scouts-l Mail Archive for August of 2000: Re: I'm punting here.
Thu Aug 24 2000 - 23:37:49 CDT
In a message dated 8/23/2000 2:13:04 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
<< It remains true however that it is still possible
for a popular vote winner to loose the general election because of the
distribution of electoral college votes. >>
To further expalin, if any is necessary:
If we assume that all states are winner-take-all for electoral college
representatives and they are bound by law to vote for the "winner". Then one
could hypothetically have the case where: candidate "A" campaigns only in the
most populous states (Calif, NY, Illinois, etc.) and he garners exactly 50%
plus one of the popular vote, therby winning each state by a popular vote
margin of one vote. And he does this in enough of the populous states to
gather 50% plus one of the electoral college members that are pledged to him.
Then, it wouldn't matter if all the rest of the states voted 100% for
candidate B, candidate A would win even though he received only slightly more
than 25% of the popular vote. (This assumes that the electoral college
members are distributed evenly throughout the country based on population,
which they sort of are in theory but not in actual practice.)
OF course the same would be true if the candidate won all the lesser
populated states (Wyoming, Montana, Rhode Island, etc.), he would just have
to win in many more states to get the 50%+ of the electoral college votes.
Why this system, well it seemed like a reasonable idea in the late 1700's
when communication and transportation were vastly slower than now. Better to
elect a representative from your area to travel to a distant city and cast
your collective vote. ALso if there was a tie, then there is no need for
another popular election, the members of the electoral college would do their
arm-twisting and politicking and eventually a victor would be declared.
Remember travel was slow then, in fact the inaguration was, I believe,
originally held in March and not until sometime in the 20th century was it
changed to its current January.
Enough civics for today.