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An Electoral College Tie?

The presidential race is neck and neck. What if the electoral vote ends in a tie? We’ll go deep on what would happen next.

This map shows one of several possible scenarios that would result in a tie of the Electoral College.

This map shows one of several possible scenarios that would result in a tie of the Electoral College.

Half the country’s eye, fixed on Hurricane Sandy today.  A massive storm.  An extreme and unusual event.  Depending how it hits, what it disrupts, Sandy may get the single biggest vote in next week’s presidential election.  But it’s not the only extreme and unusual possible event out there.

Come Election Day, vote counters say, there is a remote but real chance of a tie in the Electoral College in this presidential election.  We all hope it doesn’t happen.  But if it does, what will happen?

This hour, On Point:  Imagining a tie, and its aftermath, in the race for the White House.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Peter Baker, reporter for the New York Times.

Amy Walter, ABC News Political Director.

Robert Alexander, chair of the department of History, Politics, and Justice at Ohio Northern University. Author of Presidential Electors and the Electoral College: An Examination of Lobbying, Wavering Electors, and Campaigns for Faithless Votes.

From Tom’s Reading List

Washington Post “Most polls at this moment suggest GOP nominee Mitt Romney is in the lead nationally, but surveys in the nine or so swing states are registering a narrow advantage for President Obama.”

Sabato’s Crystal Ball “While it has been a topsy-turvy race, it’s also been one without particularly commanding heights or punishing valleys. Since April 10 — when Romney effectively clinched the nomination — he has never topped 48% in the RCP average and never dipped below 43%; Obama has never exceeded 49.5% and never gone below 45.4%. That points to a pretty stable and polarized electorate.”

The New York Times “As of Monday’s FiveThirtyEight forecast, there were 21 states that Barack Obama was projected to have at least an 85 percent chance of winning on Nov. 6. The list includes three important states, Ohio, Wisconsin and New Hampshire, where Mr. Obama’s polling has improved by an especially clear margin since the Democratic convention. It did not include several others, however, where he is favored, but less definitively so, such as Virginia, Iowa, Nevada, Colorado and Florida.”

Yahoo News “If there is a tie in the electoral college (and, as I explain below, there could be), it will be up to the newly elected House of Representatives to elect a President and the newly elected Senate to elect the Vice President.”

Video

Here’s a short video explaining what happens if both candidates secure 269 Electoral College votes, resulting in a likely Romney-Biden administration.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Could we follow the Constitution if this election is in doubt?

    • Gregg Smith

      I guess it all depends on whose side you’re on. Many are saying Romney could win the popular vote but lose the electoral college. That would turn some Bush v Gore critics around.

      • Joseph_Wisconsin

         Actually I have never thought that Bush stole the election in 2000.  I thought that the Supreme Court made a mistake in stepping in the way it did instead of just letting the recount process play out.  The Supreme Court has become so partisan that that gave ammunition to the “stole the election” critics.  If Gore had the election “stolen” (not even the right word)  from him by losing in the Electoral College total  through losing Florida’s Electoral College votes it was because of poorly designed ballots in Dade County,  and of course the third party candidacy of Ralph Nader.

        The efforts to suppress votes by minorities and other likely Democratic voters that a number of states with Republican controlled state houses will give more credible cause for any claims that this election was stolen (if Romney wins) than existed in 2000.  Fortunately in most of the most egregious instances of this the courts have put a stop to that, for this election at least.

        I should say that I consider this such and unlikely event that it hardly warrants an hour here.  I think that people, especially the media, must be running out of things to talk about.  Understandable since the poll numbers have not really been changing that much recently and every issue and aspect of the candidates has been beat to death.  

        If Romney wins the popular vote by a small percentage, but Obama takes the Electoral College it will be hard for right wingers to complain though won’t it?  Back to the birther claims?  Paging “The Donald?” LOL

        • nj_v2

          I now keep this

          http://damnedliberal.com/?p=3764

          on my desktop because people keep repeating this nonsense so often:

          [[ If Gore had the election “stolen” (not even the right word)  from him by losing in the Electoral College total  through losing Florida's Electoral College votes it was because of poorly designed ballots in Dade County,  and of course the third party candidacy of Ralph Nader. ]]

          • Joseph_Wisconsin

             Nader wrote, “25% of my voters would have voted for Bush, 38% would have voted for Gore and the rest would not have voted at all”.

            And Nader knows this how?  Still let’s use his numbers.  25% of the 97,488 votes for Nader = +24,3732 votes for Bush.  38% of 97,488 votes for Nader = +37,045 votes for Gore. Bush margin of victory 543 votes. Gore margin of victory without Nader (by Nader’s own self serving numbers) 37,045-543-24,372 = 12,130 votes.  Talking about Republicans that voted Democratic or Democrats that voted Republican is a red herring.

        • Don_B1

          I fully agree that the Supreme Court’s interjection of itself was unnecessary and self-immolating.

          1) The Republican-controlled Florida legislature was about to designate its slate of Electors as official, which would have given Florida and thus the presidency to Bush.

          2) Gore misjudged the size of the voting ballot problem and only asked for a recount of a small number of counties, rather than the whole state, which would have been easier to defend from Supreme Court interference.

          Read this article in Slate for more on the consequences of the Supreme Court’s Florida decision:

          http://slate.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=c05b76ecf68cd5e5448448316&id=dc92cff71f&e=868485d643

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Are you trying to torture us?

    What would be worse — an 269-269 tie or a recount scenario in multiple states?

    Personally, I dread any sort of recount to decide the election.

    • MrNutso

      The worst case politically is Obama gets a narrow popular vote win, there’s an electoral college tie and a Republican House chooses Romney as President.

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    The “four color theorem” was proposed by mapmakers in the 1800s and emerged as a formal theorem in 1852.
    How many different colors are sufficient to color the countries ( states ) on a map in such a way that no two adjacent countries (states) have the same color?
    ———————————————————–
    This has nothing to do with this hour’s discussion, in the direct sense, however, looking at the map at this thread, a person can’t help but notice, the asymmetry, and the dearth of colors. It is hard to believe that 350 million people would gravitate, exclusively to two parties. Of course, the same statement could be made for the Electors that will be voting. “We the people “ , need new and viable parties, and new governing techniques and insights ! It is not inconceivable that over time, the Red / Blue divide could “calcify” and produce a truly divided country with permanent political divisions and economic interest. This would be a disaster for Democracy and American civilization, in general, and possibly lead to conditions that would preclude the conditions necessary to ignite another “Civil” war !

    • Tyranipocrit

       

       There are other parties–many.  Justice
      p, green, libertarian, socialist…

      Jill stein of the Greens is on all ballots in all states except 2 i
      believe–enough to win the electoral college,  She was arrested and handcuffed
      to a chair for eleven hours when she tried to attend the un-democratic
      debates.  is that a healthy democracy?  What were they afraid
      of?  That is the sign of a plutocracy.  An oligarchy.  A
      dictatorship–one party–just like China.

      You have other choices–they wont tell you wont about. 

      The green new deal would have and will bail out homeowners–not looting banks,
      and student loans–an unjust, immoral, deceptive scam.  the greens would
      truly bring illegal unnecessary wars based on lies–all our wars today and in
      the past–to en end–using that money to eradicate the deficit and the debt and
      pay for social programs that fund true democracy an a free and equal society.

      The President is one branch of the gov–you all put too much credit on that
      office–exalting it to some kind of throne and treating it as if it is a
      dictatorship.  it is not.  Obama can do nothing without the
      House.  And the judicial system rigged towards republicanism is standing
      between them both.  Also i would advise you to look behind the curtain as
      did all our wisest presidents.  Republicans and Koch puppets, admonish the
      President when in reality everything undone is all there fault. 
      Obstructionism even at the cost of prosperity.  they should be ashamed to
      wave a flag–the very fascist entity they so admire.

      You have an option, but if you vote for The Party. You support a broken system
      funded by and controlled by the corporate aristocracy in the 1-percent–like
      Romney and Cheney and Bush and trump and gates.  That is not
      democracy.  We are more like a feudal system.

    • Don_B1

      There is one twist on your hypothesis, the change in the demographics of this country, particularly the growth of the Hispanic/Latino population. Demographers see the strong possibility of Texas trending “purple” within a decade or less.

      The “four color theorem” was solved by the use of a computer program in 1976 by Appel and Haken. It took a bit of convincing for the mathematics establishment to accept this first “computer proof” of an important theorem.

      • Wm_James_from_Missouri

        Thanks Don. I am aware of how the Four Color Theorem was confirmed. I brought it up, so that I might produce images in the readers minds and possibly produce a dialog.

        Your point on changing demographics is a good one. I do wonder though if we would ever reach a “ steady state “ in population distributions. Unlikely, but not impossible.

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    I liked your video on this topic. Will your guest please suggest some good writings on preferential voting. Also, what countries are using preferential voting and how has the populace took to it ?

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    If all US Territories were to become states of the US what effect would that have on the Electoral College?

  • Yar

    I actually expect Obama to get 300 electoral votes.  I think the polls are inaccurately choosing likely voters.  I expect actual turnout to be higher than predicted. Never, do you see turnout numbers tied to predictions.
    If only 50 percent of registered voters cast ballots, then I predict  Romney will win. If 75 percent vote, I predict an Obama victory.
    If we have an electoral tie, the country may well go over the fiscal cliff.
    If exactly 66.6 % vote, the devil is in the details. 
    While playing what if:
    If the house goes democratic? 
    If the senate goes republican? 
    If the lame duck session can’t make a choice but the next congress can. 
     If a different speaker of the house is elected by the majority before voting on President,  I am pretty sure the republicans are willing to cut this baby in half.  King Solomon, voters, who is the real parent? 
    Is our country is so polarized that it is ungovernable?
    Why should republicans in congress be rewarded for their determination to not work with our current president?  
    Go Vote. Don’t worry about the pundits, the polls. the advertisements, make sure  your small still voice is heard.  Demand that your vote count, even in the reddest state, a democratic vote still counts toward democracy!
    If you don’t vote, democracy will fail.

    • 1Brett1

      I think your prediction has merit. Historically, a high voter turnout results in favor of Democrats.

      • Ray in VT

        That’s why I don’t want everybody to vote.  Our leverage goes up and the voting populace goes down.

    • DrewInGeorgia

      We’re a Democratic Republic so Democracy can’t fail. That which doesn’t exist cannot fail.

      • Don_B1

        If Democracy has to be “perfect” to exist, then it never will as, just for starters, no human endeavor has ever been “perfect.”

        But the “experiment” that is the setting of the government agenda by the votes of as many of the citizens of the country who are old enough and not incapacitated, and who wish to express their convictions, can fail if advocates of different approaches cannot convince a majority of the correctness of one approach and too many refuse to compromise on what they consider best for the country.

        When one or more ideological factions gain enough power to force “my way or the highway” on at least part of government while others have empirical evidence that their ideologically-driven “way” will be detrimental to the future of the country, the result can be dithering in the face of disaster and the failure of the country.

        That is basically what happened to the Roman Republic, just over 2,000 years ago. It can happen to the U.S. (and Europe) when economic disaster is visited on the bottom 99% to favor the 1% through austerity policies.

  • Ed75

    The president supports abortion, restriction on religious liberty, embryonic stem cell research, same sex marriage and (in the near future) euthanasia. By any realistic standard, he should be voted out of office. If he isn’t, will God endure more of this turn toward evil practices, after 40 years since 1973? I don’t think so. Disaster will follow, probably by the end of the year. The storm we’re facing is just a small preview and warning. We’ll be sorry we ever heard the name of Obama.

    • Yar

      Ed, you sound like Jonah,  you want God to cut the baby in half. Blaming a storm on evil is one thing, blaming it on the will of God is another.  Yes, every kilowatt of electricity you use from a coal power plant is causing the earth to heat up,  if this storm is caused by man, it is your fault, not the president’s, you are killing a child every time you flip the light switch. You are the evil you hate. 

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        That was Solomon, wasn’t it? I mean, I’m not much good at Jeopardy’s Bible category, but…

        • Yar

          Mixed metaphor, Jonah and the whale is one story,  He cursed the tree that God put over him, and complained that God made him look foolish for not destroying Nineveh.  King Solomon, was judge over two mothers arguing over a child, one mother had lost her child and was claiming the child of another, the true mother said she would rather lose her child than see it cut in half.  I see the “our political goal is to make this a one term president” as willing to have the child (our nation) cut in half.   

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Thanks for the explanation. I knew of Solomon’s gambit, and Jonah and the whale, but not that Jonah cursed the tree that God put over him.

            Yep. Some folks don’t understand that the Solomonic gambit was a ruse, not a gameplan.

    • jefe68

      Woe is me…  Why this storm and not Katrina which was much worse. By the way that happened during GW Bush’s tenure as president. Well, I guess there goes that argument.

      • Ray in VT

        Come on, we all know that Katrina hit New Orleans because of the debauchery of Mardi Gras.

        • Don_B1

          And God willed that President Bush would select incompetent hackers to run FEMA so that New Orleans would not be provided the support to save lives and establish a strong effective recovery from the disaster.

    • Shag_Wevera

      Ed, I don’t believe you exist.  I think you are a computer algorythym programmed to adapt any topic to Christian pro=life issues.  No human could be so monotone and monolithic.  Maybe Ed75 is your model number?

    • JGC

      It is clear to me that the path and swath of Hurricane Sandy, with its rare convergence of three separate huge weather fronts over the Marcellus Shale, is God’s message of His great displeasure with the exploitation of His land by natural gas fracking methodology.  The Lord will smite the American Petroleum Institute and all its K Street minions, including Bishop Romney. 
        

    • 1Brett1

      Interesting…your God sounds akin to a spoiled, selfish, psychotic, evil child, like something dreamed up for a horror B movie. 

      Also, you know full well that you’ll alter no one’s views about their concept of God with this post, distilled down in an amalgam of many previous comments you’ve posted. So, ostensibly, you post this merely to be offensive on some level; to rile, even anger some, particularly those who actually might be adversely affected by Sandy…I wonder how God would consider your behavior?

      • Ray in VT

        My guess isn’t that Ed is trying to be offensive.  I’ll take his word that he really believes this stuff, and many share his worldview.  It also just happens that such a worldview offends many others.  I think that he’s just spreading the Truth as he believes it to be.

        • 1Brett1

          I believe Ed really believes what he writes, it’s just that I also believe he knows he’ll accomplish nothing but offensiveness in his comment, hence my comment.

          • Ray in VT

            Yeah, he probably doesn’t expect to gain converts (at least he probably shouldn’t), but he likely doesn’t care.  For some people, just spreading the word is a victory of sorts.

          • DrewInGeorgia

            If one spreads enough manure something will grow, even if it’s only a bunch of weeds.

          • Steve__T

             Hes Got Stillhere and WFTC.

        • Don_B1

          It appears that Ed gets his vision of God from the early part of the Old Testament, where God is often enraged at disobedience in men and supporting/encouraging taking vengeance against “sinners.”

          Ed seems not to appreciate the message of Jesus when he talked about turning the other cheek, etc.

          Thus Ed is “paternalistic” in the extreme (at least to the extent allowed by modern law) where the carrot is subjugated to the stick (or whip?). Ed fits more in the group that contains bullies, tyrants, and generally unenlightened power seekers.

    • JGC

      From the Borowitz Report:

      In Indiana, Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock weighed in on the approaching storm:  “It says a lot about God that while He’s so busy impregnating women, he still somehow finds the time to make a hurricane.”

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        If you liked that Borowitz Report, you’ll love this one.

        Sample snip:

        “In one camp is the Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock, who says that his view that God is sometimes O.K. with rape is ‘gaining real traction with a key demographic: men who don’t like women very much.’ “

        • DrewInGeorgia

          “come for the misogyny, stay for the racism.”

          I lol’d

    • BHA_in_Vermont

       LMAOWPIMP

      Oh wait, you are serious. Even more funny.

    • nj_v2

      I think Ed is actually a writer for Saturday Night Live. This stuff has become nearly fully self-parodying.

      • jefe68

        The scary thing Ed75 has two likes.
        I wonder if he looks like Charlton Heston…

        • Steve__T

           And you know who they are.

          • Mike_Card

            Still Clueless and What The F*ck–it figured.  At least Greggggg had the good sense to stay away today.

    • jefe68

      So what’s next, lets see…
      Water, which turned to blood and killed all fish and other aquatic life.
      Frogs.
      Lice .
      Flies or wild animals.
      Disease on livestock.
      Incurable boils.
      Hail and thunder.
      Locusts.
      Darkness.
      Death of the first-born of all Democrats and their animals.

  • jefe68

    If it’s a tie Romney wins. The House of Representatives will vote and being that there is a Republican majority the outcome would be clear. However, the Senate decides the VP slot so Joe Bidden is then appointed as VP.

    What a mess.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

      Are the House and Senate limited to the choices on the ballot? Or could anyone get pushed in?

      • jefe68

        No, it’s who is on the ballet. In this case it would be a Romney Bidden administration, which would be a huge mess.

        • Wm_James_from_Missouri

          Maybe they will be sharing bunk beds too :)  ! I wonder who will call top bunk !  : )  : ))

    • BHA_in_Vermont

       And Romney drops from a massive heart attack at the joy of winning. Biden becomes president.

  • Shag_Wevera

    If you are liberal/progressive, this scenario of an electoral tie with Romney eventually winning (Supreme Court AGAIN or House of Representatives tie break) MIGHT be the greatest possible result of this election. 

    • BHA_in_Vermont

       Why would any liberal/progressive be happy about Romney running this country?

      • Don_B1

        I didn’t take it that it would make him “happy.” I would consider it a great disaster for the country, with the only saving grace that hopefully the Republicans could not maneuver to blame Democrats then like they are trying (and with too much success) to do this time.

        But I DO NOT wish for that; it would be too horrible a way to finally punish the Republicans for the damage they have done and would do to the prospects for the future of the human species.

    • jefe68

      Do tell?

  • Bill_GKD

    During a CNN debate at the height of the GOP primary, Mitt Romney was
    asked, in the context of the Joplin disaster and FEMA’s cash crunch,
    whether the agency should be shuttered so that states can individually
    take over responsibility for disaster response.

    “Absolutely,” he said. “Every time you have an occasion to take
    something from the federal government and send it back to the states,
    that’s the right direction. And if you can go even further, and send it
    back to the private sector, that’s even better. Instead of thinking, in
    the federal budget, what we should cut, we should ask the opposite
    question, what should we keep?”

    “Including disaster relief, though?” debate moderator John King asked Romney.

    “We cannot — we cannot afford to do those things without
    jeopardizing the future for our kids,” Romney replied. “It is simply
    immoral, in my view, for us to continue to rack up larger and larger
    debts and pass them on to our kids, knowing full well that we’ll all be
    dead and gone before it’s paid off. It makes no sense at all.”

    • BHA_in_Vermont

       Then, I trust, that any state the votes for Romney will not apply to FEMA for aid.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Too late. As was the stimulus, so shall be with FEMA.

        The most dangerous place to stand in politics is between a FiscallyResponsible GOP elected official and a giant cardboard check form the federal government. You will get run over.

  • lonelyphoenix

    I don’t like this… Like how does a two party presidency work in mordern time… I mean we already seem the result of a divided congress. What about a divided Executive… I don’t court Supreme Court though. 

    • Ray in VT

      Whether we like it or not, that is what the law calls for in such a situation, so that’s the way that it is.  The only long-term solution would be Constitutional revision.

      It would be interesting to see how it would work, although with the Vice President’s job being largely ceremonial, with the main official duty being the President of the Senate and casting tie-breaking votes, and with most duties only being a point person for the President, a Vice President could be largely sidelined if that was the choice of the President.

      • http://twitter.com/oldgulph s e

        The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC), without needing to amend the Constitution.

        When the bill is enacted by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes– enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of
        538), all the electoral votes from the enacting states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC.

        The bill uses the exclusive power given to eachstate by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their
        electoral votes for president. Historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the President, including ending the
        requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote and 48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state legislative action.

        The bill has passed 31 state legislative
        chambers in 21 states. The bill has been enacted by 9 jurisdictions (including Massachusetts) possessing 132 electoral votes – 49% of the 270 necessary to go into
        effect.

        NationalPopularVote
        Follow National Popular Vote on Facebook via NationalPopularVoteInc

    • ttajtt

      AKA:  One World Government 
      seeds of growth to fit in the laid out plain.    

    • BHA_in_Vermont

      Other than voting in the senate to break ties, the Vice President is a powerless position as long as the president is fit to serve.

  • Tyranipocrit

    we dont need a president–its a useless function and counterproductive.  A ruse. 

    if we must have representatives than they should be elected by unions and guilds to represent sectors of society under an umbrella of wroking class and middle class, upper class and 1% for example.  The teamsters would have a rep., the steelworkers, the teachers, auto workers, train workers, pilots, merchant marines, stevedores, longshoreman, pipe-fitters, contractors, real estate development, banks, corporate food, and organic food farmers, and the guilds should be labelled with out euphemisms or  initials to avoid confusion and deliberate deception as in “Citizins United.”–thats a crok! 

    better yet, direct democracy–we all vote on laws and bills and constitutional amendments that our union reps propse.  Citizins acan also write up laws and have them voted up and down.

    We are a socialist country–we just dont want to admit it.  look up Labor union online and find a comprehensive list of all the unions and guilds in America (let alone the world), adn you will see just ho socialist we are–and that is truly a good and special ting–it is the root, trunk, and limbs of a democracy–the 1% are a bacterial virus contaminating the soil or a bight on the roots, killing the tree.  Such a guild–like the teachers union would not lawfully permit KOch heads (fascists) to break up unions because the constitution or binding laws would forbid it as part of the new electoral system–and thereby teachers rights and student rights would be protected–charter schools would not exist and education would continue to be a right in America.

    The amendments and laws would be written in pain concise language–not the jargon doublespeak that lawyers use to confound and discourage people from understanding the law, the truth, and their rights.  An independent body would oversee that laws are simplified.

    We are socialists in heart, mind, body, and reality–social security, the military, the pentagon, elected officials all benefit form socialist systems–the super-rich benefit for socialism as they are bailed out and rewarded when they fail and deified when they..oh wait they never do anything right–they are greedy oligarchs concerned only with power. 

    Big oil is subsidized.  Big Pharma is subsidized.  the rich are subsidized in everyway conceivable–even birth! As they are born with inherited money, sometimes inherited over centuries, perhaps millenia, and so need do or earn nothinig–NOTHING–they live on handouts.  And they built NOthing.  You did not build it!  Tax payers money built the roads you depend on to do business, the rail, and to a large extent energy and air-transport–and aeronautics.  You did not build it.  you are Socialists masquerading as mom-and pop capitalists and artisans.  Its disgusting!  You did not build it.

    Only small and medium sized business men can say they built it.  My old man built a business out of one-store refrigeration shop into a national (if not international) corporation with patents that he designed. He expanded into chain ice rinks and later sold them.  he eventually sold the company and got stiffed by the buyer who filed bankruptcy before paying out all that he owed. 

    the super rich do this as a matter of daily routine–file bankruptcy, avoid payments–get bailed out, rob and loot and do it all over again with tax payers money.  My old man had a medium sized business and he built it but he still benefited form the people’s roads and services, without which he could not have done it.

    Medicare.  social security.  veterans funds. This is socialism.  We need more of it if we want to be prosperous as a one nation , instead of joke we have now–church of free trade.  we worship the super rich who hate us and have no morals no ethics and no brains nd no right to lord over us.

    • Shag_Wevera

      Conservatives stopped reading after you mentioned unions and guilds in the second sentence.

      • Tyranipocrit

         i know.  And everyone else stopped reading after ten lines.  But i got it off my chest.  Just food for thought–an alternative reality.  Some other dimension.  I envy my other self living in such a world.  It would have problems but every man in every democracy has problems–just less than men under fascists, totalitarians, America and china. 

      • harverdphd

         Because they’re irrelevant

    • Steve__T

       Your heart is in the right place but your understanding of American history is poor. Believe it or not the rich have actually done a lot to build America. Here is something to watch and give you a better incite on how we got to where we are now. This is something you should know and understand.

       http://www.history.com/shows/men-who-built-america

      • Tyranipocrit

         my understanding is fine thanks.  i understand what they built–genocide of native americans and theft of their land to pave the way for manifest destiny.  They stir up patriotism thru media machines and start sadistic wars–creating american culture and thinking.  They plunder resources and eat away at protected lands.

        Their are super-rich who have done great things–but other super rich would claim they are soialists and somehow deranged.  The men who pushed legislature to protect and conserve lands in america–they built something–but not with out grassroot movements, and support.

        Abolitionsim was largely grassroots.  The underground railroad was an effort by all classes–when democracy and human spirit are at its best.  But a minority that would have been hated by the super-rich.

        the super-rich raped and abducted natives of africa and forced them into slavery to build their blood money empires.  i bet a majority of elected officials today enjoy the benefits of that blood money (slavery)–most of our super-rich come from old families that built america on slavery and genocide and conquest.  We have a history of massacre–perpetrated by the super-rich.

        The super-rich break up and kill all the best things about america–social systems that the people love–the people–we do mattter.  But the super-rich dont care about america, earth or people (most of them)–they only care about money and power-and they will destroy america if it will make them richer–even to the point of allowing it to be attacked or annihilated.  believe it.

        if the super-rich love america so much why do they shelter money in offshore accounts and refuse to pay taxes or help the sick.  they only love money and power–they dont even love themselves. 

        They rage at their own reflection.
        the super-rich are an abomination.  They should be outlawed and regulated.  There is no need to amass such wealth–and all wealth of such proportions is steeped in blood, lies, deciet, and cruelty–corruption.  Yet, we permit and praise it. 
        To deny this is to be blind and deaf. 

        We deny it to preserve a shred of happiness in our lives.  i say it, you dont want to hear it.  keep sacrificing at the alter of free trade and the deities of the super-rich.

        This comment not intended for Steve_T,  its just a yodel for the echo chamber.

  • Joseph_Wisconsin

    So people are running out of things to talk about?  It’s not going to happen.

    • Shag_Wevera

      Why so sure?

      • Joseph_Wisconsin

         Fair question, and of course I can’t know for sure since this is going to be a close election.  It’s just that most of the scenarios offered for an Electoral College tie, including the one shown above, result from having states where Obama currently has larger leads in polling switching to Romney while states where Obama has a smaller lead stay Democratic.  I believe that either the states where Obama currently has the lead will indeed go his way resulting in a sure win or it will be a wave for Romney that will defy current polling in all close states. 

        • Don_B1

          @Joseph_Wisconsin:disqus @Shag_Wevera:disqus @yahoo-JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y:disqus 
          @1Brett1:disqus 
          @Yar_From_Somerset_Ky:disqus 
          @DrewInGeorgia:disqus 

          Last nights forecast by Nate Silver of 538 gave the possibility of an Electoral College tie as 0.4%, which strongly supports Joseph’s contention of it being highly unlikely.

          Silver’s statistical analysis gives Obama a 74.6 % win probability while giving Romney only a 25.4% chance.

  • JGC

    Obama has suspended planned appearances at rallies to return to Washington and oversee preparations for Hurricane Sandy. 

    The Romney campaign is also reportedly suspending their campaign:  Romney accolytes have been seen heading to New Jersey to stack bags of old poker chips around Trump casinos, and are converging on Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio to place sandbags around the polls in areas of high Democratic voting concentration.

    • Steve__T

       You are in rare form today, thanks for the laughs.

      • ttajtt

        talks like a true republican. hats off. 

  • Tyranipocrit

    if a there is tie–we should elect the next highest popular and electoral winner–Green.   they win by default.  After 4 years of Green the people will marvel and cheer at the run-sway prosperity, and vote green again and make green the national party of choice for ages to come.  America will once again be loved, respected, admired, and emulated by the world ushering in a new age of peace, prosperity, equality, wealth, and knowledge.  humanity would take a great leap forward and we would finally reach our potential as human beings. 

    Unfortunately, some Americans hate America, the world and humanity, and seek despots in the white house, white clouds, and black books.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    So – if the House of Representatives got to decide the next President, do they have choose between Romney and Obama – or could someone like Bachmann or Perry – or even Ryan or Palin get pushed into the office?

    • Don_B1

      The House of Representatives vote to break the tie between the two candidates with the most (equal) votes on a state by state basis. Each state has one (1) vote, so each state delegation decides how its state vote will be cast.

      Thus the total of Democrats versus Republicans is not necessarily determine the result, even if party-line voting totally prevails. Thus the Democrats need only six of the ten in the Massachusetts delegation to make the state’s choice, thus at least potentially “wasting” four votes.

  • JGC

    From the Borowitz Report:

    The threat of Hurricane Sandy has forced Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s campaign to move its lying efforts from states in the path of the storm to others beyond the hurricane’s reach. Starting yesterday, the Romney campaign began reallocating lies originally intended for Virginia to other swing states such as Ohio and Wisconsin, the campaign confirmed today.

    “An emergency situation like this really tests how good your ground game is,” said campaign manager Matt Rhoads. “Fortunately, we have liars in all fifty states.”

    But even as the Romney campaign expressed outward confidence about its ability to maintain an uninterrupted flow of whoppers, some Republicans privately feared that a major power outage could disrupt its ability to lie, distort and exaggerate in the crucial days ahead.

    “If Fox News gets knocked off the air in some of these states, we’re certainly going to be down a quart in terms of falsehoods,” one insider said.

    • Steve__T

       ROFLMAO

    • harverdphd

       Stupid, as usual.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    The maps shows it so well – there really should be 3 countries here, one in the northeast, one on the west coast, and one for everywhere else.

    • Joseph_Wisconsin

       Actually two would do.  Though there are natural difficulties with maintaining a country split into geographically separate pieces. But not insurmountable given modern communications and travel technology. New Mexico might be unhappy at being a part of the new Confederate States of America though.

    • MrNutso

      Here’s one map.

      http://narwhaler.com/9iYEMJ

  • DrewInGeorgia

    Their voters tend to be more….uhhhhhhh…RABID.
    It’s okay, you can say it.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/QMDZ3LH5U2B4GAT7J2HS4TCP6E Jim

    this map assumes Romney will take Iowa and Nevada. I can understand Virginia. but until the election is over, please do not make those fallacious assumptions. I know it is a possibility. but this possibility is something that should not be assumed until the end of the election.

    btw. national polls on florida do not take account on the black and latino votes there. I am still hopeful Obama will take Florida.

  • Jack Acme

    The NYT’s Nate Silver gives this scenario a probability of 0.4%! 

    A far more likely outcome is a variant of the 2004 result where manipulation of electronic voting in Ohio provided Bush with a second stolen victory.

  • Charles Bates

    What happens if precincts that use only electronic voting machines have no power on Tues., 6 Nov.?

    • MrNutso

      The ones we use at my polling place have battery backups.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Hope they got generators and gasoline the budget to buy gasoline.

        Sounds like a scenario for some GOP SecState to screw things up, doesn’t it?

  • MarthafromVermont

    I wish you would stick to real issues, not imagined scenarios to get people all stirred up about a crisis that has not happenend yet. When your show explores real issues:  Global warming, health care, etc. you really provide a lot of useful information that many have not heard and will trust because they hear it on your show.

  • bdbdbdbd1

    Re:  If Obama wins electoral and Romney wins popular vote:  This would NOT be the same problem as in 2000 and, contrary to your implication, would not create the horrendous situation that we had in 2000.  How can you not emphasize that the real problem in 2000 was the way the Florida situation was resolved?  If we have the “simple” matter of different electoral and popular vote winners, we know how the rules handle that and there’s no question about who the winnner is.  For you to suggest otherwise only provides encouragement to those who might be inclined to use legal maneuvers and worse to achieve their political ends.

  • DrewInGeorgia

    “Electoral Votes are actually people” your guest says.

    Thank you for voicing the primary reason the Electoral Collage needs to go the way of the dinosaur.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    A more realistic topic would be the number of disenfranchised voters we’re going to see this year.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    The problem here is that the Founders didn’t like parties.  A parliamentary system is much simpler.  Add in our Constitutional protections, and that sounds good to me.

    • Mike_Card

      The “Founders” didn’t care much for anyone dissimilar to them.  I’ve gotten the impression that their ideal form of government would have been for the 50 or 55 of them to have held imperial powers for themselves.

      Now that Augusta National Golf Club has token female and black members, there is more democracy there than in the USA of 1792.

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

        Washington had the chance to become a king, but he refused it.  The Founders’ ideals led to our understanding of personal liberty that we have today.

        • Mike_Card

          Yes and no; it was suggested to Washington that he serve as FDR did, later, but Washington refused–probably because  he had no use for the headaches that came along with trying to deal with Congress.

          As far as personal liberties…yes and no, again.  Sounds pretty self-referential and derivative to me; would women, former slaves, native Americans, and non-land owners go along with that?

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

             Look at the movement for women’s rights and for abolition during the nineteenth century.  Both used the language of our founding documents to call for a broadening of our understanding of rights.  We still refer to those as our ideals.

          • Mike_Card

            One view would be that the country has spent the past 200 years correcting errors and omissions–not a view shared by the “originalists” on the Supreme Court.

          • Ray in VT

            What?  You mean the Constitution was originally envisioned wasn’t perfect?  That sounds like some sort of historical apology tour.  Oh, the humanity.

          • Mike_Card

            Some days, I just can’t help myself.

          • Ray in VT

            Neither can I sometimes.  I was figuring that someone would jump all over me for paraphrasing Paul Weyrich earlier today, but no one did.

          • JGC

            That is one excellent observation.

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    The fact that ANY of the “Electoral College electors” CAN vote against their state’s voters’ desires is the only reason we need to toss the Electoral College in the trash.

    One living breathing person, one vote.

    • Ray in VT

      Some states do require electors to vote according to the state’s popular vote.  This is older, so there may be some differences now:

      http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/electors.html#restrictions

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

      When the system was created, I think it was a failsafe for the ruling oligarchy – if the popular vote went to someone the ruling oligarchy would not accept, the electoral college (coincidentally also made up of members of the ruling oligarchy) could defect and in effect “cancel” the popular vote.

      • Don_B1

        You have some of it right, but originally the Electors were selected by the Legislatures, so there was already a layer of protection against the “rabble.”

    • http://twitter.com/oldgulph s e

      There have been 22,453 electoral votes cast since presidential elections became competitive (in 1796), and only 17 have been cast for someone other than the candidate nominated by the elector’s own political party. 1796 remains the only instance when the elector might have thought, at the time he voted, that his vote might affect the national outcome. Since 1796, the Electoral College has had the form, but not the substance, of the deliberative body envisioned by the Founders.  The electors now are dedicated party activists of the winning party who meet briefly in mid-December to cast their totally predictable rubberstamped votes in accordance with their pre-announced pledges.
                                                      
      If a Democratic presidential candidate receives the most votes, the state’s dedicated Democratic party
      activists who have been chosen as its slate of electors become the Electoral College voting bloc. If a Republican presidential candidate receives the most
      votes, the state’s dedicated Republican party activists who have been chosen as its slate of electors become the Electoral College voting bloc. The winner of the presidential election is the candidate who collects 270 votes from Electoral
      College voters from among the winning party’s dedicated activists.

       The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld state laws
      guaranteeing faithful voting by presidential electors (because the states have plenary power over presidential electors).

      • harverdphd

         Forget it

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Any changes would require a Constitutional amendment.  Whatever solution you like, consider how hard it would be to pass any amendment these days.  If the states called for a Constitutional Convention, consider what amendments could then get rammed through that you wouldn’t like.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Hear, hear!

    • Don_B1

      The work product of any Constitutional Convention STILL has to be accepted by 75% of the states legislatures (38), amendment by amendment.

      Considering the difficulty of adding the Women’s Equal Rights Amendment, the possibility of passing radical amendments might not be as likely as opponents of the process have claimed.

    • ttajtt

      our vote only votes so high, “they” the voted in, have our pre-approval-ed vote(S).

    • http://twitter.com/oldgulph s e

      The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC), without needing to amend the Constitution.

      When the bill is enacted by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes– enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538), all the electoral votes from the enacting states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC.

      The bill uses the exclusive power given to each
      state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for president. Historically, virtually all of the major
      changes in the method of electing the President, including ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote and 48
      current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state legislative action.

      The bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers in 21 states. The bill has been enacted by 9 jurisdictions (including Massachusetts) possessing 132 electoral votes – 49% of the 270 necessary to go into effect.

      NationalPopularVote
      Follow National Popular Vote on Facebook via NationalPopularVoteInc

      • harverdphd

         Cut n paste…forget it

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

         So no matter how the people of my state vote, the electoral votes would go to whoever gets the highest national percentage?  No thanks.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    If OnPoint is ready to do a show about this so close to election day, how about a show on voter suppression?

    No, not “voting ID laws”. Not “voter fraud”. Not “truing the vote”.

    Voter suppression.

    (Edit: No point doing one after election day if they’re not gonna do one before.)

  • Mabornatrix
  • BHA_in_Vermont

    Imagine a country where the candidates go to ALL the states to win popular vote rather than going back again and again and again to the same “swing” states. Spread a little of that $2B in ALL the states.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      $2B is an amazing number. Obscene.  Imagine putting that cash toward productive endeavors.

      On flip side, the US spent $7B on Halloween  just last year.

      • Ray in VT

        Talk about an obscene number.  Whatever happened to cutting some holes in an old sheet and being a ghost?

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          But much of it must be simply transferential, in the same way that a big chunk of money spent on an expansion sports team was already being spent on other leisure activities.

          • ttajtt

            their now don’t go blame the ticket holder. 

        • harverdphd

           For one, it makes black people nervous

          • Ray in VT

            That’s a good one, especially if one is wearing one’s birthday hat under it.  I don’t know if you’re a fan, but do you recall the South Park episode where the townspeople tried to scare away the “richies” by dressing up like “ghosts” and burning t’s for Time To Go?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    Another good topic would have been the forced detention of Jill Stein for having the audacity to try to attend a presidential debate.

  • Mabornatrix

    The reason Electoral College exists is so that the voice of unpopulated areas is still heard, correct?  But then isn’t that similar as to why we have a bi-cameral government?  In terms of voices being heard, popular vote would be like having an election process akin to the House of Representatives, while Electoral College is like having an election process akin to the Senate?  And it’s not just the number of votes, it’s the fact that only certain states are campaigned to.

    • Steve__T

       Kind of like a stacked deck? So the few are more important than the many.

  • Mike_Card

    And let’s not forget about the attack of the zombie turkeys!  There surely must be more threats to the republic that we’re not talking about today!!

    • ttajtt

      true coat, double spy, whistle blower, fink, snitch, confuser, does NRA say “money has no price.”    

      • JGC

        Are you a poet or stream-of-consciousness writer?  Your posts are always interesting, but need to be mined for full appreciation.

        • DrewInGeorgia

           I think it’s Ellen D in disguise, I could easily be mistaken though.

        • ttajtt

          Sorry to All that I have offended.   i would be classed as a TBI special person, truely. not anti- truthed or save talk, its just what i think is happing and saying A reader is not alone. my inbetween the line thought. i know it sounds like political correct talk. but I am Sorry,

          • JGC

            No need to be sorry. Just curious.  I like your posts.  They are true to the core. I can skim a lot of postings and feel I am getting the gist, but yours I sometimes need to reread several or more times, and really think about them to get the full content of ideas. I am more smart- aleck than philosopher, so that helps me exercise a different part of my thought process.  

  • scbrowne

    What does it mean when the old adage comes up that Republicans fare better at the polls in bad weather ?
    It’s sad but true that the Republican party has tended to represent the haves, the top of the economic heap, the leaders, while those who because of a myriad of problems–transportation, jobs that won’t allow for a break, minorities will have more difficulty getting to the
    polls.  Sad but true.

  • bdbdbdbd1

    Re # of electoral college votes — Caller gave good explanation of reason for 538 total votes (435 members of House of Reps. + 100 members of Senate + 3 for DC), but is wrong on one point.  DC’s electoral votes are limited to smallest number that another state has, but even without this limitation, if DC votes based on population, would still have 3, not 4 votes.

  • TarbellSteffens

    Why isn’t anyone taking the possibility of voting machine fraud seriously?  How can we monitor what cannot be monitored?  There is no paper trail; there is no way to verify the results.

    Slate, Oct. 24, 2012  
    “Trade-secret law makes it impossible to independently verify that the devices are working properly.”HuffPo, Oct. 26, 2012  “In the United States, as many as 35% of this year’s general election votes will be cast on electronic voting machines that, “in terms of effort required to compromise the systems, are in the same ballpark as the Irish voting machines,” according to Dan Wallach, a professor in Rice University’s Department of Computer Science and a computer systems security specialist. “The current voting machines were designed with insufficient attention to computer security.”

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       There were already reports of early voting in NC where they voters would touch Romney but Obama kept  coming up as the vote.

      The poll workers simple said:  don’t worry we just have to ‘calibrate’ the machine.

      • SamEw

        I heard after awhile if you don’t back away the machine will eat your arm. 

      • 1_Abc_2

        as someone from NC, the stories here are Mitts name coming up when you vote for Obama

      • JGC

        NC voters were touching Romney? Did he like it, or did he alert NC: Special Victims Unit?

    • Wm_James_from_Missouri

      This is a very, very, VERY good point !

  • JGC

    In the event of major legal battles, who is the evil genius on the Democratic side?  The Republicans have brain trusts at the level of James Baker and Karl Rove.  So what strategist can pull out every trick in the book, as well as being the author of a few new ones, in the Democratic Party?  I see a severe deficit here, unless there is some hidden secret on the scale of the Manhattan Project. Our bad guys are just not as bad as their bad guys.  :( 

    • JGC

      I am going to add with the possible exception of Bill Clinton, but I see him as more of a slippery genius, rather than being an evil genius.  

    • JGC

      And how could I forget Grand Poobah of the Society of Evil Geniuses, Roger Ailes?  I am more and more depressed thinking how, even with all the trial lawyers on our side,  the Democrats have neglected to nurture a think tank of true evil geniuses up to the task of securing a winning election.  

  • Potter

    How could it be a close race? I just can’t understand why this is so. I don’t understand this at all given the choice.

    • DrewInGeorgia

      “How could it be a close race?”

      Media manipulation of the masses compounded by willful ignorance equals Perpetual Dead Heat.

  • jefe68

    Something to think about: Mitt Romney has called for the shutting down of the Federal Disaster Agency. Really?
    He want’s states to take up the brunt of storms like the one hitting the Eastern seaboard today.

    This man is not fit to be president.

    • JONBOSTON

      Very insightful thoughtful commentary. You’re right–why should states and not the Feds be in charge of emergency management when responding to storms and other natural disasters in their states. So what if States, as first responders, are in the best position to aid affected individuals and communities and to timely direct resources and assistance to where they are needed most. 

      Better we elect our pathetic pretend president..

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Ray Nagin for Prez!!!

        • jefe68

          You’re making my point, He lost control of his city because the size and scope of the storm was so huge. By the way the cost of Mississippi was also affected by Katrina and they also called on the Federal Government for assistance.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             He lost control because he is lacking in leadership skills.  Remind you of anyone?

          • jefe68

            Oh for the love of ignorance.
            No, it does not. I’m done with you. You are a waste of time.
             

      • jefe68

        Well Jon you seem to be woefully ignorant on how all this works. The states don’t have the money nor the budget to respond to huge storms like this. Not mention what happens when the first responders can’t respond?

        Right now the Cost Guard is out there rescuing a ship that’s having trouble. You think the states can do this or should be charged with this action?

        You right wingers are so forgetful, FEMA was gutted by the Bush administration and failed when Katrina hit.

        Cities and states can only do so much. You really are clueless.

        What’s pathetic is you’re inane petulant response.

        I really think this nation needs to separate.
        Let the right wing regressives have the South.
        Let them crate their own private hell.

        • DrewInGeorgia

           Just send all of the ‘True Believers’ to Texas, there’s plenty of room for all.

    • Mike_Card

      Just like health care, we cannot tolerate a gummint takeover of disaster relief.  It’s far more important to reduce the size of the federal guvmint and decrease the federal income tax!!

    • Denis

      Would someone please exlain to me were the savings come from when we move expenses from the fed government to sate government?  It seems to me the expense is still there just taking the money out of a differant pocket with no aility to consolidate some expenses.

      • Mike_Card

        All you need to know:  “unfunded mandates,” and ” block grants.”  Think Mississippi and Texas, for example.

      • Don_B1

        The “savings” accrue to the government as it no longer does as much and the uncovered costs accrue to the individuals suffering the losses.

        The rich can afford to “self-insure” while the less wealthy cannot use government to pool their insurance costs. Note that flood insurance would not be available anywhere without federal support.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1155042916 Mike Hanson

      Hmmmm …. where was FEMA and our boy messiah president when Tennessee was flooded in May of 2010? 

      • Mike_Card

        There was a problem? 

  • Stephen_Mangion

    Imagine an Obama popular vote victory and an electoral college tie.  
    26+ states are expected to have a delegation in which the Rs are expected to be in the majority. 
    The House could make Romney President.
    Wow!
    And can you imagine the potential manipulation to have a “faithless elector” . .

  • http://twitter.com/oldgulph s e

    Presidential elections don’t (even possibly) have to be this way.

    The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC), without needing to amend the Constitution.

    Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps. There would no longer be a handful of ‘battleground’ states where voters and policies are more important than those of the voters in 80% of the states that now are just ‘spectators’ and ignored after the
    conventions.

    When the bill is enacted by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes– enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538), all the electoral votes from the enacting states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC.

    The presidential election system that we have today was not designed, anticipated, or favored by the Founding Fathers but, instead, is the product of decades of evolutionary change precipitated by the emergence of political parties and enactment by 48 states of winner take-all laws, not mentioned, much less endorsed, in the Constitution.

    The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for President. Historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the President, including ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote and 48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state
    legislative action.

    In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided). Support for a national popular vote is strong among Republicans, Democrats, and
    Independent voters, as well as every demographic group in virtually every state surveyed in recent polls in recent closely divided Battleground states: CO – 68%, FL – 78%, IA 75%, MI – 73%, MO – 70%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM– 76%, NC – 74%, OH – 70%, PA – 78%, VA – 74%, and WI – 71%; in Small states (3 to 5 electoral votes): AK – 70%, DC –76%, DE – 75%, ID – 77%, ME – 77%, MT – 72%, NE 74%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM – 76%, OK – 81%, RI – 74%, SD – 71%, UT – 70%, VT – 75%, WV – 81%, and WY – 69%; in Southern and Border states: AR – 80%, KY- 80%, MS – 77%, MO – 70%, NC – 74%, OK – 81%, SC – 71%, TN – 83%, VA – 74%, and WV – 81%; and in other states polled: AZ – 67%, CA – 70%, CT – 74%, MA – 73%, MN – 75%, NY – 79%, OR – 76%, and WA – 77%. Americans believe that the
    candidate who receives the most votes should win.

    The bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers in 21 states. The bill has been enacted by 9 jurisdictions (including Massachusetts) possessing 132 electoral votes – 49% of the 270 necessary to go into effect.

    NationalPopularVote

    Follow National Popular Vote on Facebook via NationalPopularVoteInc

    • http://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

      This will work wonderfully until an actual election in which it is triggered, whereupon the legislature in Massachusetts/Kansas will say “Massachusetts/Kansas will vote for the Republican/Democrat over our collective dead bodies!”, and immediately change the way electors are apportioned.

      The electoral college exists because the states were at one time sovereign entities in a loose union: they were effectively independent nations that agreed to certain rules regarding their interaction. That this isn’t really the case anymore a century and a half after the Civil War doesn’t mean games should be played with the Constitution as written: if you want to change it, mount a campaign to amend it outright.

      • Mike_Card

        And you just know New Hampshire would keep moving their date until they got the last chance to be “the decider.”

        • Ray in VT

          Or moving up at the front end to be the first decider.  Maybe someday we’ll have the beginning of the primaries a couple of weeks after the election.  I mean, people are going to start talking 2016 soon enough, and I’ve heard some people speculating about it already.

          • JGC

            Guilty…

          • Mike_Card

            I think I’d probably run screaming into the wild if I had to endure the sight of all those New Hampshirites’ insistence that the 2 candidates tromp from door to door and diner to diner, begging for their votes.

            That, alone, would justify expelling NH’s self-important asses from the union.

      • http://twitter.com/oldgulph s e

        The bill says: “Any member state may withdraw
        from this agreement, except that a withdrawal occurring six months or less before the end of a President’s term shall not become effective until a President or Vice President shall have been qualified to serve the next term.”

        Any attempt by a state to pull out of the compact in violation of its terms would violate the Impairments Clause of the U.S. Constitution and would be void.  Such an
        attempt would also violate existing federal law.  Compliance would be enforced by Federal court action

        The National Popular Vote compact is, first of all, a state law. It is a state law that would govern the manner of choosing presidential electors. A Secretary of State may not ignore or override th National Popular Vote law any more than he or she may ignore or override the
        winner-take-all method that is currently the law in 48 states.

        There has never been a court decision allowing a state to withdraw from an interstate compact without following the procedure for withdrawal specified by the compact. Indeed, courts have consistently rebuffed the occasional (sometimes creative) attempts by
        states to evade their obligations under interstate compacts.

        In 1976, the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland stated in Hellmuth and Associates v. Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority:

        “When enacted, a compact constitutes not only law, but a contract which may not be amended, modified, or otherwise altered without the consent of all parties.”

        In 1999, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania stated in Aveline v. Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole:

        “A compact takes precedence over the subsequent statutes of signatory states and, as such, a state may not unilaterally nullify, revoke, or amend one of its compacts if the compact does not so provide.”

        In 1952, the U.S. Supreme Court very succinctly addressed the issue in Petty v. Tennessee-Missouri Bridge Commission:

        “A compact is, after all, a contract.”

        The important point is that an interstate compact is not a mere “handshake” agreement. If a state wants to rely on the goodwill and graciousness of other states to follow certain
        policies, it can simply enact its own state law and hope that other states decide to act in an identical manner. If a state wants a legally binding and enforceable mechanism by which it agrees to undertake certain specified actions
        only if other states agree to take other specified actions, it enters into an interstate compact.

        Interstate compacts are supported by over two centuries of settled law guaranteeing enforceability. Interstate compacts exist because the states are sovereign. If there were no Compacts Clause in the U.S. Constitution, a state would have no way to enter into a legally binding contract with another state. The Compacts Clause, supported by the Impairments Clause, provides a way for a state to enter into a contract with other states and be assured of the enforceability of the obligations undertaken by its sister states. The enforceability of interstate
        compacts under the Impairments Clause is precisely the reason why sovereign states enter into interstate compacts. Without the Compacts Clause and the Impairments Clause, any contractual agreement among the states would be, in fact, no more than a handshake.

      • http://twitter.com/oldgulph s e

        The U.S. Constitution says “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors . . .” The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly
        characterized the authority of the state legislatures over the manner of awarding their electoral votes as “plenary” and “exclusive.”

        The normal way of changing the method of electing the President is not a federal constitutional amendment, but changes in state law. The U.S. Constitution gives “exclusive” and “plenary” control to the states over the appointment of presidential electors. 

        Historically, virtually all of the previous major changes in the method of electing the President have come about by state legislative action. For example, the people had no vote for
        President in most states in the nation’s first election in 1789. However, now, as a result of changes in the state laws governing the appointment of presidential electors, the people have the right to vote for presidential
        electors in 100% of the states.
                           
        In 1789, only 3 states used the winner-take-all method (awarding all of a state’s electoral vote to the candidate who gets the most votes in the state). However, as a result of changes in state laws, the winner-take-all method is now currently used by 48 of the 50 states.

        In other words, neither of the two most important features of the current system of electing the President (namely, that the voters may vote and the winner-take-all method) are in the U.S. Constitution. Neither was the choice of the Founders when they went back
        to their states to organize the nation’s first presidential election.

        In 1789, it was necessary to own a substantial amount of property in order to vote; however, as a result of changes in state laws, there are now no property requirements for voting in any state.

        The normal process of effecting change in the method of electing the President is specified in the U.S. Constitution, namely action by the state legislatures. This is how the current system was created, and this is the built-in
        method that the Constitution provides for making changes. The abnormal process is to
        go outside the Constitution, and amend it.

    • harverdphd

        Cut n paste…forget it

    • dawoada

      The National Popular Vote bill seems like a good idea (democratically electing the President by the popular vote) but it lacks in practicality.  If there were a close national popular vote (perhaps a rarity but still possible), there would be a total calamity.  For example, take the present election.  In New York State, say Obama wins by 100,000 votes but there are miscounts of 10,000 votes.  Under present rules, there would not be any recount because Obama would be bound to win the electoral votes anyway.  The same thing would apply in every state except in a state where there was a close vote and a recount would only be required there if the total electoral vote was close. Recounts in only one or maybe two states.

      What would happen if the popular vote determined the winner and there was a close national popular vote total?  There would have to be a recount in EVERY state because the sum of all the miscounts in all the states might be sufficient to overturn the result.  A total NATIONWIDE recount would seem to be an impossible proposition.  Witness the one state recount in Florida in 2000.

      • http://twitter.com/oldgulph s e

        The idea that recounts will be likely and messy with National Popular Vote is distracting.

        The 2000 presidential election was an artificial crisis created because of Bush’s lead of 537 popular votes in Florida. Gore’s nationwide lead was 537,179 popular votes (1,000 times
        larger). Given the miniscule number of votes that are changed by a typical statewide recount (averaging only 274 votes); no one would have requested a recount or disputed the results in 2000 if the national popular vote had controlled the outcome. Indeed, no one (except perhaps almanac writers and trivia buffs) would have cared that one of the candidates happened to have a 537-vote margin in Florida.

        Recounts are far more likely in the current system of state-by-state winner-take-all methods.
                   
        The possibility of recounts should not even be a consideration in debating the merits of a national popular vote. No one has ever suggested that the possibility of a recount constitutes a valid reason why state governors or U.S. Senators, for example, should not be
        elected by a popular vote.            

        The question of recounts comes to mind in connection with presidential elections only because the current system so frequently creates artificial crises and unnecessary
        disputes.
                   
        We do and would vote state by state. Each state manages its own election and is prepared to conduct a recount.

        The state-by-state winner-take-all system is not a firewall, but instead causes unnecessary fires.
                   
        Given that there is a recount only once in about 160 statewide elections, and given there is a presidential election once every four years, one would expect a recount about once in 640
        years with the National Popular Vote. The actual probability of a close national election would be even less than that because recounts are less likely with larger pools of votes.

        The average change in the margin of victory as a result of a statewide recount was a mere 296 votes in a 10-year study of 2,884 elections.

        No recount would have been warranted in any of the nation’s 56 previous presidential elections if the outcome had been based on the nationwide count.
                               
        The common nationwide date for meeting of the Electoral College has been set by federal law as the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December.  With both the current system and the National Popular Vote, all counting, recounting, and judicial proceedings must be conducted so as to reach
        a “final determination” prior to the meeting of the Electoral College.  In particular, the U.S. Supreme Court has made it clear that the states are expected to make their “final
        determination” six days before the Electoral College meets.

        • dawoada

          You say that there there would not have been a nationwide recount in the 2000 election because there was a difference in the popular vote of 537,179 but this was only 0.5% of the total vote.  That is a small amount and would have required a nationwide recount; an impossible to conceive situation.  Fifty states all recounting every vote: lets be serious.  

          • http://twitter.com/oldgulph s e

            No.  It would not have required a national recount.

            The average change in the margin of victory as a result of a
            statewide recount was a mere 296 votes in a 10-year study of 2,884
            elections.

            No recount would have been warranted in any of the nation’s 56
            previous presidential elections if the outcome had been based on the
            nationwide count.

    • Tyranipocrit

      great comment thanks.  informative.  i would like to add that the popular vote should be cumaltive.  We each get five votes.  I can distribute those votes anyway i like.  Five on green.  Five on obama.  3 on green.  2 on obama.  1 on obama.  1 on justice.  3 on green.

      • Tyranipocrit

         why should new england suffer the ridiculous policies, beliefs, and cultural notions of uneducated religious fanatics in the red states?  They have always played the electoral card–believing the big cities–dominated by educated democrats, greens and progressives–would somehow dominate our culture–as they have done since conception–and they dont like that, but actually, even if the big cities had more influence under a popular vote, it would be more fair than an electoral system because so many people from all over the states live in the big cities–they are diverse and represent a microcosm of the entire USA, if not the world.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Is this a done deal in Texas?

      Is this a done deal in the Solid South?

      Is this a done deal in all those thinly populated, EV-overrepresented states between the Rockies and the Appalachias?

      Because if it’s just about blue states and suburbanizing purple states giving up their EVs to the PV winner, count me out. Let’s let the right wing do something “bipartisan” for once.

      (And, please, how many places on the internet have you cut-n-pasted this blurb in the last three months?)

      • http://twitter.com/oldgulph s e

        In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided). Support for a national popular vote is strong among Republicans, Democrats, and  Independent voters, as well as every demographic group in virtually every state surveyed in recent polls

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          More boilerplate. Not like anyone’s still reading this thread, but try answering my question next time.

          Why would a left-winger want NPV until Texas, the Solid South, and all those EV-over-represented thinly populated states between Denver and Chicago get in on that. Why is it the left’s job to “be the bigger man” to immediately cede all those reliably blue or hard-fought-purple state  EVs to the NPV winner before the right will?

          You sound like a bot.

          • http://twitter.com/oldgulph s e

            80% of the states and people
            have been merely spectators to presidential elections. They have no influence. That’s more than 85 million voters, 200 million Americans, ignored. When and
            where voters are ignored, then so are the issues they care about most.
                                               
            The number and population of
            battleground states is shrinking.
                                                        
            Policies important to the
            citizens of ‘flyover’ states are not as highly prioritized as policies
            important to ‘battleground’ states when it comes to governing.

            Most Americans don’t care whether their presidential candidate wins or loses in their state. . . they care whether he/she wins the White House. Voters want to know, that even if
            they were on the losing side, their vote actually was directly and equally counted and mattered to their candidate.  Most Americans think it’s wrong for the candidate with the most popular votes to lose. We don’t allow this in any other election in our representative republic.

  • Mannyt305

    I would like to see a tie.   It would precipitate serious reforms of our elections system and, I feel, expand the vote franchise.  

    • JGC

      But isn’t what they said about Bush v. Gore?  Some reforms, I guess, but 12 years later we are still getting worked up over possible voting irregularities and the influence of the the Electoral College and the Supreme Court.  Not to forget about the shenanigans that state governments can inflict on their voting populace. 

  • harverdphd

     ..proving Gore had poor judgement…shouldn’t have been president…

    • Mike_Card

      Bush’s judgement having proved to have been superior?

  • essco8

    I was disappointed in this show:
    1.  You did NOT make it clear that Americans vote for the electors, otherwise why vote.  In Wisconsin, the electors are clearly named underneath each candidates name.
    2.  In the states that are winner take all one electors vote is inconsequential all of the electors would have to change their vote to make a difference.
    3.  If the Electorial (sp) College was thrown out, candidates would campaign in Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta, Chicago and a few other cities.  (In Wisconsin the city of Milwaukee has about the same number of people as the rest of the state.)  The candidates could care less what North Dakota, or Rhode Island voters wanted or needed.  A candidate could say “I don’t care what 80% of the people want, I only need to carry the populist states.  In real terms, let’s tax the shale oil at 99% and spend that money in Houston where we can get votes.

    Your pogram left the impression that the electors were mysterious people and nobody knows how they get chosen, this is just categorically false.  (In most cases the candidate or the party choose the electors.)

    You left the impression that the electors votes could be tied up in court.  This is not true.  The Constitution clearly states when the gtovernor MUST send the votes (which are the electorial votes to the House) and the Courts cannot change that date.

    I don’t have time to look this up, but I will.  You also said the NEW congress would choose the president in case of a tie, I believe it is the lame duck congress that chooses the president, because the president (and vice president) MUST be chosen before a new congress is seated.

    The misinformation you passed along was appaling.

    Charles F. Elliott
    I have voted in every election since McGovern ran against Nixon.
    920-470-0497

    • 228929292AABBB

      The concept that the electoral college prevents small states being dismissed has been often repeated but makes no sense.  If no one cares about North Dakota because it only has 1/4 of 1 percent of the people in it, they will care just as little because it has 1/4 of 1 percent of the electoral college votes.  The crime of the electoral college, and it’s inescapable, is that most voters are disenfranchised because they live in states which are a given.  I have also voted in a long line of elections, essco8, but in truth I’ve voted in none, and the chances are neither have you.  My vote has never been counted.  Under our current election system, about four states matter, how do you think it could be worse than that?

  • hennorama

    Best wishes and high hopes for all those impacted by Sandy.

    That being said, there is a political calculus here, especially in light of the temporal proximity of this disaster and the upcoming elections.

    Pres. Obama will clearly be using all of his powers to coordinate and provide relief through FEMA and various other federal agencies. This gives him an opportunity to shine and be viewed positively, assuming all goes well and there are no obvious gaps in the Federal response.

    Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan have other concerns.  They
    need to essentially stop campaigning for at least Tuesday and possibly even Wednesday, depending on the outcomes from this awesome storm.  The storm will suck up all news coverage, and their messages and the various attacks they’ve been making against Pres. Obama will be silenced or at least muted to a large extent.  Romney and Ryan have a delicate balancing act to perform — they need to be very sensitive in how they ramp their campaign back up in light of this disaster so as to not appear tone-deaf regarding the suffering.  It will be difficult for them to come out and attack Pres. Obama, and they also can’t afford to appear uncaring the way Pres. Bush did during Katrina’s aftermath.

    In addition, their prior remarks and plans are all going to be called into question:

    Mr. Romney said in a debate in June of last year that FEMA’s role should be reduced  – “…send it back to the states…” and “…we cannot afford to do those things without jeopardizing the future for our kids. It is simply immoral…”

    The government was nearly shut down in Sept. 2011 over FEMA funding.  Ryan was one of 66 House Republicans to oppose that deal.  In addition, Mr. Ryan’s budget plan “…envisioned a 41 percent cut next year for the section of the federal government that includes FEMA.” 

    I suspect they will be doing a great deal of back-tracking and “What I meant was …” explaining about these items.

    Sources:
    http://2012election.procon.org/sourcefiles/June_13_2011_republican_debate.pdf

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/10/politics-of-fema-mitt-romney-suggested-less-federal-involvement-paul-ryan-budget-scrutinized/

  • Tyranipocrit

     why should new England suffer the ridiculous policies, beliefs, and
    cultural notions of uneducated religious fanatics in the red states? 
    They have always played the electoral card–believing the big
    cities–dominated by educated democrats, greens and progressives–would
    somehow dominate our culture–as they have done since conception–and
    they dont like that, but actually, even if the big cities had more
    influence under a popular vote, it would be more fair than an electoral
    system because so many people from all over the states live in the big
    cities–they are diverse and represent a microcosm of the entire USA, if
    not the world.

    • Yu Min

      You should not have to. The constitution provides protection against it. But … we allowed our representatives to ignore those protections, and our supreme court did not back us up. It is a weakness in the system that Alexander Hamilton warned us of. People stopped believing in individual liberty and now even fear it. But along with that comes suffering under the ridiculous policies, beliefs, and
      cultural notions of uneducated religious fanatics of states of some color.

  • franktrades

    I don’t think you will have to worry about a tie.  Obama revealed his unscripted self in Debate #1 and it clinched the momentum for Romney.  Then his flood of negative ads and disrespect for his fellow candidate push him over the brink.  Barack, goodbye!

  • jmmittan

    Having done considerable research into methods for predicting electoral college results, and writing software to accomplish the task, I would add that the probability of a tie is currently 1.46% based on polls conducted on or before 10/28/12.  This is an increase from 0.75%, which is the probability of a tie assuming that all states are 50-50 tossups.  In addition, Mr. Obama currently enjoys 74.2% chance of being elected, while Mr. Romney has only a 24.2% chance of winning.  The reason for the disparity was very ably explained during the broadcast.

  • Ray in VT

    I thought that this was a funny take on the Electoral College

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-WPDmyQ4gM

    Key and Peele have done some decent work.

  • J__o__h__n

    The Electoral College should be replaced by a national popular vote, but a loser of the popular vote who wins the electoral college is not illegitimate as he won under the current rules.  Candidates don’t need to waste resources increasing their votes in states that they will easily win.  All resources are spent in the swing states and not CA, NY, TX, MA, UT, VT, AL, etc.  George W Bush was viewed as illegitimate not because of the popular vote but because of The 5-4 Supreme Court decision shutting down the recount and problems with the ballot. 

  • J__o__h__n

     If the election is tied and the House picks Romney, is the Senate restricted to voting between Biden and Ryan? 

  • J__o__h__n

    I know this is a few days late but I had computer issues, WBUR needlessly interrupted On Point with overly long storm updates.  Very little actual news was conveyed concerning a storm that hadn’t arrived yet.  Informing listeners that the MBTA was shutting down at 2:00 was important.  The accompanying blather wasn’t.  We didn’t need to know that WBUR had a reporter in the bunker.  Lots of repeated info.  The weather twice during one break.  Three mentions of the computer screens in the bunker.  Computers in the bunker – is this the eighties?  How is this news?  Bob needs to stop saying things like “during the day today.”  The interview with the national guard cmdr conveyed nothing that was breaking news.

  • tguirlando

    which party would have the advantage if the House of Representatives has to break  an electoral tie?

  • Pingback: Hurricane Sandy and Presidential Vote 2012 – Yes, We WILL! « CAMBRIA PRESS

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