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Posted: 10/14/2004 8:36:21 PM EST

A puddle-deep musing:

"Battleground States" like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and of course Florida are those very few states that are so close in the polls and so crucial to win for both sides that GWBush and HJKerry are visiting and campaigning in each of those states literally DOZENS of times over the past couple of months. And they'll only accelerate the campaign stops in places like Ohio and Florida over and over again in the next 19 days - all to the exclusion of so many other states that each candidate has pretty much "locked up".

When was the last time Kerry was campaigning in Alaska, Wyoming, Texas, Oklahoma or Georgia? How many times has GWBush made campaign stops in Illinois, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusettes or Delaware?

My question is this - isn't this what the Electoral College was supposed to avoid - having an entire presidential election basically come down to the candidates trying to win over just a handful of states to the near exclusion of most others?

Well, I guess the Electoral College reduces the chances that it'd be the SAME "Battleground States" (those 5-6 with the most population) that the candidates fight over again and again each election.


Link Posted: 10/14/2004 8:44:35 PM EST
Yet another thought provoking post, The_Macallan. I hadn't even considered this before.
Link Posted: 10/14/2004 8:46:55 PM EST

Originally Posted By A_G:
Yet another thought provoking post, The_Macallan. I hadn't even considered this before.



I think about this, here in GA we see a few commericals and signs thats it.

Dont see alot of people giving it much thought
Link Posted: 10/14/2004 8:50:02 PM EST
i don't even know the last time a Pres was campainging in MT.


but who the hell cares about us rednecks up here anyways?



They don't have to spend the money to campaing up here because we don't have shit for a say in the election (no people anyways), so why would they waste their time coming up here?
Link Posted: 10/14/2004 8:52:22 PM EST
hey, even if there was no electoral college, neither candidate would waste their time here. biggest city? 250,000 souls.
Link Posted: 10/14/2004 8:53:17 PM EST

Originally Posted By The_Macallan:
A puddle-deep musing:

"Battleground States" like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and of course Florida are those very few states that are so close in the polls and so crucial to win for both sides that GWBush and HJKerry are visiting and campaigning in each of those states literally DOZENS of times over the past couple of months. And they'll only accelerate the campaign stops in places like Ohio and Florida over and over again in the next 19 days - all to the exclusion of so many other states that each candidate has pretty much "locked up".

When was the last time Kerry was campaigning in Alaska, Wyoming, Texas, Oklahoma or Georgia? How many times has GWBush made campaign stops in Illinois, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusettes or Delaware?

My question is this - isn't this what the Electoral College was supposed to avoid - having an entire presidential election basically come down to the candidates trying to win over just a handful of states to the near exclusion of most others?

Well, I guess the Electoral College reduces the chances that it'd be the SAME "Battleground States" (those 5-6 with the most population) that the candidates fight over again and again each election.





The EC allows those states to have a voice...

Remember, without it, we would have 'Battleground Cities' instead -> Chicago, NYC, LA, SF...

Wait, we wouldn't have 'battleground cities', we'd have Demo Domination....
Link Posted: 10/14/2004 8:53:57 PM EST

Originally Posted By raven:
hey, even if there was no electoral college, neither candidate would waste their time here. biggest city? 250,000 souls.




exactly. They don't care, because it is mearly a waste of money.

one day in a city of 250,000 people, or a day in a city with 1,2,3 and so on, million?


i wouldn't waste my time either.
Link Posted: 10/14/2004 9:06:49 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/14/2004 9:08:17 PM EST by Airwolf]
Boy, THAT got the wheels to turning.

When we started this experiment 200+ years ago the country was small, "cities" were small, we were on the frontier and while our politics have been diverse, we at least were all in the same boat together.

Now it's come down to a nation so polarized (and sheepified by the media) that only a handful will end up making the choice as to which way we go.

I still think that if we don't figure out a way to return things to the center somehow, this country is going to fragment into an outright "red vs. blue" cold war. Those "in the red" simply want to be left the hell alone for the most part and those "in the blue" want to control everything everyone does. You can't continue that way for very long.

*IF* Kerry wins that may be the last (or next to the last) straw for a lot of people.
Link Posted: 10/15/2004 5:39:01 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/15/2004 5:39:42 AM EST by The_Macallan]

Originally Posted By raven:
hey, even if there was no electoral college, neither candidate would waste their time here. biggest city? 250,000 souls.


But if the Electoral College was "one-state/one-vote", THEN the candidates would do their best to round up as many states as possible and maybe have to actually go and VISIT states like Montana, Delaware or Alaska.

Mmm... on second thought, I don't think even that would fix the problem. There'd still be the "safe" states that will always vote Rep or Dem and we'd still have a handful of "Battleground States" that the candidates fight over.

Actually though, if it really was a "one-state/one-vote" system, there'd NEVER be another Democratic President!
Link Posted: 10/15/2004 5:43:23 AM EST

Originally Posted By The_Macallan:

Originally Posted By raven:
hey, even if there was no electoral college, neither candidate would waste their time here. biggest city? 250,000 souls.


But if the Electoral College was "one-state/one-vote", THEN the candidates would do their best to round up as many states as possible and maybe have to actually go and VISIT states like Montana, Delaware or Alaska.

Mmm... on second thought, I don't think even that would fix the problem. There'd still be the "safe" states that will always vote Rep or Dem and we'd still have a handful of "Battleground States" that the candidates fight over.

Actually though, if it really was a "one-state/one-vote" system, there'd NEVER be another Democratic President!



Yeah, I think that would be taking the concept a little TOO far.

I would merely wish that only taxpayers can vote...
Link Posted: 10/15/2004 5:43:24 AM EST
A few battleground states is better than four battleground cities.
Link Posted: 10/15/2004 5:49:27 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/15/2004 5:50:25 AM EST by Dolomite]

Originally Posted By Dave_A:
...without it, we would have 'Battleground Cities' instead -> Chicago, NYC, LA, SF...

Wait, we wouldn't have 'battleground cities', we'd have Demo Domination....



You nailed it.

The framers intent was for the EC to pull a ram-shackle group of former colonies together - and to that end, it still works (for the most part).

Individual States have the right (as they should) to divide up and award their EVs by popular vote if they choose - that would kill the EC just as dead as any change to the Constitution - but it really hasn't caught on with too many of them after all of these years.
Link Posted: 10/15/2004 5:58:36 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/15/2004 6:08:14 AM EST by monkeyman]
"Now it's come down to a nation so polarized (and sheepified by the media) that only a handful will end up making the choice as to which way we go."

Polarized and sheepified, Isn't that a contradictory statement? It seems to me that we are indeed polarized (rich vs. poor, white vs. black, liberal vs. conservative, democRat v. republican) but it certainly isn't because the masses are sheepified. Hell, we wouldnt have had a democratic house and senate and a republican president so many times, or Clinton in the white house and the congress change over to republicans for the first time in 50 or 60 years.

If the US population was indeed sheepified they would always vote one way or another and not keep jumping back and forth between republicans and demoncrats. Hell if all the population did was listen to the media, we would have nothing but 'effing liberals in all ellected offices. I mean how the hell does one explain population's love of Clinton, yet the boning of the democratic congress under him and then the election of Dubya over a incumbent Vice President? Or the love of Reagan, the election of Bush and then him getting booted for Clinton. The American people are fickle, not sheepified.
Link Posted: 10/15/2004 6:07:42 AM EST
W shows up to California to load up on cash, lots of cash
Link Posted: 10/15/2004 6:18:06 AM EST
I'm scared as hell, Pennsyltucky here has the most electoral votes of the battleground states, i think we are going to become the Florida of 2004!!!!

I'm an election offical, since as a constable i'm responsible for working the polls and providing security and observing the ballot counting at the polling place.
Link Posted: 10/15/2004 7:10:48 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/15/2004 7:16:39 AM EST by PAEBR332]

Originally Posted By The_Macallan:
A puddle-deep musing:

<snip>

My question is this - isn't this what the Electoral College was supposed to avoid - having an entire presidential election basically come down to the candidates trying to win over just a handful of states to the near exclusion of most others?




No, this was never the Framers' intent. Their intent was to have the states AS STATES play the central role in the selection of the President. They instituted a federal republic, and the EC assures that our nation retains this type of government, rather than becoming a democracy. From the very beginning, candidates realized (including candidates like James Madison who helped frame the Constitution), that focusing on the few large states was USUALLY a good strategy. Just because it USUALLY works, does not mean the system is flawed.

As an example, ask Al Gore if ANY of the states he lost (including all those 3EV states) were not in hindsight "Battleground states." When elections are close, a candidate ignores a state, whether "safe" or "lost cause" at their own peril. People frequently forget that in a small state, a candidate can focus fewer resources to swing a small number of voters, which will in turn swing the state and its' EVs to that candidate.

Let me give you an example from this year. In South Dakota, Bush is up by 10% over Kerry. 316,000 people voted in the 200 election. 10% represents just 31,600 voters. For Kerry to take the state, he would need to swing over half this number. Lets call it 18,000 voters for argument sake. So, swinging 18,000 voters wins him 3 EV, or 6,000 voters per EV. Bush is currently up 2% in Florida. In 2000, just under 6 million people voted. To swing the state to Kerry would need to convince a little over 1 percent to change from Bush to him. that 1% represents 600,000 voters to gain Florida's 27 EVs, or 22,222 voters per EV. In other words, Kerry has to move 11 TIMES as many voters per EV by focusing his effort in a large state like Florida. Kerry could use similar efficiencies, needing to move a relatively small number of voters, in a handful of small state (SD, AR, WV, LA, MO and MS) which together have more EC votes than Florida (28 to 27). To swing these 5 states and their 28 ECVs requires that he change the minds of a total of about 175,000 voters, versus the 600,000 he needs to swing in Florida to pick up its 27.

This "battleground state" mentality is the accepted wisdom of our time. It may be dead wrong.
Link Posted: 10/15/2004 8:23:57 AM EST

Originally Posted By mtechgunman:

Originally Posted By raven:
hey, even if there was no electoral college, neither candidate would waste their time here. biggest city? 250,000 souls.




exactly. They don't care, because it is mearly a waste of money.

one day in a city of 250,000 people, or a day in a city with 1,2,3 and so on, million?


i wouldn't waste my time either.




I dunno, the candidate who actually showed up in Alaska would probably get some serious props from the folks up there, no matter which side he was on...
Link Posted: 10/15/2004 11:10:25 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/15/2004 11:10:42 AM EST by PAEBR332]
Bump.

Because my brilliant analysis of the issue is being ignored.
Link Posted: 10/15/2004 11:13:09 AM EST
Oh God. Yes! That's even more brilliant the second time round!
Link Posted: 10/15/2004 11:14:51 AM EST

Originally Posted By Dolomite:
Oh God. Yes! That's even more brilliant the second time round!



Shut up and give me more cowbell.
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