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Journal Daniel Dvorkin's Journal: I want to go on record saying this now: 10

It's time to get rid of the Electoral College.

Based on the results of state vs. national polls, it's looking increasingly likely that Obama may lose the national popular vote but win in the EC. As a nakedly partisan Democrat, would I be pleased with this outcome? Well, I'd be happier about it than I was when Bush lost the popular vote but managed to finagle an EC win, obviously ... but "happier" does not equate in this case to "happy" by any means. Because having someone against whom the majority of Americans vote become (or remain) President should simply never, ever happen.

The EC hasn't served its ostensible purpose, to protect the interests of smaller states against domination by larger ones, for generations, if ever. All it does is focus an unwarranted amount of attention on a few "swing states" every four years, with the effect that the interests of the residents of states that don't fall into this category get no representation at all at the Presidential level. If you live in Texas or California, you might as well not vote at all in the Presidential election; same if you live in Wyoming or Vermont. And that really sucks.

Even "swing states" don't really matter all that much, most of the time, if they're sparsely populated. New Mexico was just as close in 2000 as Florida was, but nobody cared how it went, because whoever got Florida was going to get the White House. (Gore won NM by some incredibly narrow margin; if you'd forgotten that detail, I don't blame you.) What was that about small states, again? Yeah, that's what I thought.

Get rid of the damned thing. This isn't partisanship. It's an acknowledgement of reality.

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I want to go on record saying this now:

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  • Nate Silver, the best numerical analysts of election metrics (and one of the best of baseball metrics) is saying, right now, that the chance that Obama will lose the popular vote but win the electoral college is 3.8%. Silver says the chance of Romney doing the same is 2.9%.

    My own analysis is that the chance that there will be screaming of "fraud" by the losing side and that courts at various levels will end up involved is about 95%.

    And by the way, even with the change in national polls, the prediction that

    • I'm a card-carrying member of the Church of Nate, and I think his analysis is as reliable as any we're going to see, but 3.8% is out of the realm of "things you don't have to worry about" and into "bad things you should brace yourself for." And a combined 6.7% chance of a popular/EC split is the stuff of nightmares.

      • but 3.8% is out of the realm of "things you don't have to worry about" and into "bad things you should brace yourself for." And a combined 6.7% chance of a popular/EC split is the stuff of nightmares.

        I didn't get any statistics in my humanities program and I didn't think it through.

        That is pretty high, 6.7%. And, t's a lock that there will be about half the country unsatisfied no matter which scenario plays out, right? And that's not good.

        I'm votin' early and then crawling back to bed until maybe April.

  • Get 98% of the voters to vote for Jill Stein or Gary Johnson. Then see if either one gets the gig. If you leave it between democrats and republicans, then it doesn't matter how they swing.

    • The next President of the United States of America will be a Democrat or a Republican. So will the one after that, and the one after that, and the one after that. Senate Majority Leader, Speaker of the House, Governor of nearly every state, state Senate and House leaders ... Democrats and Republicans. I'm not saying this is a good thing, just that this is the way it is, and the dreams of the Libertarians and Greens and what-have-yous will not make a damned bit of difference.

      Want to change this? Getting

      • If the regulars know they're guaranteed a win, what incentive will they have to change the rules of the game? It's like expecting a casino to actually take a gamble with peoples' money. The only people who don't like the Electoral College are the losers. I don't know how they'll get rid of it.. Maybe by a surprise Supreme Court ruling.

  • It would take a constitutional amendment. I don't see it ever happening.

    • How are you going to get a constitutional amendment if the people you (collectively) vote for don't play along? And if you can elect people that do respond to your demands, why do the rules need to be changed? Hasn't the goal already been accomplished? In this day and age, how are you going to get the ruling party to give up any power peacefully if nobody votes them out? Somebody, tell me, where's the incentive? I've asked this several times, and I'm getting... crickets. This whole issue lies directly on ou

BLISS is ignorance.