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America’s anachronistic electoral college gives Republicans an edge

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  • America’s anachronistic electoral college gives Republicans an edge

    America’s anachronistic electoral college gives Republicans an edge



    Our new election model gives Donald Trump a 11% chance of retaining the White House while losing the popular vote

    Jun 12th 2020

    When America's founders established the electoral college—the group of state-appointed electors who officially choose the president—the world was a very different place. The decision was partly a compromise over slavery, with southern states demanding that their slaves count as three-fifths of a person when apportioning votes, even though they could not cast ballots themselves. But it was also a product of contemporary aristocratic ideas about democracy and distrust of the masses.

    America has evolved since 1787. Slavery has been abolished for 150 years. Most Americans cherish democracy and majority rule. The electoral college has evolved, too. The original model, in which the president is chosen by a “small number” of electors hand-picked to deliberate about the qualifications of the candidates, has been amended to allow states to allocate their electoral votes to the winner of the popular vote. Each state has one voter in the 538-strong college for every member it sends to the House of Representatives and the Senate.

    Yet the electoral-college system, for all its reforms, may still fail to reflect the choice of most voters. In two of the past five presidential elections, the winning candidate has actually lost the popular vote (something which happened only three times previously, in 1824, 1876 and 1888). In 2016 Donald Trump attracted 2.9m fewer votes than Hillary Clinton and yet was awarded 77 more electoral votes. What matters is not only how many votes candidates get, but where they get them. Because electoral-college votes are assigned by state rather than by the country as a whole, and because smaller states receive a disproportionately high number of votes, it is possible for smaller states to overrule the majority of voters. We can quantify which party the system favours by calculating the difference in the winning candidate’s vote margin nationwide and in the “tipping-point” state that decides the election.

    In 2016, that state was Wisconsin. There, Mr Trump’s vote share was 1.5 percentage points higher than his performance nationwide (excluding third parties). That was the highest gap since at least 1972.



    A similar gap will probably reappear this year. The Economist’s new presidential election model puts Mr Biden on track to win 53.5% of the nationwide two-party vote, and 52% in Pennsylvania, the state most likely to determine the outcome in November. That yields a gap of 1.5 percentage points, which suggests that there is a significant chance that Donald Trump will repeat his electoral victory of 2016.

    In fact, that is his most likely path to victory. Each day, our model generates 20,000 different scenarios for how the election might unfold. Each one of these “simulations” makes predictions for how the states will vote and tallies each candidate’s electoral-college and national popular votes. At the moment, Mr Trump wins the election in 15% of those scenarios. But he is nearly three times more likely to win the majority of electoral-college votes with a minority of the popular vote (an event with an 11% chance of occurring) than he is to win the majority of both (4%).

    Correction (June 13th 2020): The original version of this article wrongly claimed that the electoral college had 535 members.

  • #2
    It doesn’t matter. It will never happen under the current system. It would take the current congress to change it, and that would be asking the majority of them to give up some of their constituents power. The minority in congress would gladly change it to give themselves more power under a pure democracy.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Arkie View Post
      It doesn’t matter. It will never happen under the current system. It would take the current congress to change it, and that would be asking the majority of them to give up some of their constituents power. The minority in congress would gladly change it to give themselves more power under a pure democracy.
      Oh it matters. If Trump remains President while losing the popular vote once again what's going on now will seem downright quaint when compared to what will follow that.

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      • #4
        Half the country is going to lose their **** no matter what happens. November might be a very good time to shelter in place. 👍🏻

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        • #5
          This, I believe, is why polls show the majority of Americans think Rump will win in November. They know the system is rigged.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Fear the Hawk View Post
            This, I believe, is why polls show the majority of Americans think Rump will win in November. They know the system is rigged.
            And the reality is that Moscow Mitch did everything he could to keep our elections vulnerable to interference, foreign or domestic. So really there's no reason to be confident in our electoral process. Not even a little bit.

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            • #7
              I believe the 45 cultists won't accept anything other than a 45 win, and that they'll engage in violence to make that happen, regardless of the actual vote.

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              • #8
                Funny how you never bitched about it before during wins.


                why the **** would America want to be destroyed like EVERY blue city?

                SF is a dumpster ****hole just like Seattle LA Chicago NY etc etc. electoral gives others a voice beyond those dumbass failure cities.

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                • #9
                  There is no way Trump loses the popular vote if Biden remains the nominee.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by HAT View Post
                    There is no way Trump loses the popular vote if Biden remains the nominee.
                    45 lost the popular vote, badly, to a far more unpopular candidate in HRC.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by W*GS View Post

                      45 lost the popular vote, badly, to a far more unpopular candidate in HRC.
                      Hillary was a bigger favorite than Biden. I haven’t heard as many people predicting a landslide victory like they were for Hillary. Also, I haven’t seen Biden go over 60% in the prediction markets. Hillary stayed over 90% during the summer of 2016 and reached 99%.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Arkie View Post

                        Hillary was a bigger favorite than Biden. I haven’t heard as many people predicting a landslide victory like they were for Hillary. Also, I haven’t seen Biden go over 60% in the prediction markets. Hillary stayed over 90% during the summer of 2016 and reached 99%.
                        What are Biden's negatives compared to HRC's?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by W*GS View Post

                          45 lost the popular vote, badly, to a far more unpopular candidate in HRC.
                          This is 2020, not 2016.

                          And I'm not even talking about Biden's mental acuity. Whatever it may be. It also doesn't matter what his stance is on police defunding is.

                          This vote is going to be against radicalism.

                          Millions of people who have never cast a "Republican" vote in their lives will be voting Trump. Record numbers of Latinos also.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by HAT View Post

                            This is 2020, not 2016.

                            And I'm not even talking about Biden's mental acuity. Whatever it may be. It also doesn't matter what his stance is on police defunding is.

                            This vote is going to be against radicalism.

                            Millions of people who have never cast a "Republican" vote in their lives will be voting Trump. Record numbers of Latinos also.
                            45 will do in 2020 what he thinks worked in 2016 - make up all kinds of **** and fling it everywhere.

                            Biden is no radical. Millions of Republicans will be turning their back on the turd in the WH.

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                            • #15
                              It preserves the influence of small states. Otherwise we would all be governed by what people think in California and a few other populous states. The country was formed on agreements of states to form a union of states. Its better this way so we have more rights against a larger all consuming single government. It would be hard for China's system to exist if their central government was formed by a union of 'states'. Not all the states would agree to completely control citizens rights and access to information the way its happening in China.

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