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2016
Trump’s Brinksmanship Shows Importance of Electoral College
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  • Angel Martin

    I’m not sure the Electoral College is a solution to an indecisive election – more likely a source of risk. I support the Electoral College but there is less risk of a national vote total being within the margin of fraud than there is for many individual states.

    in addition to contested election outcomes in individual states, there is the possibility of a 269-269 tie, and an election decided in the House of Representatives – with Hillary the likely winner chosen by Democrats and antiTrump Republicans. . Also, if Trump wins by 2-6 electoral votes I think we will see an attempt by Clinton/antiTrump Republicans to flip electors and push it into the House of Representatives.

    Against this backdrop, with the biased “Walter Duranty” media at their worst, as well as the blatant misconduct of the FBI, DOJ, IRS, and Supreme Court members etc. to influence the political process, there is no reason for Trump to certify the result of this election sight unseen.

  • Jim__L

    Great point about breaking up the controversies into manageable pieces!

    As far as Trump’s chances go — I wouldn’t count him out unless he couldn’t even win taking all Undecideds. Considering how distasteful it is to vote for someone with Bill Clinton’s vices, I suspect that a large number of people who would vote for him wouldn’t admit to it.

    • Andrew Allison

      Exactly. More than one acquaintance of mine has told me that, like me, they are not voting for Trump but against Hillary.

    • LarryD

      And polls have become less accurate, as more and more people outright refuse to respond to them. And then there are other issues with polls, see https://www.minnpost.com/politics-policy/2012/10/whats-problem-polls-these-days-experts-take-stab-answering

      http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-why-an-online-poll-html-20151108-htmlstory.html

      And then there are the deliberately skewed polls, intended as psy-ops against the voters.

    • toto

      No statewide recount, much less a nationwide recount, would have been warranted in any of the nation’s 57 presidential elections if the outcome had been based on the nationwide count.

      The state-by-state winner-take-all system is not a firewall, but instead causes unnecessary fires.
      “It’s an arsonist itching to burn down the whole neighborhood by torching a single house.” Hertzberg

      The 2000 presidential election was an artificial crisis created because of Bush’s lead of 537 popular votes in Florida. Gore’s nationwide lead was 537,179 popular votes (1,000 times larger). Given the minuscule number of votes that are changed by a typical statewide recount (averaging only 274 votes); no one would have requested a recount or disputed the results in 2000 if the national popular vote had controlled the outcome. Indeed, no one (except perhaps almanac writers and trivia buffs) would have cared that one of the candidates happened to have a 537-vote margin in Florida.

      Recounts are far more likely in the current system of state by-state winner-take-all methods

  • Dale Fayda

    The degree of corruption exhibited by the Democrat party in this election cycle has been nothing short of mind-boggling. The agencies of the Federal government and the press have pretty much abandoned even the pretense of impartiality. Every few days new evidence of collusion between Hillary’s campaign, the DNC, the State Dept. and MSM keeps coming to light. To me, the probability that Democrats will seek to engage in some sort of electoral fraud is 99.99%.

    I don’t blame Trump one bit for hedging his bets.

  • Frank Natoli

    I was taught that the Electoral College was written into the Constitution to prevent the people of Boston, New York and Philadelphia alone from determining who would be President. Democrats today want the present day equivalent of colonial Boston, New York and Philadelphia, i.e., the West Coast and Northeast, to determine who will be President. If the Electoral College does that, Democrats are happy. If it doesn’t, Democrats are unhappy, which means tear up the Constitution.
    But don’t stop there. Much less democratic, small “d”, than the Electoral College, where each state votes with its count of Representatives plus [two] Senators, thus California counts much more than Delaware, is the Senate, where each state has two votes, period, and California and Delaware have equal influence. This, again, was inserted into the Constitution to prevent populous states from domineering over non-populous states. So if we’re going to tear up all un-democratic elements, then not only the Electoral College but also the Senate must go.
    Then again, who needs any Constitution when it’s a “living” which means dead Constitution?
    And Willick’s characterization of Trump’s notice that Democrat fraud will not go without protest as “brinkmanship” is contemptible, and a sure sign that Willick is voting for Clinton.

    • toto

      Given the historical fact that 95% of the U.S. population in 1790 lived in places of less than 2,500 people, it is unlikely that the Founding Fathers were concerned about presidential candidates campaigning and winning only in big cities.

      Equal representation of the states in the U.S. Senate is explicitly established in the U.S. Constitution. This feature cannot be changed by state law or an interstate compact.

      In fact, equal representation of the states in the U.S. Senate may not even be amended by an ordinary federal constitutional amendment. Article V of the U.S. Constitution provides:
      “No State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.”

      Thus, this feature of the U.S. Constitution may only be changed by a constitutional amendment approved by unanimous consent of all 50 states.

      In contrast, the U.S. Constitution explicitly assigns the power of selecting the manner of appointing presidential electors to the states. The enactment by a state legislature of the National Popular Vote bill is an exercise of a legislature’s existing powers under the U.S. Constitution.

      The constitutional wording does not encourage, discourage, require, or prohibit the use of any particular method for awarding a state’s electoral votes.

      As a result of changes in state laws enacted since 1789, the people have the right to vote for presidential electors in 100% of the states, there are no property requirements for voting in any state, and the state-by-state winner-take-all method is used by 48 of the 50 states. States can, and have, changed their method of awarding electoral votes over the years.

      The National Popular Vote bill could guarantee the presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in the country, by changing state winner-take-all laws (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but later enacted by 48 states), without changing anything in the Constitution, using the built-in method that the Constitution provides for states to make changes.

      Every vote, everywhere, for every candidate, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election.

      • Frank Natoli

        Article II, Section 1:
        “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress”
        Did you not know that? Or did you choose to make all of your above comments knowingly ignoring that?

        • toto

          That means the Founding Fathers left the choice of method exclusively to the states

          The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly characterized the authority of the state legislatures over the manner of awarding their electoral votes as “plenary” and “exclusive.”

  • http://rkproc.ru/ Nyash Myash 88

    Muh Founding Fathers

  • toto

    The current state-by-state winner-take-all system does not reliably deliver an exaggerated margin to the incoming President. For example, despite winning by almost two million votes nationwide, Jimmy Carter won the Electoral College in 1976 with only 297 electoral votes (27 over the 270 needed for election). Despite winning by over three million votes in 2004, George W. Bush won in the Electoral College with only 286 electoral votes (a mere 16 above the 270 needed).

    Moreover, the current state-by-state winner-take-all system does not reliably confer an illusory mandate on an incoming President. As a recent example, Bill Clinton did not receive such deference when he came into office with an eye-catching 370 electoral votes but only 43% of the popular vote in 1992.There is certainly no historical evidence that Congress, the media, the public, or anyone else has been more deferential to an incoming President after an election in which he received a larger percentage of the electoral vote than his percentage of the popular vote.

  • toto

    The presidential election system, using the 48 state winner-take-all method or district winner method of awarding electoral votes used by 2 states, that we have today was not designed, anticipated, or favored by the Founding Fathers. It is the product of decades of change precipitated by the emergence of political parties and enactment by states of winner-take-all or district winner laws, not mentioned, much less endorsed, in the Constitution.

    Unable to agree on any particular method for selecting presidential electors, the Founding Fathers left the choice of method exclusively to the states in Article II, Section 1
    “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors….”
    The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly characterized the authority of the state legislatures over the manner of awarding their electoral votes as “plenary” and “exclusive.”

    In 1789, in the nation’s first election, a majority of the states appointed their presidential electors by appointment by the legislature or by the governor and his cabinet, the people had no vote for President in most states, and in them, only men who owned a substantial amount of property could vote, and only three states used the state-by-state winner-take-all method to award electoral votes.

  • toto

    The current presidential election system makes a repeat of 2000 more likely. All you need is a thin and contested margin in a single state with enough electoral votes to make a difference. It’s much less likely that the national vote will be close enough that voting irregularities in a single area will swing enough net votes to make a difference. If we’d had National Popular Vote in 2000, a recount in Florida would not have been an issue.

    The idea that recounts will be likely and messy with National Popular Vote is distracting.

    No statewide recount, much less a nationwide recount, would have been warranted in any of the nation’s 57 presidential elections if the outcome had been based on the nationwide count.
    The state-by-state winner-take-all system is not a firewall, but instead causes unnecessary fires.
    “It’s an arsonist itching to burn down the whole neighborhood by torching a single house.” Hertzberg

    The 2000 presidential election was an artificial crisis created because of Bush’s lead of 537 popular votes in Florida. Gore’s nationwide lead was 537,179 popular votes (1,000 times larger). Given the minuscule number of votes that are changed by a typical statewide recount (averaging only 274 votes); no one would have requested a recount or disputed the results in 2000 if the national popular vote had controlled the outcome. Indeed, no one (except perhaps almanac writers and trivia buffs) would have cared that one of the candidates happened to have a 537-vote margin in Florida.

    Recounts are far more likely in the current system of state by-state winner-take-all methods.

  • toto

    In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but later enacted by 48 states) (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided).

    Support for a national popular vote is strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group in every state surveyed recently. In the 41 red, blue, and purple states surveyed, overall support has been in the 67-81% range – in rural states, in small states, in Southern and border states, in big states, and in other states polled.

    Most Americans don’t ultimately care whether their presidential candidate wins or loses in their state or district . . . they care whether he/she wins the White House. Voters want to know, that no matter where they live, even if they were on the losing side, their vote actually was equally counted and mattered to their candidate. Most Americans think it is wrong that the candidate with the most popular votes can lose. We don’t allow this in any other election in our representative republic.

    NationalPopularVote

  • toto

    The National Popular Vote bill would end the disproportionate attention and influence of the “mob” in the current handful of closely divided battleground states, such as Ohio and Florida, while the “mobs” of the vast majority of states are ignored.

    In the 2012 presidential election, 1.3 million votes decided the winner in the ten states with the closest margins of victory.

    One analyst predicted two million voters in seven counties are going to determine who wins the presidency in 2016.

    The electors are and will be dedicated party activist supporters of the winning party’s candidate who meet briefly in mid-December to cast their totally predictable rubberstamped votes in accordance with their pre-announced pledges.

    The current system does not provide some kind of check on the “mobs.” There have been 22,991 electoral votes cast since presidential elections became competitive (in 1796), and only 17 have been cast in a deviant way, for someone other than the candidate nominated by the elector’s own political party (one clear faithless elector, 15 grand-standing votes, and one accidental vote). 1796 remains the only instance when the elector might have thought, at the time he voted, that his vote might affect the national outcome.

    States have enacted and can enact laws that guarantee the votes of their presidential electors

    The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld state laws guaranteeing faithful voting by presidential electors (because the states have plenary power over presidential electors).

    U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson summarized the history of presidential electors as follows in the 1952 case of Ray v. Blair:

    “No one faithful to our history can deny that the plan originally contemplated, what is implicit in its text, that electors would be free agents, to exercise an independent and nonpartisan judgment as to the men best qualified for the Nation’s highest offices.…

    “This arrangement miscarried. Electors, although often personally eminent, independent, and respectable, officially become voluntary party lackeys and intellectual nonentities”

    If Trump wins the popular vote in states with 270 electoral votes, there is no reason to think that the Electoral College would prevent Trump from being elected President of the United States

  • Andrew Allison

    An artfully constructed, but disingenuous, attack on Trump who has not suggested that he would employ extra-legal means to challenge a loss. There are those on the left who have still not accepted that Gore lost to Bush in 2000.

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