The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > Elections

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 11-05-2012, 06:19 PM
drewtwo99 drewtwo99 is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 8,575
In 2016, all states adopt a model exactly like Maine & Nebraska; what happens?

EDIT: Errr, I meant 2016. But you can still talk about how it would effect the election tomorrow if it somehow magically happened.

If the entire country switched to the model that Maine and Nebraska use, 2 votes for statewide winner and then each congressional district = 1 ev based on popular vote in each district.

How does this affect the electoral map? My hunch is that the Democrats would be at a huge disadvantage, because it seems like the deep blue states in presidential races actually have a lot of reliably republican districts, but the deep red states have relatively few safe democratic districts.

Not to mention the effect on campaigning. Suddenly there would be swing EV's all over the country!

So, what are all the ramifications to this?

Last edited by drewtwo99; 11-05-2012 at 06:20 PM..
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 11-05-2012, 06:21 PM
Chessic Sense Chessic Sense is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
People don't vote into Congress the same party as into the White House. You can't just look at a House seat and say "That's a deep red district."
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 11-05-2012, 06:44 PM
RickJay RickJay is offline
Charter Jays Fan
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Burlington, Ontario
Posts: 31,609
American political campaigning would change in the most monumental fashion. Al of a sudden California wold be more important than Ohio (yes, California has lots of Republican-leaning districts.)

The change to the manner in which the campaigns go is almost impossible to guess at, it would be so massive.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 11-05-2012, 07:22 PM
John Mace John Mace is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
I think we're going to need a bigger bank account.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 11-05-2012, 07:32 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: The Land of Cleves
Posts: 54,040
Quote:
People don't vote into Congress the same party as into the White House. You can't just look at a House seat and say "That's a deep red district."
Sure, but it's still a pretty good first approximation, and probably the best we're going to be able to do here.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 11-05-2012, 09:38 PM
zoog zoog is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2003
If we ever went that direction, we'd pretty much put the presidential election in the hands of the state legislatures who draw the congressional districts and the courts who decide the inevitable lawsuits over them. If you think gerrymandering is train wreck now...
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 11-06-2012, 12:40 PM
drewtwo99 drewtwo99 is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 8,575
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoog View Post
If we ever went that direction, we'd pretty much put the presidential election in the hands of the state legislatures who draw the congressional districts and the courts who decide the inevitable lawsuits over them. If you think gerrymandering is train wreck now...
Indeed. That's probably the biggest problem with such a system.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 11-06-2012, 12:55 PM
Jack Batty Jack Batty is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chessic Sense View Post
People don't vote into Congress the same party as into the White House. You can't just look at a House seat and say "That's a deep red district."
Especially in reliably Democratic Maine where we've elected Republican senators for the last decade or so.


- Interesting tidbit I just tripped across: one of Maine's first senators was John Holmes. Aw, yeah, baby.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 11-06-2012, 12:58 PM
Bryan Ekers Bryan Ekers is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Important member of congress, was he?
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 11-06-2012, 01:05 PM
Jack Batty Jack Batty is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Just so you know ahead a time, I'm deeply ashamed by what I'm about to write.


Well, he carried the popular vote with the local Chinese community quite easily.

I'm sorry ... I can't finish it.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 01-23-2013, 05:03 PM
Jack Batty Jack Batty is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
[ he never lost an election ... get it? ]
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 01-23-2013, 05:14 PM
elucidator elucidator is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
He was disoriented?
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 01-23-2013, 06:07 PM
Smapti Smapti is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Olympia, WA
Posts: 5,095
Assuming the system had been that way in 2012 and nothing else would have changed, Romney would be president now, as the 234 House seats won by the GOP plus the 24 states where he won a majority of the vote would have given him 282 electoral votes

The real difference you'd see in such a system? Instead of the campaigns pumping all their money into "swing states", you'd see them campaigning in "swing districts" instead - OH-3 one day, off to KY-2 the next, off to FL-17 the morning after that, and so on.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 01-24-2013, 01:28 AM
BigT BigT is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
Sure, but it's still a pretty good first approximation, and probably the best we're going to be able to do here.
Do we really not have district-by-district breakdowns? That seems like the sort of things statisticians would want to have to help predict shifts. State by state does not seem granular enough.

I'm not sure this is the best approximation, either. I personally would take the congressional winners and average that with the using the popular vote for each state multiplied by their number of electoral votes.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 01-24-2013, 01:44 AM
Qin Shi Huangdi Qin Shi Huangdi is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Obama would still have won in 2012 with the gerrymander laws if every state had it (albeit 270 to 268), go to post 1225: http://www.alternatehistory.com/disc...228375&page=62
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 01-24-2013, 10:51 AM
Ambrosio Spinola Ambrosio Spinola is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by Qin Shi Huangdi View Post
Obama would still have won in 2012 with the gerrymander laws if every state had it (albeit 270 to 268), go to post 1225: http://www.alternatehistory.com/disc...228375&page=62
The plan currently being discussed in Virginia would award the state's extra two electoral votes to whichever candidate wins the most congressional districts, rather than the overall winner of the statewide vote. I realize that's not "exactly like Maine and Nebraska", but it could have flipped the election.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 01-24-2013, 10:55 AM
Saint Cad Saint Cad is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
What I don't understand is why the 2 "extra" EVs are winner take all. It seems to me in a situation where somone wins 48%-47% that the two votes should be split. Perhaps make it a 40% or 45% cutoff to win an at-large EV.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 01-24-2013, 11:01 AM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 26,389
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan Ekers View Post
Important member of congress, was he?
Well, a prominent member, anyway.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 01-24-2013, 11:33 AM
Frank Frank is online now
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Kettering, Ohio
Posts: 17,370
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saint Cad View Post
What I don't understand is why the 2 "extra" EVs are winner take all. It seems to me in a situation where somone wins 48%-47% that the two votes should be split. Perhaps make it a 40% or 45% cutoff to win an at-large EV.
The two extras are for the Senators, chosen in a state-wide vote. It makes sense to treat those two as a state-wide election.

Certainly a state could apportion them however it chose. I wouldn't be surprised if other states, should they change from the current "winner take all" model, change the way those two are assigned as well.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 01-24-2013, 03:28 PM
Miller Miller is offline
Sith Mod
Moderator
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Bear Flag Republic
Posts: 35,969
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan Ekers View Post
Important member of congress, was he?
He was highly respected for his long service, deep knowledge of the issues, and occasional spurts of brilliance.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 01-24-2013, 03:38 PM
carnivorousplant carnivorousplant is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Central Arkansas
Posts: 40,604
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miller View Post
He was highly respected for his long service, deep knowledge of the issues, and occasional spurts of brilliance.
Moderator or not, you will pay for this.



This forum requires that you wait 60 seconds between posts. Please try again in 7 seconds.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 01-25-2013, 09:12 AM
BwanaBob BwanaBob is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: New York & Maryland
Posts: 3,515
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank View Post
The two extras are for the Senators, chosen in a state-wide vote. It makes sense to treat those two as a state-wide election.

Certainly a state could apportion them however it chose. I wouldn't be surprised if other states, should they change from the current "winner take all" model, change the way those two are assigned as well.
Like certain yahoo states that are still fighting the Civil War.
The current system was just fine when it suited their needs. Now that they can't bring a decent message to the election, instead of changing the message, they want to change the rules. What babies.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 01-25-2013, 09:59 AM
carnivorousplant carnivorousplant is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Central Arkansas
Posts: 40,604
Quote:
Originally Posted by BwanaBob View Post
The current system was just fine when it suited their needs. Now that they can't bring a decent message to the election, instead of changing the message, they want to change the rules. What babies.
If the President is indeed elected by the states, I'd think that changing the way their votes are selected may be in their best interest.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 01-25-2013, 10:23 AM
Ají de Gallina Ají de Gallina is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mace View Post
I think we're going to need a bigger bank account.
Campaign spending will have to be shown in scientific notation.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 01-25-2013, 10:29 AM
Simplicio Simplicio is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saint Cad View Post
What I don't understand is why the 2 "extra" EVs are winner take all. It seems to me in a situation where somone wins 48%-47% that the two votes should be split. Perhaps make it a 40% or 45% cutoff to win an at-large EV.
Its "winner of the majority of Congressional districts take all", not "winner of the total popular vote in VA take all". The reason for doing it that way is because the GOP will almost certainly win the former but may not win the latter in 2016.

Last edited by Simplicio; 01-25-2013 at 10:29 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 01-25-2013, 11:31 AM
Diceman Diceman is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Just off the top of my head, this would give the Republicans several extra electoral votes from California, New York, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa, and probably Pennsylvania. The Democrats would pick up avote here & there, but the net effect would almost certainly be a big boost for Republicans.
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 01-25-2013, 01:57 PM
Kevbo Kevbo is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2005
The republicans are pushing hard for this in states that go blue in presidential elections. They are just fine with winner-take-all in states that are reliably red.
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 01-25-2013, 02:31 PM
Simplicio Simplicio is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diceman View Post
Just off the top of my head, this would give the Republicans several extra electoral votes from California, New York, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa, and probably Pennsylvania. The Democrats would pick up avote here & there, but the net effect would almost certainly be a big boost for Republicans.
If it were done everywhere at once it wouldn't be so unfair. Obama won 13 districts in TX, while Romney won 15 in CA, which given TX has fewer districts total, could probably be considered a net gain for Obama. It would still be a bad idea, but not necessarily unfair.

Obviously if you only do it in States like Penn or MI that usually go blue, or purple states like VA where the GOP has gerrymandered a strong advantage, then its a pretty blatant attempt to rig the rules in the GOP's favour.
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 01-25-2013, 02:36 PM
Marley23 Marley23 is offline
I Am the One Who Bans
Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 76,736
So far this effort has been focused on swing states, and that does make the motivation very obvious. It's starting to look like it will die on the vine in Virginia, though.
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 01-25-2013, 03:57 PM
bup bup is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
However, in Virginia, Republicans took advantage of the fact that a Democrat State Senator (the state senate is tied in party affiliation 20-20) was at the inauguration to ram through a senate redistricting bill 20-19.

Although nakedly partisan, if they succeed, then when they get their gerrymandered state senate majority they could make the state electors proportional to the total vote or something, thus giving the Republican (probably) 6 or 7 of the electors in 2016.
Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 01-26-2013, 05:19 AM
Stately Greek Automaton Stately Greek Automaton is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ají de Gallina View Post
Campaign spending will have to be shown in scientific notation.
And you think campaigning goes on too long now? Forget the White House, the next president will be on a road trip for the length of the term just to give a stump speech in all the congressional districts.
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 01-26-2013, 09:58 PM
Honesty Honesty is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 1,819
Quote:
Originally Posted by bup View Post
However, in Virginia, Republicans took advantage of the fact that a Democrat State Senator (the state senate is tied in party affiliation 20-20) was at the inauguration to ram through a senate redistricting bill 20-19.

Although nakedly partisan, if they succeed, then when they get their gerrymandered state senate majority they could make the state electors proportional to the total vote or something, thus giving the Republican (probably) 6 or 7 of the electors in 2016.
I'm so angry after reading that link. This is reason #2153 why the Federal Government should STOP collecting demographic data as it serves little purpose other than disfranchisement of minorities. For these assholes to use this data to partition blacks and whites into neat districts while the other Senator was at the inauguration is just beyond the fucking pale.

As for the OP, I think if all of the States adopted the Maine-Nebraska model, there'd be no point to the Electoral College. What's next? Will New York offer its EC votes not based on district but by population density? You'd might as well abolish it and put it to a popular vote or leave the existing (although imperfect) system in place.

Now, I don't mind States adopting changes to how they award their votes but for several blue States to change them en masse is too much of a coincidence. Unless Republicans are the Borg, who's pulling the strings? My other worry is that it appears that Republicans are trying to change the rules rather than change their tone and message. The latter suggest - at least to me - that tacking toward the center has not even crossed their minds or has been calculated to be political suicide.

- Honesty

Last edited by Honesty; 01-26-2013 at 09:59 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 01-26-2013, 11:37 PM
Patty O'Furniture Patty O'Furniture is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 1999
Why stop at splitting the votes along district lines? Is there anything to prevent a state legislature from simply passing a law that says their state's electoral votes will always go to the republican candidate?
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 01-27-2013, 10:33 AM
2sense 2sense is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simplicio View Post
If it were done everywhere at once it wouldn't be so unfair. Obama won 13 districts in TX, while Romney won 15 in CA, which given TX has fewer districts total, could probably be considered a net gain for Obama. It would still be a bad idea, but not necessarily unfair.
The Republican and Democratic Parties don't have any God-given right to the Oval Office so the question of fairness ought to include something more than whether or not an electoral change favors one party over the other. Districting the presidential election is necessarily unfair in that people within a state will no longer have an equal vote. It's doubling down on inequity. Bad enough all Americans don't get an equal vote. No need to include more bias.
-
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stately Greek Automaton View Post
And you think campaigning goes on too long now? Forget the White House, the next president will be on a road trip for the length of the term just to give a stump speech in all the congressional districts.
Not so because then opponents would harp on the fact that s/he wasn't doing her job. It's them that will constantly travel around campaigning. You know, just like they do now. Candidates basically campaign as much as they can now. Increasing campaigning just isn't realistic outside of technological advances.
-
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patty O'Furniture View Post
Why stop at splitting the votes along district lines? Is there anything to prevent a state legislature from simply passing a law that says their state's electoral votes will always go to the republican candidate?
Yes. The Constitution doesn't allow states to assign electoral votes. They can only pick Electors. OTOH a state could allow the state's top Republican to name the Electors every four years. (Though activist judges might step in to prevent such a move.)
__________________
Just my 2sense
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 01-27-2013, 04:52 PM
lance strongarm lance strongarm is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chessic Sense View Post
People don't vote into Congress the same party as into the White House. You can't just look at a House seat and say "That's a deep red district."
That's true.

But you can look at which districts were won by Obama and Romney in 2012 and count them up and see what would have happened. If all 50 states had allocated EC votes that way, Romney would have won.
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 01-27-2013, 05:26 PM
lance strongarm lance strongarm is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Honesty View Post
I'm so angry after reading that link. This is reason #2153 why the Federal Government should STOP collecting demographic data as it serves little purpose other than disfranchisement of minorities. For these assholes to use this data to partition blacks and whites into neat districts while the other Senator was at the inauguration is just beyond the fucking pale.
Ah, but the Voting Rights Act REQUIRES most states to use that same data to make sure minotiries are enfranchised in the first place - and furthermore, to do essentially what the Virginia Senate did, by creating a new black-majority district.

This is the ironic side effect of that requirement of the Voting Rights Act. By assuming that blacks can only be represented by other blacks, it puts concentrates them in a few districts ("packing" them) which dilutes surrounding districts and makes them more white and Republican. So you end up with a few more blacks, but also an even greater number of Republicans to overwhelm them.

I believe this was a significant factor in the Republicans breaking up the 40-year Democratic domination of the House starting in 1994.
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 01-28-2013, 06:55 PM
jasg jasg is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Upper left hand corner
Posts: 2,950
The 538 blog has a piece about this today. Their opinion is that Romney would have won but as far as I can see, they ignore how the campaign might have been run differently.

A recent Slate article on the same subject pointed out that a change like this would have dramatic effects on campaigning, with money pouring into battleground districts instead of states. It points out that conservative Republicans might not appreciate metric tons of DNC dollars flowing into their districts to scrounge every last Democratic vote.
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 01-29-2013, 10:13 AM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patty O'Furniture View Post
Why stop at splitting the votes along district lines? Is there anything to prevent a state legislature from simply passing a law that says their state's electoral votes will always go to the republican candidate?
It's probably outlawed by the various state constitutions, but nothing in the federal constitution prohibits it.
Quote:
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...
The long and the short is the state legislatures have broad latitude regarding how they choose presidential electors.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:33 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright © 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.