This Might Actually Be A Serious Proposal

CNS News posted an article today about an item that will appear on the ballot in California in November.

The article reports:

The State of California is “nearly ungovernable,” given its “diverse population and economies.” So says a newly qualified ballot initiative that would split California into three states — maybe — if voters approve the proposal in November.

The summary posted online by the State Attorney General’s office says the split would require the approval of Congress and undoubtedly the courts. If all parties approved the plan, “all tax collections and spending by the existing State of California would end. California’s existing state assets and liabilities would be divided among three new states. These states would make their own decisions about state and local taxes and spending.”

One of the new states would be named Northern California (or a name to be chosen by the people of that state). It would encompass 40 northern counties, including San Francisco and its surrounds.

The second state, tentatively named California, would include only six counties: Los Angeles, Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura.

The third new state, to be named Southern California (or a name chosen by the people), would include 12 counties, including Fresno, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Tulare.

Los Angeles Times cartoonist David Horsey has already proposed names for the three new states:

Los Angeles Times cartoonist David Horsey suggested naming the Northern California/Napa area “Weed” or “Merlot”; he suggested that the Silicon Valley area be named “iState”; and Los Angeles/Hollywood could be called “Bling.”)

The article points out two aspects of this change if it is voted in–first, California would then have six representatives in the Senate–making it more influential than states with only two representatives (but there is no guarantee all six senators would agree on anything). Secondly, California votes in the Electoral College might be split between candidates–giving Republicans votes from a state that generally does not give them Electoral Votes.

It will be interesting to see exactly how this plays out.

About The Popular Vote vs. The Electoral College Thing

On Friday, Investor’s Business Daily posted an article about the final numbers from the 2016 Presidential Election.

The article reports some amazing statistics:

If you take California out of the popular vote equation, then Trump wins the rest of the country by 1.4 million votes. And if California voted like every other Democratic state — where Clinton averaged 53.5% wins — Clinton and Trump end up in a virtual popular vote tie. (This was not the case in 2012. Obama beat Romney by 2 million votes that year, not counting California.)

Meanwhile, if you look at every other measure, Trump was the clear and decisive winner in this election.

Number of states won:
Trump: 30
Clinton: 20
_________________
Trump: +10

Number of electoral votes won:
Trump: 306
Clinton: 232
_________________
Trump: + 68

Ave. margin of victory in winning states:
Trump: 56%
Clinton: 53.5%
_________________
Trump: + 2.5 points

Popular vote total:
Trump: 62,958,211
Clinton: 65,818,318
_________________
Clinton: + 2.8 million

Popular vote total outside California:
Trump: 58,474,401
Clinton: 57,064,530
_________________
Trump: + 1.4 million

This is a stunning example of the reason our Founding Fathers made the Electoral College part of the U.S. Constitution. Do you really want California determining who will be President?

Maybe The Hysteria Will Stop Now

Yahoo News is reporting today that Donald Trump has officially won the Electoral College vote. If is official–Donald Trump is our President-elect, to be sworn in January 20, 2017.

The article reports:

Washington (AFP) – America’s Electoral College on Monday confirmed Donald Trump’s election as the 45th president of the United States, unswayed by a last-ditch bid by die-hard opponents to bar the Republican’s path to the White House.

Six weeks after his upset victory over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, Trump sailed as expected past the 270 votes needed to make his victory official, according to US media, clearing the way for him to succeed Barack Obama on January 20.

“Congratulations to @realDonaldTrump; officially elected President of the United States today by the Electoral College!” tweeted Vice President-elect Mike Pence as the results came in.

Under normal circumstances, the Electoral College vote is a little-watched, rubber stamp formality in which electors across the country officially cast votes for the candidate that won the popular tally in their state.

This time, however, Democratic activists casting the Republican as a threat to democracy staged a vocal campaign urging Republican electors to break ranks and refuse to vote for him.

When US voters cast their ballots on November 8, they did not directly elect the next president but rather 538 electors charged with translating their wishes into reality.

After a deeply divisive campaign, Trump won a clear majority of those electors — 306 — although his Democratic rival finished nearly three million votes ahead in the popular tally.

This signifies the end of the process of selecting the next President. Can we all please begin to work together to overcome the obstacles that we face? News reports today are an indication that terrorism is a real threat throughout the world, and we are not immune. The workforce participation rate is the lowest it has been since the 1970’s. Health insurance premiums are skyrocketing. We have real problems that we also have the capability to solve. Let’s solve them together.

 

Contrary To What The Media Is Telling You…

CNS News posted an article today about the discussions the mainstream media has been having about the Electoral College. Many of the mainstream pundits are convinced (and have tried convincing Americans) that the Electoral College is something we no longer want or need. So how is the public reacting to being told to abolish the Electoral College? We are not impressed.

The article includes the following graph:

electoralcollegeI guess there were a lot of people who were actually happy with the way things worked out!

The article further reports:

In all ten surveys done by Gallup, the greatest support for amending the Constitution to eliminate the Electoral College came in a November 1968, just after that year’s election.

“Support for an amendment peaked at 80% in 1968, after Richard Nixon almost lost the popular vote while winning the Electoral College,” Gallup said in its analysis. “Ultimately, he wound up winning both by a narrow margin, but this issue demonstrated the possibility of a candidate becoming president without winning the popular vote. In the 1976 election, Jimmy Carter faced a similar situation, though he also won the popular vote and Electoral College. In a poll taken weeks after the election, 73% were in favor of an amendment doing away with the Electoral College.”

So much for the media coverage of the Electoral College.

Why We Need The Electoral College

Michael Barone posted an article at The Washington Examiner today about the Electoral College. There has been a lot of discussion about the Electoral College lately because Hillary Clinton won the popular vote in the 2016 Presidential election, but Donald Trump won the Electoral College vote and the election. So how does this work and why do we need it?

First of all, the Founding Fathers put the Electoral College in place to protect the rights of the smaller states.

According to the government website archives.gov, this is how the Electoral College works:

The Electoral College consists of 538 electors. A majority of 270 electoral votes is required to elect the President. Your state’s entitled allotment of electors equals the number of members in its Congressional delegation: one for each member in the House of Representatives plus two for your Senators. Read more about the allocation of electoral votes.

Under the 23rd Amendment of the Constitution, the District of Columbia is allocated 3 electors and treated like a state for purposes of the Electoral College. For this reason, in the following discussion, the word “state” also refers to the District of Columbia.

Each candidate running for President in your state has his or her own group of electors. The electors are generally chosen by the candidate’s political party, but state laws vary on how the electors are selected and what their responsibilities are. Read more about the qualifications of the Electors and restrictions on who the Electors may vote for.

The presidential election is held every four years on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November. You help choose your state’s electors when you vote for President because when you vote for your candidate you are actually voting for your candidate’s electors.

The article at The Washington Examiner reports:

…All of which prompts renewed arguments about the Electoral College. The case for abolishing it is simple: Every American‘s vote should count the same. But it won’t happen. Two-thirds of each house of Congress and 38 of the 50 state legislatures will never go along.

The case against abolition is one suggested by the Framers’ fears that voters in one large but highly atypical state could impose their will on a contrary-minded nation. That largest state in 1787 was Virginia, home of four of the first five presidents. New York and California, by remaining closely in line with national opinion up through 1996, made the issue moot.

California’s 21st century veer to the left makes it a live issue again. In a popular vote system, the voters of this geographically distant and culturally distinct state, whose contempt for heartland Christians resembles imperial London’s disdain for the “lesser breeds” it governed, could impose something like colonial rule over the rest of the nation. Sounds exactly like what the Framers strove to prevent.

Can you imagine the Presidential campaign without the Electoral College?

This is a county-by-county map of the 2016 Presidential election:

2016countymapelectionHow many of the states would have had a chance to meet the candidates if the Electoral College did not exist? Would Hillary have campaigned in the Midwest? Would Donald Trump have campaigned in Florida? Would a candidate ever come to Kansas, Oklahoma, or Nebraska? Would those states every be represented in a Presidential election? As you can see, the Electoral College protects the rights of the smaller states. Without it, we would be governed by New York, California, Connecticut, and Massachusetts–states that are having problems keeping their state budgets under control. Do we really want them to take charge of the country?

 

This Sounds Great, But It Is A Really Bad Idea

The National Review posted an article on Friday stating that if states apportioned their Electoral College votes by district, the Republicans could win the White House in 2016. Thanks, but no thanks.

The article states:

Starting in January, Republicans will hold state legislative majorities and the governor’s mansions in Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Florida, Iowa, and Nevada. If some or all of those states passed laws allocating their electoral votes by districts, all of these purple-to-blue states would allocate their electoral votes in a way that would make it extremely likely for Republicans to win at least half of them. And without half the electoral votes in those states, it would nearly impossible for the Democratic nominee to win.

For example, Barack Obama won Ohio twice, and because he won the popular vote in 2012, won all of the state’s 18 electoral votes. Under the district system, if the Republican presidential nominee wins all of the U.S. House districts in Ohio currently held by the GOP, he would get twelve electoral votes and the Democrat would get only six.

…Any state’s change to this more proportional system would be entirely constitutional. When Barack Obama won one of Nebraska’s electoral votes in 2008, no one on the Democratic side complained.

Although I can understand the logic of this, I think it is a really bad idea to tinker with the Electoral College. For example, without the Electoral College, Rhode Island, Montana, Wyoming, and several other states would never see a Presidential candidate. They would have essentially no voice in national elections. If we begin tinkering with the Electoral College, I suspect it will be the first step on the road to abolishing it. I think that is a really bad idea.