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If Kerry Wins the Popular Vote and Bush Wins the Election

By admin ·
What do you think will happen if Kerry wins the popular vote and Bush wins the Presidency?

Max's electoral vote prediction got me thinking a bit about this. I,like Max, think its a shoe in for Bush on the electoral vote, but what if there really is an unprecidented voter turnout instead of the apathetic near 50% and Kerry actually wins the popular vote.

How will the US citizens react?

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Wasn't this the case in 2000?

by TomSal In reply to If Kerry Wins the Popular ...

If I'm not mistaken I believe Gore scored a bit higher on the popular vote and Bush got the electoral vote.

Remember all the nasty talk you heard for weeks after the election because of this? The Gore voters slandered the Bush voters screaming they cheated, they stole the election...Gore should of won ..blah blah blah.

It'll be the same deal this time except it will most likely be a lot worse -- this election is more emotional in the minds of most voters than the 2000 election was...by far.

Sometimes I wonder why this country just doesn't kill the electoral college system all the way and just go with a straight popular vote.

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TomSal - Consider this

by maxwell edison In reply to Wasn't this the case in 2 ...

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If half of the voting population could be targeted in just a handful of states, then the rest of the states could be considered insignificant. If the USA decided the presidency based on a popular vote total nationally, then the presidency could, in theory, be decided by the residents of California, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Florida, Michigan, New Jersey and Texas. The heck with the other forty-one states. They could focus their efforts - and favors - on just a select few, and the others would be insignificant.

Besides, we're a republic of equal but united individual states. The USA was never intended to be just one big happy (family) country.

The people in California, New York, and Pennsylvania would love to be in the driver's seat whent it cones to electing our president. But the people in Vermont, Wyoming and Alaska might not be too thrilled about it.

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Think about this

by Cactus Pete In reply to TomSal - Consider this

Add to your list of states Georgia and North Carolina, and you have enough electoral college votes to win the election anyway!

I'm really starting to like Australia's voting system these days...

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Okay, and think about this

by maxwell edison In reply to Think about this

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Adding Georgia and North Carolina would bring that list up to 11 states.

Contrast that with 2000 when GWB had to win 30 states to get the required 270. And if Florida had gone to Gore, his state total (including D.C.) would have been 22. Either way, significantly more states are "in play" with the electoral system.

We could go back and forth all day (time permitting, of course), but I'm not convinced that the electoral system doesn't distribute the voter power much better. And after all, those states have their issues and we have ours, and all of us cowboys out west don't want those eastern high-brow elitists to have too much power over us.

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Maybe my point was too vague

by Cactus Pete In reply to Okay, and think about thi ...

The electoral college system is based largely on population, anyway. It only gives a marginal increase in the effect of the smaller states.

One candidate can theorhetically win every last one of the electoral college votes and have a 1% margin in the popular vote.

If we didn't have a "two party system", much of this wouldn't matter. Happen to know when the last time a third party candidate got an electoral college vote?

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To answer your question - third party

by maxwell edison In reply to Maybe my point was too va ...

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The last third party candidate to win any electoral vote(s) was............wait a minute, let me think........no, I'm not going to "cheat"..........I won't look it up...........how about John Anderson.

I understood your point. I just don't think the system is "broke", so there's nothing to fix. And that "marginal increase" might make a difference.

Besides, I stand-fast on my notion of a republic of individual states. We don't have a national election for anything, and I want to hold on to what might be the last semblance of the states' rights to tell the federal government what to do, not the other way around. (It also irritates me when the feds take money from the states, at least the states' citizens, and then demand that they do certain things if they want a small percentage of it back.)

Is my John Anderson guess correct? If not, who was it?

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I certainly respect that

by Cactus Pete In reply to To answer your question - ...

"Broke" Well, I don't know if that's quite the applicable word for what I think of it. But I think it can't be the best plan... I'd love a national debate on the whole idea.

States rights... Well, this is a federal post we're talking about. A federal document determines how the election runs, ultimately. But it does rather give the states about all the say-so there can be.

Anderson wasn't correct - a god stab at it, though. Wallace, in '68. Before him, Strom Thurmond in 1948!!

I'll look up the rest:
LaFollette in '24
Taft in 1912 [this one's a bit screwy, as the third party came in second.]

Earlier than that, I think the rules were very different, so I won't bother...

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The American Party

by admin In reply to To answer your question - ...

Yep, the thread is to long so I'm replying to the reply of your thread Max, but I believe 4 states were won by the American Party with Wallace.

Since 1988 the Libertarians have recieved enough votes to maintain political-body status, but of course they are not poised to win more than 3% of the vote- which even figured in to your election day Presidential estimates -taking every Libertarian vote and giving it en masse either to Bush or Kerry would not change the election one iota. It could theoretically possibly change the popular vote slightly enough to make Americans more aware of the Electoral College process- but it will not change the election at all, because, as you have elequontly established, the electorate is really all that matters and for good reasons.

I do think I have found the real reason Bush will win though, and intend to post the link right after I reply to this :)

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A couple of points

by maxwell edison In reply to If Kerry Wins the Popular ...

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First of all, there's no popular vote contest to "win" (or lose). Words have specific meanings, and "win" is the wrong word. How can a person win or lose anything that's not defined as being the desired outcome of the contest being waged? That's like saying I "won" the Chess game, for example, because I ended up with more pieces than my opponent, even though I found myself in checkmate. So if the presidency was decided on "popular vote", the contest would be waged differently - much differently (and a lot of states' citizens wouldn't be happy about it).

Second of all, the only way a person can receive more national popular votes than the winner of the electoral contest is if the electoral contest is decided buy just one state - any state - and even then it would be a fluke. In 2000, Bush won Florida by only 537 (I think) votes, while Gore won New Mexico by less than 300. (It's interesting, as a side-note, that a Gore/Democrat tactic was to challenge the results of a close state election, while Bush/Republicans did not.)

Pick a state, any state, and consider that if that state went to the other guy, and that flip would change the electoral outcome, then it's possible, depending on the population of the state in question. But if changing that one state wouldn't change the outcome, then it's not possible. If President Bush, for example wins enough states to put his electoral number above the 275-280 range, it would probably be a mathematical impossibility for the loser of the electoral contest to have received more "popular votes".

This is ensured by the occasional redistricting of state's congressional districts, which is based on the population alignments as determined by the national census taken once every decade. And the assignment of states' electoral votes is determined by the number of total congressional seats. California, for example, lost a congressional seat - and an electoral vote - in 2002 because of a big loss in state population. While Colorado picked up a congressional seat - and an electoral vote - because of a big gain in state population. (A couple of other states traded one as well, I believe, but I forgot which ones.)

Besides, it won't happen, so it's a moot point.

Bush - 338
Kerry- 200

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Another way this could happen

by DC_GUY In reply to If Kerry Wins the Popular ...

If a larger proportion of the eligibile voters voted in a couple of large states than in the rest of the country, and the majority in both of those states voted for the losing candidate, that would increase the total number of popular votes for the losing candidate, perhaps to the point that they exceed the total number of popular votes for the winning candidate.

In my opinion, this is one of the few rationalizations for the electoral college system. It's possible that a candidate could whip up a frenzy in a couple of states where he's popular, and bring in a larger percentage of the voters in those states. Not likely, but possible.

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