Popular Vote vs. Electoral College

Financial Times commentator John Authers in a video commentary takes a look at the the futures markets and notes that the markets are predicting an outcome in November similar to the presidential election in 2000 with Sen. Barack Obama narrowly winning the popular vote and Sen. John McCain narrowly winning the electoral college and, consequently, being elected president. See also James Joyner’s post on the electoral college from yesterday.

I continue to think that all of the fundamentals in this election favor Obama but I’m not willing to call it one way or the other at this point.

There is one thing that is increasingly clear: this election will be very, very close. No 50 state blow-out. No overwhelming majority.

As I’ve been saying all along.

4 comments… add one
  • PD Shaw Link

    If I had $10, I’d bet it on McCain. If I had $100, I’d bet on Obama. Big spenders might want to multiply that times 10 or 100, but I think the safe bet is Obama. One factor that isn’t discussed much is that people are starting to vote next week.

    I also thought Obama had a chance of changing the electoral map. It doesn’t look like he will at all.

  • Larry Link

    I’m thinking that once we have the first all important debate, we’ll see another mass shift in the Polls. ..as the mood changed a few weeks ago, I bet it will change again. The debates will provide a much needed clearing of the air…and the nation and world will be watching..we’ll see a great deal soon..

  • The current system does not reliably reflect the nationwide popular vote. The statewide winner-take-all rules makes it possible for a candidate to win the Presidency without winning the most popular votes nationwide. This has occurred in one of every 14 presidential elections.

    In the past six decades, there have been six presidential elections in which a shift of a relatively small number of votes in one or two states would have elected (and, of course, in 2000, did elect) a presidential candidate who lost the popular vote nationwide.

    Nationwide popular election of the President is the only system that makes all states competitive, guarantees that the candidate with the most popular votes nationwide wins the Presidency, and makes every vote equal.

    The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    Every vote would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections.

    The bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes—that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). When the bill comes into effect, all the electoral votes from those states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    The National Popular Vote bill has passed 21 state legislative chambers, including one house in Arkansas, Colorado, Maine, North Carolina, and Washington, and both houses in California, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The bill has been enacted by Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, and Maryland. These four states possess 50 electoral votes — 19% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.

    See http://www.NationalPopularVote.com

  • he current system does not reliably reflect the nationwide popular vote.

    It’s not supposed to. We’re a republic, not a democracy. However, I’m eager to hear your arguments in favor of direct democracy.

    I realize that in all likelihood I’m responding to boilerplate in an automated post. Just wanted to go on the record.

    BTW there’s no likelihood whatever that 3/4’s of the states will vote in favor of an amendment to abolish the electoral college.

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