Concentration of Control

Imagine living in the state of Illinois which is a solid democrat state. It has been for many years. Look at the map below and see where the liberal concentration is located, it is the solid blue area near lake Michigan. That concentration of people is Chicago and its collar counties. There are 12.88 million people in Illinois, and 9.73 million live in that dark blue area. The situation is similar for all the other major population areas in the country.

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A smart campaigner would save money by asking for votes in those concentrated areas seen on this map, that is, if the system allowed presidents to be chosen by popular votes. It would be totally unfair to all the people who live in less populated areas. Their votes would be meaningless, in fact, we could save a lot of money and trouble by not holding elections in states without a mass population of a particular party. The genius of our Constitutional fathers is highlighted by this element of our process. We pick the electors, they pick the president.

The number of electoral candidates is based on the number of Congressmen and Senators.  The number of  Congressmen each state has is based on population. Each state has two Senators.  To win the election one needs half of the 538 plus one. It is theoretically possible to get 270 electoral votes by winning the eleven states with the highest populations provided those states are all of the same party. The video below explains the process.

One Response

  1. I understand the concept and the reasoning behind it. However, in practice, the result in recent decades has been that most of the campaigning is done in a handful of swing states, essentially making the rest of the states voting to be discounted.

    I also believe that when it comes to policies affecting practical issues (not moral or value based issues) there is less of a divide between the interests of people in less populated areas and those in more urban areas than there used to be in our country historically.

    So I am willing to take a look at reforming or even eliminating the electoral college. However, I would not support that happening, for example, right now when an election has already taken place and the people pushing for reform are unhappy with the result of that election. It is clearly unfair to try to change the rules just because some people don’t like the outcome. So if those laws will be reformed, it should be done midterm, not during the heat of an election cycle.

    I do think it is perfectly reasonable to have a recount of votes in key states where the result was very close. I’m aware that Wisconsin will now have a recount.

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