The Electoral Vote

Regarding the recent election, I could not reach a decision with which I was comfortable.   Did President Obama win a close election or was it a landslide?  Needless to say, if we looked at the electoral votes it was a landslide.  If we look at the popular vote it was close.  What do we make of this?

Actually, I think that it is reasonable to listen to the explanation of one of the most despicable people I know — Karl Rove.  He was once asked about the 2000 election where Governor George Bush won the electoral votes but Vice President Al Gore won the popular vote.  Rove pointed out that you need the electoral votes to win.  If the goal was to win the popular vote the Republican strategy would have been different.  That makes perfectly good sense to me.

Now, going back to the recent election, almost every swing state went for President Obama.  The Democrats spent just enough to assure themselves that a swing state like Ohio would go for Obama.  If they could somehow assure themselves that Obama would win the popular vote by 1 vote, well, that’s all it takes.  Most states provide for winner-takes-all in the electoral votes.  If you win the popular vote in Ohio by 1 vote, you will get all 18 of Ohio’s electoral votes.

So, I would say that since most of the swing states go for Obama, even by just a few votes shows me that most people really didn’t want Governor Romney to be president and they weren’t very happy with Republicans in general. If we had gotten rid of the electoral college, President Obama probably would have won by a sizable majority.  In most of those swing states, they elected or re-elected Democratic representatives as well as Democratic senators.

It took me a while to convince myself that the above is the way that the election should be interpreted.  Some of the more reliable poll takers were telling us all along that the probability of President Obama winning a second term was very high.  Clearly they were right.


2 comments on “The Electoral Vote

  1. No question Obama won the majority of the popular vote, but what is this electoral vote? What is the electoral college still around? The electoral college is a vestige of olden times when “We the people….” actually meant “white men who own land” and in time as others received the right to vote the electoral college became a mechanism to void popular elections to preserve the power of the few, the power of “white men who own land.” This part of our history is totally embarrassing. So Obama won the popular vote and that should be the end of the discussion. The electoral vote should quietly be done away with because today it means nothing even though technically it can still be used to void a popular election.

  2. I agree with Semper, even though the less-populated states (like mine) would heartily object, because if the Electoral College goes away, so does all that lovely campaign money. Candidates would spend exclusively in the largest population centers, since that would be the way to guarantee winning.

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