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’
Please consider Subscribing. Right now our subscribers consist of 1/50 of 1% of our total unique visitors based on last years numbers.
If we can get another 150 subscribers at $10 a month (another 1/10 of 1% of those who have visited this year) We can meet our annual goals with no trouble, with the same number of subscribers at $20 a month I could afford to cover the presidential campaign outside of New England firsthand.
And of course at that price you get the Da Magnificent Seven plus those we hope to add on and all subscribers get my weekly podcast emailed directly to you before it goes up anywhere else.