Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Reminder To Republicans On The Electoral College

It is possible for a candidate to win the presidency based on the count of electoral votes even if s/he loses the popular vote. This has happened three times, in 1876, 1888 and yes, 2000. George W. Bush received fewer popular votes than Al Gore, but eked out an electoral victory of 271. The minimum, then as now, was 270 to win, out of 538 electors. It is the way we run our presidential elections, for better and worse.

The system gives advantage to small states, as no state, no matter how small its population, has fewer than three electoral votes (corresponding to 2 senators and 1 representative), and there are enough small states to assure that a constitutional amendment reforming the presidential election system to reflect the popular vote can never happen. As I noted, this is our way, and it is unlikely to change.

Three out of three times that there has been a discrepancy between the popular and electoral vote outcomes, the system has elected a Republican president. I see this as the luck of the draw, not as a covert partisan plot by Republicans to steal the presidency. (Well, maybe sElection 2000 was stolen...)

Which is why, the first time a Republican howls to me in outrage at the not unlikely event that Obama wins the electoral vote without winning the popular vote, I shall take a corkscrew and gouge his tongue out...

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