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1 freetoken  Apr 16, 2014 10:25:04pm

That map shows several important swing states. That’s why they get so much attention from candidates. It’s not a really good argument.

2 toto  Apr 17, 2014 10:25:26am

The map shows only 12 states were visited after the conventions. The swing states have become increasingly fewer and fixed

The current state-by-state winner-take-all method of awarding electoral votes (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but later enacted by 48 states), ensures that the candidates, after the conventions, will not reach out to about 80% of the states and their voters. 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.

Presidential candidates concentrate their attention on only a handful of closely divided “battleground” states and their voters. There is no incentive for them to bother to care about the majority of states where they are hopelessly behind or safely ahead to win.
10 of the original 13 states are ignored now.
Four out of five Americans were ignored in the 2012 presidential election. After being nominated, Obama visited just eight closely divided battleground states, and Romney visited only 10. These 10 states accounted for 98% of the $940 million spent on campaign advertising. They decided the election.
None of the 10 most rural states mattered, as usual.
About 80% of the country was ignored —including 24 of the 27 lowest population and medium-small states, and 13 medium and big states like CA, GA, NY, and TX.

80% of states and voters have no influence. That’s more than 85 million voters, more than 200 million Americans, ignored. When and where voters are ignored, then so are the issues they care about most.

The number and population of battleground states is shrinking.

Policies important to the citizens of non-battleground states are not as highly prioritized as policies important to ‘battleground’ states when it comes to governing.

3 aagcobb  Apr 17, 2014 2:04:16pm

re: #1 freetoken

That map shows several important swing states. That’s why they get so much attention from candidates. It’s not a really good argument.

That is kind of the point. Why should only a handful of swing states matter? If total popular vote decided the election, then the GOP would have a reason to get out the millions of GOP voters in California, and Democrats the millions of democratic voters in Texas.

4 EPR-radar  Apr 17, 2014 2:10:33pm

I’m a fan of this idea. So far, the states that have passed it are all blue states.

nationalpopularvote.com

It will be interesting to see if a red state ever gets on board with this.

5 HappyWarrior  Apr 17, 2014 8:40:00pm

Interesting idea and honestly strikes me as the total opposite of what you’ve seen come out of some Republican legislatures where the attempt is to distort the fact that the Republican candidate may often win more Congressional districts but lose the state as a whole. Honestly, I wish we would just have it by popular vote anyhow. I know that has flaws in itself but I really don’t like the idea of say having to rely on 12 states to decide the election. Obviously what those states will be changes with the times.

6 Chrysicat  Apr 17, 2014 9:07:56pm

re: #5 HappyWarrior

Interesting idea and honestly strikes me as the total opposite of what you’ve seen come out of some Republican legislatures where the attempt is to distort the fact that the Republican candidate may often win more Congressional districts but lose the state as a whole. Honestly, I wish we would just have it by popular vote anyhow. I know that has flaws in itself but I really don’t like the idea of say having to rely on 12 states to decide the election. Obviously what those states will be changes with the times.

Did you like the Florida recount debacle? How’d you like to see that in 20 states every year as the guy who’s got 49.8 percent tries to pull out 10k extra votes?

Plus, your Nevada and Wyoming people would never get ANY federal respect anymore, and the Bundy mess tells you what happens when they begin to feel unrepresented in Washington.

The end result would be a US where there really were no state boundaries that mattered, after an ugly Civil War that was started by ‘states’ rights’ types.

7 aagcobb  Apr 18, 2014 3:28:50am

re: #6 Chrysicat

Did you like the Florida recount debacle? How’d you like to see that in 20 states every year as the guy who’s got 49.8 percent tries to pull out 10k extra votes?

The electoral college didn’t prevent the Florida debacle, did it? Its the fifty-one separate races that create razor sharp margins; the margin of victory in the national popular vote is usually in the millions, making a recount futile. Only one recent presidential election was decided by less than a half million votes: Kennedy over Nixon in 1960.

Plus, your Nevada and Wyoming people would never get ANY federal respect anymore, and the Bundy mess tells you what happens when they begin to feel unrepresented in Washington.

Wyoming already gets no respect; just look at the map above. Zero visits, just like 37 other states which got no respect.

The end result would be a US where there really were no state boundaries that mattered, after an ugly Civil War that was started by ‘states’ rights’ types.

Calling bullshit on that. The campaigns would go national instead of focusing on a handful of states and ignoring 42 of them. There are plenty of media markets in medium sized states where it would make sense for the parties to launch gotv campaigns.

8 lostlakehiker  Apr 22, 2014 9:05:26am

re: #6 Chrysicat

As things now stand, there’s nothing to be gained by either party in whipping up sentiment to fever pitch in states they already basically own. Throwing red meat to the `base’ doesn’t pay. You’re going to win Texas/California anyhow.

Politics nowadays is bitter enough already.

As to election integrity, the states that are locked up by one party or the other are the states where it would be easiest for the ruling party to pad the totals. Right now, from what I can see, they don’t. Why would they bother? Their state will go the way they want anyhow.

The states that are close are states where cheating would matter, if you could bring it off. But they’re also states where both parties have some weight and ability to defend the integrity of an election. It’s much harder to rig the result if some large fraction of the machinery of courts and poll watchers and so on is in the hands of the other party. And so our elections are reasonably honest. Tolerably? Passably? Anyway, things could be worse.


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