Thursday, December 29, 2016

Popular Vote versus Electoral College (Part II)

Fourthly, Clinton only won 20 states and the District of Columbia. That means Trump won 30 states! Clinton received nearly 40% of her vote from a mere seven states: California, New York, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, and Maryland. These states have huge urban areas and compose about 30% of the nation’s population. Clinton defeated Trump by nearly 10 million votes in these states (4.3 million in California alone)! Compare this to Trump’s seven largest margin of victories in states: Texas, Tennessee, Indiana, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Alabama, and Missouri. Trump won these states by 4.2 million votes but they make up less than 18% of the nation’s population and accounted for about 21% of Trump’s total vote. These states may have some urban areas, but they also have big rural populations. The bottom line is conservatives will never win highly populous states by the same margin as liberals because liberals dominate urban areas. So, should seven urban states speak for the entire country? Should our country be led by pro urban policies at the expense of rural people?

The Electoral College makes smaller states and rural areas matter. If the Electoral College was eliminated, it would initially help to expand voter turnout. Especially in states where turnout is low because they lean so far Left or Right. For instance, Republicans in California and New York or Democrats in Utah and Wyoming would more likely turn out to vote since their vote may matter more. For instance, this year Democrats had great turnouts in Texas (Turnout increased 2.6%), Utah (2.3%), Arizona (3.6%), and Georgia (1%) because pollsters and the media said these states were in play (and they were wrong). This helped boost Clinton’s popular vote by nearly 500,000 votes. On the other hand, pollsters and the media can suppress votes. Trump may have gotten a small boost in Michigan (1.9%) and Pennsylvania (2.3%) since most pundits said these states were safe for Clinton. However, no one said Wisconsin (-3.5%), Minnesota (-1.3%), or Maine (3.7%, went up since Trump campaigned there because it is not a winner take all state – much higher turnout in district 2) was in play but they were much closer than Texas, Utah, Arizona, and Georgia. If the media and pundits can control the turnout in states, they can certainly more easily control turnout across the country with national polls.

The bottom line, in the long run, urban areas would win out and more than likely disenfranchise rural voters similar to how the Supreme Court ruling “One person, one vote” has disenfranchised rural voters within the individual states. Over 80% of the United States land mass is rural and hence lean Republican. In a strictly popular vote election this makes it much more difficult for Republicans to get their voters to polling places because they have so much more land area to cover. A switch to prioritize the seven most urban and liberal states to decide elections would be a mistake. No one would campaign for small battleground states such as New Hampshire, Maine, Colorado, or Nevada anymore.

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