Criticism Of The Electoral College
The electoral college remains contentious. A;Pew Research poll conducted in January found that 58 per cent of Americans are in favour of changing the constitution so that the president is elected based on the popular vote instead.
While the electoral college result most often syncs up with how the majority of Americans voted, it doesnt necessarily have to.
That was the case in 2016, when Democrat Hillary Clinton received nearly 2.9 million more votes than Republican Donald Trump.
Another common complaint is that the electoral vote distribution means that voters in smaller states tend to have more of a say in the result on a per capita basis.
If I come from California, my vote just doesnt count as much as your vote in Idaho, Petrozzi said.
There are partisan implications as well, since highly populated, reliably blue states like New York and California have a weaker impact on the election results relative to their population.
Not surprisingly, the Pew poll found Democrats were largely in favour of scrapping the college and Republicans were largely against it.
For those who support the college process, the fact that states themselves have an impact is a feature, not a bug.
Abolishing the Electoral College now might satisfy an irritated yearning for direct democracy, but it would also mean dismantling federalism, he wrote.
Electoral College Bias In Recent Elections
To start, we present a pattern that may surprise. Over the nine presidential elections leading up to 2016, the Electoral College presented little bias, even as it offers some threat of overturning the popular vote winner. Given the configuration of the relative vote divisions across the states, the popular vote winner could sometimes have been denied victory if the vote margin had turned out to be a very close election. However, despite common perceptions, there was no systematic distortion favoring one party over another. Then came the 2016 election where Donald Trump was elected handily with less than 49% of the two-party vote.
To measure Electoral College bias in past elections, our tool is the uniform swing . For any past election, we move every states Democratic vote share of the two-party vote by a constant amount. This constant amount can vary, allowing us to calculate the Electoral College outcomes given different national popular votes.
For instance, in 2016, Hillary Clinton lost in the Electoral College with 51.10% of the two-party vote. We apply the uniform swing rule to add 0.41-percentage points more of the vote to Clinton in every state, making the popular vote 51.51% Democratic. Clinton would have needed to exceed this vote margin to win all three famously pivotal states and gather enough Electoral College votes to win.
The Initial Test: Applying Our Model To Past Elections
Before we present the results of this exercise for 2020, we must ask: how useful is it for forecasting the Electoral College division in previous elections? For each election 1984 to 2016 as year t, we modify the data-generating function, modeling separately for each election year and eliminating data from election year t, the election at hand. We thus have nine equations, each the basis of an out-of-sample retrospective forecast of the vote in the excluded election year. The predicted election year is excluded to make this exercise more comparable with that of predicting the 2020 election. Further technical details are presented in SI Appendix.
We proceed to simulate the Electoral College outcomes in the nine elections, each from an equation based on data from the other eight elections during the time window. With 10,000 draws for each contest, the result is a probabilistic distribution of Electoral College outcomes from knowing both the national popular vote and the states immediately prior presidential voting. With this distribution of possible outcomes, we observe how close the actual Electoral College margin in election t was to the center of the distribution of the simulated ones.
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Notable Expressions Phrases And Statements
- “Basket of deplorables“: A controversial phrase coined by Hillary Clinton to describe half of those who support Trump.
- “I’m with her”: Clinton’s unofficial campaign slogan .
- “What, like with a cloth or something?”: Said by Hillary Clinton in response to being asked whether she “wiped” her emails during an August 2015 press conference.
- “Why aren’t I 50 points ahead?”: Question asked by Hillary Clinton during a video address to the Laborers’ International Union of North America on September 21, 2016, which was then turned into an opposition ad by the Trump campaign.
- “When they go low, we go high”: Said by then-first lady Michelle Obama during her Democratic conventionspeech. This was later inverted by Eric Holder.
- “Feel the Bern”: A phrase chanted by supporters of the Bernie Sanderscampaign which was officially adopted by his campaign.
A Look At The Changes
Indeed, the plan would have disproportionately hurt Democrats, who won the popular vote in five of Michigans past six elections:
2020: Biden won by 154,188 votes but Trump carried eight of the states 14 congressional districts.;Under the proposal, Biden and Trump would have each received eight electoral votes.
2016: Trump beat Democrat Hillary Clinton by 10,704 votes, carrying nine out of 14 congressional districts. Under the proposal, Trump would have been awarded 11 of 16 electoral votes.;
2012: Then-President Barack Obama beat Romney by 449,313 votes, but he only carried five out of 14 congressional districts. That would have meant Obama would have won nine electoral votes to seven for Romney.
2008: Obama beat GOP nominee John McCain by 823,275 votes and carried 12 out of 15 congressional districts. The proposal would have given McCain three electoral votes.
2004: Democratic nominee John Kerry beat then-President George W. Bush by 165,437 votes, but Bush won 10 of 15 congressional districts. That means Bush would have won 10 electoral votes to seven for Kerry.
2000: Then-Vice President Al Gore beat Bush by 217,279 votes in Michigan, about 5 percentage points, and won nine out of 16 congressional districts. Under the plan, Gore would have won 11 votes to Bushs seven.
What becomes of the constitutional command of one person, one vote, in a system designed intentionally to weigh the votes of some voters more heavily than others? Koleszar asked.;
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Horace Greeley V Ulysses S Grant
Horace Greeley established the Liberal Republicans in protest of incumbent Ulysses S Grant. Greeley ran against Grant in the 1872 presidential election.
Though few took Greeley seriously at first, he gained support throughout the campaign and eventually gathered 40% of the popular vote, only 800,000 less than Grant.
Greeley received a total of 2.8 million votes and would have received 86 electoral votes had he not died on November 29, after the general election but before the Electoral College convened to cast their votes.
With no precedent to guide them, Greeley’s electors split the 84 votes among four minor candidates. Grant had already won an absolute majority of the electoral votes so the result of the election was not affected. However, history was slightly skewed because Grant is credited with defeating Greeley, 286-0.
Who Are These Electors
While the U.S. constitution offers little guidance on who can be an elector, it does contain strict regulations as to who does not qualify for the position. Article II, section 1, clause 2 provides that âno Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an elector.â;
Choosing of the electors is a two-part process.;
The first part of the process, which varies from state to state, consists of statewide political parties selecting a slate of possible electors by either a nomination at a party convention or by a procedural vote from the partyâs central committee.;
Electors are often high-ranking members of either political party, chosen to honor their service to the government.
The second part of the process occurs during the statesâ general elections; when voters cast their ballots for president, they are also selecting the stateâs electors to represent their vote in the Electoral College.
Since electors are allocated to states based on the total population and amount of congressional districts, states have widely varying amounts of electoral voters.;
For example, the states with smaller populations such as Wyoming â the least populous state with just over half a million people, per 2019 estimates â have three electors each. California, the most heavily populated state with over 39 million people, also has the most electors in the country at 55.;
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Where Gop Senators Stand On Objecting To Electoral College Votes
Washington The joint session of Congress scheduled to occur Wednesday for the;counting and certifying of Electoral College votes is set to be marked by high drama, as Republicans in the House and Senate have pledged to challenge the results from several battleground states.
A group of at least 12 Republican senators have said they, along with more than 100 GOP House members, will object to the electoral votes cast in key states, charging their elections were rife with fraud despite no widespread evidence. But as the joint session nears, a growing number of Republican senators are breaking with their colleagues and plan not to sign on to their challenges.
Required under the Constitution, the event has in the past been perfunctory: In 2017, the process of reading and tallying electoral votes spanned 41 minutes, and in 2013, the joint session lasted just 23 minutes, according to a report from the Congressional Research Service.
While the objections are not going to result in a change in the outcome of the election, it will prolong the process by which Congress affirms President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. When the House and Senate separate to debate and vote on an objection, they have up to two hours to consider it, meaning the joint session is likely to stretch well into the night.
Here is where Republican senators stand, as of Tuesday:
Even Though Biden Won Republicans Enjoyed The Largest Electoral College Edge In 70 Years Will That Last
Going into the presidential election, we expected President Trump to have an advantage in the Electoral College because the key battleground states were more Republican-leaning than the country as a whole. And that, in fact, is exactly how things panned out: Trump and the Republicans enjoyed the largest Electoral College edge in more than 70 years.
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Electoral College Bias And The 2020 Presidential Election
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Edited by Larry M. Bartels, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, and approved September 7, 2020
The Popular Vote On Election Day
Under the United States Constitution, the manner of choosing electors for the Electoral College is determined by each states legislature. Although each state designates electors by popular vote, other methods are allowed. For instance, instead of having a popular vote, a number of states used to select presidential electors by a direct vote of the state legislature itself.
However, federal law does specify that all electors must be selected on the same day, which is the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November, i.e., a Tuesday no earlier than November;2 and no later than November;8. Today, the states and the District of Columbia each conduct their own popular elections on Election Day to help determine their respective slate of electors.
Generally, voters are required to vote on a ballot where they select the candidate of their choice. The presidential ballot is a vote for the electors of a candidate meaning the voter is not voting for the candidate, but endorsing a slate of electors pledged to vote for a specific presidential and vice presidential candidate.
Because U.S. territories are not represented in the Electoral College, U.S. citizens in those areas do not vote in the general election for president. Guam has held straw polls for president since the 1980 election to draw attention to this fact.
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Two Party System Stability
For a third party to win the presidency, they would need to have enough electoral votes to prevent a majority to any candidate and have enough U.S. House support to be elected over the two major party candidates. Because of this, the Electoral College process essentially forces third party voters to merge into one of the two major parties. Likewise, the two major parties, seeking the votes to win the election can mold their platforms to gain the votes of third party movements. The goal is to have two parties representing the centers of their respective platforms. Supporters of this theory suggest that extremists would have more incentive to campaign if the elections were based solely on popular vote, because if runoff elections were required to win the presidency, parties would tend toward more radical platforms to gain more support.
Benjamin Harrison V Grover Cleveland
1888 was another election in which the winner of the popular vote did not become president.
Democratic incumbent Grover Cleveland had won the popular vote by a margin of 0.8% . Despite this slim popular victory, Republican Benjamin Harrison won the Electoral College majority .
Harrison won the Electoral College without the popular vote by winning slim majorities in his winning states and suffering considerable losses in his losing states. Six southern states favored Cleveland by more than 65%.
The reason for this split was the issue of tariffs. The South strongly favored lowering of the tariff. The Republicans approved of high tariffs and were unpopular in the South. Tariff reform gave Cleveland immense support in the southern states, but the South alone was not enough to win the election.
When elected in 1884, Cleveland was the first Democrat elected since before the Civil War. He came back to challenge and defeat Harrison in 1892.
What To Watch For
The number of House members who object is non-salient in terms of the strength of objections. With Hawleys Senate vote, the objections will result in debate but will undoubtedly be rejected by the Democrat-controlled House ;and, likely, the Republican-controlled Senate. Thus, certification of the result will be delayed but not thwarted.
How Many Electoral College Votes Does Arizona Have
The state of Arizona has 11 electoral votes in the Electoral College. As of February 2020, Donald Trump and Bill Weld are among the declared Republican candidates.
Secondly, how are Electoral College votes determined? Electoral votes are allocated among the States based on the Census. Every State is allocated a number of votes equal to the number of senators and representatives in its U.S. Congressional delegationtwo votes for its senators in the U.S. Senate plus a number of votes equal to the number of its Congressional districts.
One may also ask, how many electoral votes does each state have?
The Electoral College consists of 538 electors, and an absolute majority of at least 270 electoral votes is required to win the election. According to Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 of the Constitution, each state legislature determines the manner by which its states electors are chosen.
How many votes did Trump get in Arizona?
2016 United States presidential election in Arizona
Who Are These Electors Anyway
The U.S. Constitution states that the electors cannot be current holders of office.
They are chosen by the two parties in advance of the election, though the process varies from state to state. They are not typically high-profile individuals but rather long-serving career-type party people, said Wayne Petrozzi, a professor of politics at Torontos Ryerson University.
Other than the role they play that day when they validate the ballot at the Electoral College their role ends with the cast of the ballot and they go back to whatever it was they were doing, he said.
Minor Parties And Independents
Third party and independent candidates who have obtained more than 100,000 votes nationally or on Ballot in at least 15 states are listed separately.
Ballot access to 84 electoral votes :map
- As write-in: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin
- No ballot access: District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wyoming
In some states, Evan McMullin’s running mate was listed as Nathan Johnson on the ballot rather than Mindy Finn, although Nathan Johnson was intended to only be a placeholder until an actual running mate was chosen.
|2016 Independent ticket|
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Joint Session Of Congress
|A joint session of Congress confirms the 2016 electoral college results, YouTube video. PBS NewsHour. January 6, 2017.|
The Twelfth Amendment mandates Congress assemble in joint session to count the electoral votes and declare the winners of the election. The session is ordinarily required to take place on January;6 in the calendar year immediately following the meetings of the presidential electors. Since the Twentieth Amendment, the newly elected joint Congress declares the winner of the election; all elections before 1936 were determined by the outgoing House.
The Office of the Federal Register is charged with administering the Electoral College. The meeting is held at 1;p.m. in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives. The sitting vice president is expected to preside, but in several cases the president pro tempore of the Senate has chaired the proceedings. The vice president and the speaker of the House sit at the podium, with the vice president in the seat of the speaker of the House. Senate pages bring in two mahogany boxes containing each state’s certified vote and place them on tables in front of the senators and representatives. Each house appoints two tellers to count the vote . Relevant portions of the certificate of vote are read for each state, in alphabetical order.
Historical objections and rejections
Objections to the electoral vote count are rarely raised, although it has occurred a few times.