Swing States

Every State Should Adopt the Nebraska-Maine Method for Assigning Electoral College Votes

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Every State Should Adopt the Nebraska-Maine Method for Assigning Electoral College Votes

It’s not always fun being a con­ser­v­a­tive in Cal­i­for­nia. When elec­tion day comes around, I’m used to cast­ing my sym­bolic vote know­ing that none of my can­di­dates for national races have a chance of win­ning. It was the oppo­site when I lived in Okla­homa. I couldn’t lose. Oh, what fun it would be to live in a swing state. Then again, I would prob­a­bly be out knock­ing on doors and mak­ing phone calls rather than spend­ing my time reach­ing an online audience.

There’s a solu­tion that makes total sense, at least for the Pres­i­den­tial vote. Nebraska and Maine have adopted elec­toral col­lege vote dis­tri­b­u­tion sys­tems that make for a much more inter­est­ing sce­nario. The way the sys­tem cur­rently works in the rest of the states, only a hand­ful can have an impact on the elec­tion. All of the oth­ers are con­sid­ered safely in the pocket of one party or the other. Only in swing states do the peo­ple get the full atten­tion of Pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates. You won’t see Hillary Clin­ton spend­ing too much time in Texas between now and elec­tion day.

In Nebraska and Maine, the win­ner of the statewide vote gets two elec­toral votes while the win­ner in each indi­vid­ual con­gres­sional dis­trict gets one. This would change the dynamic from hav­ing swing states to swing dis­tricts. Can­di­dates would be forced to hit nearly every state. It wouldn’t be pru­dent to ignore entire blocks of the pop­u­la­tion as it is today.

The Con­sti­tu­tion allows states to deter­mine their method of dis­tri­b­u­tion. This is as it should be and I am not an advo­cate for abol­ish­ing the elec­toral col­lege in favor of using the pop­u­lar vote. Madi­son and Hamil­ton were right in believ­ing that the nation needed to be essen­tially pro­tected from the poten­tial tyranny of the major­ity by adopt­ing the tenets of a repub­lic over a pure democ­racy. If it ever comes down to it, we may have to call on peo­ple to change their elec­toral vote to pre­vent the wrong move by the majority.

What Nebraska and Maine do is allow for bet­ter dis­tri­b­u­tion of atten­tion by the can­di­dates. A Repub­li­can would need to come to Cal­i­for­nia for more than fundrais­ing because he or she would have a chance of win­ning votes in Orange County and a few other con­gres­sional dis­tricts. Pres­i­dent Obama won the only elec­toral vote from Nebraska cast for a Demo­c­rat in the last five decades by pick­ing up the Omaha con­gres­sional dis­trict. By get­ting all of the states to adopt this mea­sure, it would be nec­es­sary for can­di­dates to spread their mes­sage and cam­paign spend­ing to the whole nation rather than putting all of their focus on the hand­ful of states that could swing in their direction.

Today, my vote for Pres­i­dent is absolutely worth­less while my friend’s vote in Ohio is cru­cial. That’s not the way that the found­ing fathers envi­sioned it. They never intended for 17% of the pop­u­la­tion to have all of the power in decid­ing a Pres­i­den­tial elec­tion. They sim­ply wanted to pro­tect against the poten­tial pit­falls of a true democ­racy. That’s why they put it in the Con­sti­tu­tion. That’s also why they left it up to the states to decide how to dis­trib­ute those elec­toral col­lege votes.

I won’t say that there are no pit­falls, but the pos­i­tives clearly out­weigh the neg­a­tives in my hum­ble opin­ion. No vote should be worth­less and no vote should be cru­cial. It’s impos­si­ble to make them all equal with­out switch­ing to a demo­c­ra­tic sys­tem, but a more sen­si­ble approach would change the dynamic for the bet­ter while stay­ing within the orig­i­nal bound­aries laid out in the Constitution.

Some may say that it’s impos­si­ble and they are prob­a­bly right. Oth­ers might say that it would dis­pro­por­tion­ately favor Democ­rats. We tend to believe that when it comes to Con­gres­sional dis­tricts, but here’s the real­ity: if every state and DC had Nebraska’s and Maine’s sys­tem in 2012, the elec­toral col­lege vote would have swung in favor of Mitt Rom­ney. He would have had 274 elec­toral votes and we wouldn’t be dis­cussing how bad Obama’s sec­ond term has been for the country.

A note from DaT­e­chGuy: I hope you enjoyed JD Rucker’s piece. Remem­ber we will be judg­ing the entries in Da Mag­nif­i­cent try­outs by hits both to their post and to DaTip­Jar. So if you like Mr. Rucker’s work, please con­sider shar­ing this post, and if you hit DaTip­jar because of it, don’t for­get to men­tion Mr. Rucker’s post is the rea­son you did so. If you missed his pre­vi­ous pieces they are: The one word to asso­ciate with Hillary that would doom her camapign and Trump is Exactly Where He Wants to Be Despite GOP ‘Chaos’




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It’s not always fun being a conservative in California. When election day comes around, I’m used to casting my symbolic vote knowing that none of my candidates for national races have a chance of winning. It was the opposite when I lived in Oklahoma. I couldn’t lose. Oh, what fun it would be to live in a swing state. Then again, I would probably be out knocking on doors and making phone calls rather than spending my time reaching an online audience.

There’s a solution that makes total sense, at least for the Presidential vote. Nebraska and Maine have adopted electoral college vote distribution systems that make for a much more interesting scenario. The way the system currently works in the rest of the states, only a handful can have an impact on the election. All of the others are considered safely in the pocket of one party or the other. Only in swing states do the people get the full attention of Presidential candidates. You won’t see Hillary Clinton spending too much time in Texas between now and election day.

In Nebraska and Maine, the winner of the statewide vote gets two electoral votes while the winner in each individual congressional district gets one. This would change the dynamic from having swing states to swing districts. Candidates would be forced to hit nearly every state. It wouldn’t be prudent to ignore entire blocks of the population as it is today.

The Constitution allows states to determine their method of distribution. This is as it should be and I am not an advocate for abolishing the electoral college in favor of using the popular vote. Madison and Hamilton were right in believing that the nation needed to be essentially protected from the potential tyranny of the majority by adopting the tenets of a republic over a pure democracy. If it ever comes down to it, we may have to call on people to change their electoral vote to prevent the wrong move by the majority.

What Nebraska and Maine do is allow for better distribution of attention by the candidates. A Republican would need to come to California for more than fundraising because he or she would have a chance of winning votes in Orange County and a few other congressional districts. President Obama won the only electoral vote from Nebraska cast for a Democrat in the last five decades by picking up the Omaha congressional district. By getting all of the states to adopt this measure, it would be necessary for candidates to spread their message and campaign spending to the whole nation rather than putting all of their focus on the handful of states that could swing in their direction.

Today, my vote for President is absolutely worthless while my friend’s vote in Ohio is crucial. That’s not the way that the founding fathers envisioned it. They never intended for 17% of the population to have all of the power in deciding a Presidential election. They simply wanted to protect against the potential pitfalls of a true democracy. That’s why they put it in the Constitution. That’s also why they left it up to the states to decide how to distribute those electoral college votes.

I won’t say that there are no pitfalls, but the positives clearly outweigh the negatives in my humble opinion. No vote should be worthless and no vote should be crucial. It’s impossible to make them all equal without switching to a democratic system, but a more sensible approach would change the dynamic for the better while staying within the original boundaries laid out in the Constitution.

Some may say that it’s impossible and they are probably right. Others might say that it would disproportionately favor Democrats. We tend to believe that when it comes to Congressional districts, but here’s the reality: if every state and DC had Nebraska’s and Maine’s system in 2012, the electoral college vote would have swung in favor of Mitt Romney. He would have had 274 electoral votes and we wouldn’t be discussing how bad Obama’s second term has been for the country.

A note from DaTechGuy: I hope you enjoyed JD Rucker’s piece. Remember we will be judging the entries in Da Magnificent tryouts by hits both to their post and to DaTipJar. So if you like Mr. Rucker’s work, please consider sharing this post, and if you hit DaTipjar because of it, don’t forget to mention Mr. Rucker’s post is the reason you did so. If you missed his previous pieces they are: The one word to associate with Hillary that would doom her camapign and Trump is Exactly Where He Wants to Be Despite GOP ‘Chaos’




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