing, a split of Electoral voters based on the % of the Popualr vote within that state. No more "Winner Take All".

    Think, in the vast majority of states, if Candidate A wins a state with a population of say, 10 Million People, by a grand total of 10 votes, ALL of that states Electoral College votes go to the winner. In effect, the Votes of 4,999,999 simply did not count. To me, and my way of thinking, that is just wrong.

    By divvying up the Elctoral Voters of Each State based on percentages of the Popular Vote, a fair election is much more likely, and every vote would actually count (and third parties might actually have a chance to get an electoral voter or two, further broadening and opening the Political Process in America.) [/b][/quote]
    Wrong. If Colorado splits it's vote it will lose its staes influence in national politics. That initiative will be defeated by a wide margin. Spliting the electorals basically makes that state a wash. The EC is the only thing that gives individual states some power in the national Govt. As a libetarian you should be for that.

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