Beto O'Rourke wants a proportional electoral college (Is it a good idea?)


#1

Beto Article

Presidential hopeful and lifelong Texan, Beto O’Rourke disagrees with abolishing the electoral college (countering Elizabeth Warren’s recent comments), and instead thinks the electoral college votes should be distributed proportionally.

What exactly is that? There are two different methods for proportionality.

First method - you take the winner of each congressional district and award one electoral college vote, and whoever wins the state’s popular vote gets two additional votes. Lets take my state of New York. In the 27 congressional districts, Clinton won 18 of them, and Trump won 9 of them. Therefore, Clinton would get 20 electoral college votes (18 congressional districts + 2 for winning the popular vote), and Trump would get 9 electoral college votes.

Second method - You take the winning percentage in each state, and then times by number of electoral college votes, and then round down. Any leftover electoral college votes would go to the candidate which won the popular vote of that state. In NY for example, Hillary Clinton got 59.01% of the popular vote to Trump’s 36.52%. In that case, Clinton would get 17 electoral college votes, and Trump would get 10 electoral college votes. The two remaining would go to Clinton, making her final total 19.

Both methods are intriguing and present a viable alternative to our current system. I actually like the first one better, because it doesn’t involve people arguing over rounding issues and decimal points.

One thing for certain: it does change the game, and I think O’Rourke is correct about that. It would force candidates to focus more than 20 states during the general election. Hillary Clinton would have campaigned in Texas and Tennessee, and Trump in California and New York. It would also benefit Republicans living in California and New York, and Democrats in Texas and Tennessee. Their would be more of an incentive to vote.

But on the other hand, I do think it would make the campaign seasons go on longer. If more states are in play, then the candidates would need more than 4 months to prepare for the November election. Swing states are swing states because the population within that state are relatively undecided and lacks a comfortable lead.

What do you guys think?

Personally, I am in the camp of: (a) Keep the electoral college, but make the people appoint the electors rather than the political party heads, and eliminate faithless electors on the first round of voting. As in, if one candidate gets at least 270 bound votes, then the election is over. If no candidate gets to 270, then all the electors have to choose between the candidate who got the most electoral college votes or the 2nd most. (b) In order to win the presidency, you have to win the most states AND the popular vote. If there’s a split, then you use the proportional system #1 or #2 to break the tie.


#2

What would the results of the 2016 election have been under these methods?


#3

I agree it should be proportional, have said it for long time. I like A kinda but have no idea what you were talking about when you said faithless votes. That explanation made no sense. I would base it off percentage of votes a person won. Win 60% get 60% of electoral votes. Plus extra 1 for winner of state.

I feel it should be electoral votes but nobody is assigned to cast that vote, getting the that vote should just be based on who won the district in your scenario, percentage in mine. No need to have a vote to vote on who should vote the way the people said to vote. That is government bureaucracy in its finest.


#4

I looked it up once but it was based on proportional votes plus 1 I believe. If you won 60% of the vote you got 60% of the electoral votes for that state plus 1. Hillary won that.


#5

Trump would have won the election under both methods.

If we counted each district separately and awarded the winner of the entire state with 2 votes, then Trump would havewon the general election in December semi-comfortably. Under method 2, Clinton would have had fallen just short of 270, and the house would have voted Trump in.

In 2000, Bush would have won both methods without throwing the issue to the house.


#6

They arent bad ideas…


#7

I would hope your sole reason to objecting to the idea is because it might not favor your team…


#8

First of all, where did I object?

Secondly, I was just curious as to how the results would have played out.

But go right on ahead making ■■■■ up.


#9

The only reason I don’t like this idea is because of the constant commercials cluttering up the airways in battleground states for two ■■■■■■■ years. It would be like that all over the country.

What I’d rather see is no campaigning at all except for a few months before an election.

And no lawn signs. They are eye pollution.


#10

And I would hope your sole reason for wanting to change the system isn’t because your candidate didn’t win the last election. I have a feeling it is though…


#11

The principle dislike of the EC and favor of the National Popular Vote or an alternative method is based on what happened in 2000 and 2016. Most Democrats favor the change because it worked against them in those two election years. Vice verse for the GOP.

It’s an illogical fallacy for people to say “well if we went by the popular vote, Gore and Clinton would be President”. That is ridiculous because it assumes that Gore/Bush, Clinton/Trump, was aiming to win the popular vote. They were aiming to win the electoral college. Changing to a popular vote, would have dramatically changed how they campaigned. Ditto for it if it was done proportionally.

The EC works, primarily because it forces candidates to win the most states and makes the election process go by quicker. The candidates already spent at least a year touring the country.


#12

Feelings. Nothing more than feelings.

Morris Albert made it a hit too.


#13

So nothing on what plasma said. Even though I didn’t mention anything of the sort. Cool.


#14

Thats why i said i hope…not how dare you be against this…bring your wall down killer…


#15

You said you hope my REASON for objecting wouldn’t be that. Where did I object at all?


#16

I want fairness and balance…have that and let the chips fall where they may…


#17

No wait that came out wrong…

I would hope any objections to these wouldnt be based on it not favoring your team.

Sorry about that


#18

It would seem to me that the only reason you asked the question was to see if it would favor your options. I agree with Plasma. I don’t buy the curiosity claim. Just my opinion of course. Just like your feelings.


#19

It’s all good. Just don’t want to be accused of saying something that I certainly did not.

I do have to question the motivations behind people wanting to change the system. Part of information gathering. And I was genuinely curious as to how the previous election would have played out under these conditions to get a better sense of those motivations. If it truly plays out that it would have turned out the same, then there is some elimination of the “my team didn’t win so tear it all down.”

If it puts more states in play, that’s a good thing.


#20

The people do not really elect the President. It is the electors, who cast their ballots for president. Depends on the state you live in, you either have bound electors/voters or faithless/unbound electors/voters. The bound electors vote for the candidate they are assigned. Faithless or unbound electors can pick the candidate they are assigned or go rogue, and pick anybody they want.

My primarily issue with the EC has do with the concept that the people do not actually appoint/elect the folks who actually vote for President, and that in half the states, the electors can choose to go rogue and vote for anybody.

Method two is a popular idea, but I think you have to round down, not up, and give the leftover electoral college vote to the winner of the state.