Wednesday, November 16, 2016

For the Second Time in 16 Years the Electoral Colloge is in Question

As it stands right now, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote but lost the election because of the way we count Electoral votes.  Currently, she received 600,000 more popular votes than Donald Trump.  But lets look a little deeper into the issue of the popular vote.

As of this writing, they are still counting votes in Michigan and New Hampshire.  Even so, it looks as if Trump will win Michigan on the basis of that popular vote.  Hillary should win New Hampshire.  Therefore, when all is said and done, Trump will have won the popular vote in a total of 30 states; versus 20 states for Hillary.  But, losing the popular vote overall really comes down to two states -- California and New York -- where combined, Trump lost by a massive 4.25 million votes.   And, this  demonstrates why the framers of our Constitution established the Electoral College.

Essentially, they understood that large states and large groups of people could dominate the political process.  So, they were obsessed with equalizing power among the states and insuring that the voices of smaller states were also being heard.  Much of this "obsession" was best stated by the founder Thomas Jefferson in these words: "Democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where 51% of the people may take away the rights of the other 49%.".

To that point, the Constitution mandated that states be broken up into Congressional Districts to insure that the many voices in any given state could be heard.  The framers established a U.S. Senate where every state, regardless of size, was equalized on the basis of having just two Senators.  In amending the Constitution, a simple majority of 51% could have been the norm.  But, again, to insure the process wasn't dominated by a few big states, any change to the Constitution requires a two-thirds approval vote in both the House of Representatives and in the U.S. Senate.  Following that requirement, two-thirds of the states must also approve the change.

This, then, brings us to how the Electoral College was established.  Again, in the interest of fairness among both large and small states, each state -- regardless of size -- automatically gets 3 Electoral votes.  In addition, each state is apportioned the balance of their electoral votes based on the number of congressional districts in that state.  Thus, a small state such as Maine gets a total of 4 electoral votes rather that just the one it would have based on population alone. This is not a great equalizer against a big state like California that has 55 votes, but collectively, the small states are then able to make a difference.

We surely can abandon the Electoral College with an amendment to the Constitution.  But, in doing so, liberal California and liberal New York would always have a major say in every presidential election.  And, that is exactly what the framers didn't want to happen.  In fact, because California and New York are becoming increasingly left wing (Democrat), I think we will see more and more incidents of candidates winning the popular vote and then losing to the electoral college.  It is no wonder that the only person wanting to kill the electoral college is a Democratic Senator from California, Barbara Boxer, who just submitted a bill to do just that.  Of course, with both Houses of Congress being controlled by Republicans, it has as much chance of getting passed as my chances are of winning a Nobel prize.


Clinton & Trump’s Popular Vote Count: State-by-State: And, a video explaining how the Electoral College is works:

Presidents Winning Without Popular Vote: 

Thomas Jefferson Quote: "Democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where 51% of the people may take away the rights of the other 49%.":

U.S. Electoral Vote Assignments by States:

California Sen. Barbara Boxer files long shot bill to scrap the Electoral College system:

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