Very curious as to everyone’s thoughts about turn out being affected by citizens who do not vote because they are convinced their votes don’t count. This would predominately apply in Democratic or Republican strongholds. I got to thinking about it after Bone said the following:
Even though Bone votes, I would imagine there are untold numbers who don’t because they have that same thought.
Since Trump won the electoral, but Hillary won the popular, would a different system of vote weighting have made any difference in the sheer number of votes and is it possible that even with a different system (direct popular vote) that Trump still would have won? For example, in every recent presidential election where we know that NY, CA, IL and others consistently vote Democrat, would a popular vote system bring out more Republicans in these states who otherwise would have stayed home? Same would apply in reverse to places like OK, KS, TN and AL for Democrat voters. Would those votes be countered by the opposite party ramping up turnout as well?
People are laughed at when they play the lottery because the odds of winning are so incredibly slim. It’s sometimes called a tax on stupidity. The idea that your vote, especially at the presidential level, is going to “count” is right up there in the same generally area. Of course voting doesn’t cost anything (or doesn’t cost much), so you have nothing to lose by voting, so there’s that. But let’s be honest-- you’re vote doesn’t count in any statistically meaningful way.
If you want to influence the election, voting is not a good way to do it. Better to go door to door advocating for your candidate of choice, or otherwise try in some way to influence others to vote.
BTW, I always vote. But I try not to think about my chances of having an effect on the election.
The tendency for a state to consistently go for one party may depress turnout not just for the supporters of the perennial losing party but also for the winning party’s supporters. For a Republican in California, why bother voting since the Democrats will win. But for a Democratic Party supporter why bother since the state will be comfortably carried for the Democrats by those who do turn out to vote.
So it is a bit hard to say whether changing to another system would change outcomes, but it might increase turnout and I, IMHO, see that as an inherent good. And presumably any change like nationwide popular vote would effect turnout across the country. No idea whether there are more dissuaded voters supporting one party or the other.
Every vote counts. But it’s just one vote out of thousands or even millions to matter in the presidential election. If you live in a solid color state then your vote doesn’t really matter by itself, but if enough people don’t vote then it turns the election, which is what happened last year in Blue Wall states.
I think there are two types of, "My vote doesn’t count’ voters. There are voters who understand that the particular race they’re voting in is almost 100% likely to go for the candidate they oppose. There are plenty of reasons to vote. Lowering the margin of victory will help. Let’s say you’re a Republican and you have a Democratic representative in congress. So, in 2018, that Democrat won an unexpectedly close reelection in 2016 bu 52-48. That is a sign to the Republicans that they should contest that seat in 2018, that’ll mean money and also help with candidate recruiting. It’s much easier to attract a strong candidate to a winnable race, otherwise you end up with novelty or vanity candidates that aren’t worth the time of day. Also, although the delegate rules are extremely complex, in general, having more of your party’s votes in a particular state means that your state will be allocated more delegates to the Presidential conventions. Thus, your state can influence the next nominee.
There’s also another type of, “My vote doesn’t count” voter. These people are just making excuses for not voting. They are either unwilling to learn or they’re just not politically motivated at all and make excuses since they know voting is seen as a civic duty. If they weren’t saying their vote doesn’t count, they’d be saying that, ‘Both parties are the same’ or ‘They’re all crooks!’
I really think more representative alternatives to first past the post voting would increase voter turnout, and also political participation in a broader sense. It’s not just about how much your vote counts; it’s also about how much influencing your neighbors’ votes counts.
I live in a district that went 63% for the Democratic congressional candidate in 2016. Let’s say I was a Republican in this district. Besides my own single vote, I could invest a ton of time in changing other voters’ minds in the district. I could, personally, change 100 voters’ minds, and get them to vote for the Republican challenger. Or 1000. Or 10,000. (I’m very persuasive.)
It wouldn’t matter in the outcome. I would’ve had to swing about 35,000 votes from Democratic to Republican to change the election outcome. Why would I try?
It almost certainly would “have made [a] difference” of some sorts, but it’s a bit unknowable as to exactly what that difference would be. It’s certainly possible that Trump still would have won under a different system.
Your vote does matter. It just statistically matters more in primaries and local elections where fewer votes are cast. The primaries for national elections are especially powerful because they determine who appears on the ballot on election day.
Trump won the popular vote in a sufficient number of individual states for Trump to win the “electoral”. Hillary lost the only Presidential race that was actually being run.
If there had ever been a national/federal popular vote for POTUS, the candidates would have campaigned differently. The largest cities would be guaranteed several visits from the candidates. New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Phoenix, Philadelphia, San Antonio, San Diego, Dallas, San Jose, Austin, Jacksonville, San Francisco, Columbus, Indianapolis, and so on down the line of most populous cities in the U.S.A…
The largest city in Iowa, Des Moines, is only the 102nd largest city in the U.S… Would the Presidential candidates even make the effort to campaign in a city with only 215,472 residents? Not voters - residents.
That’s what worries me sometimes when I hear about people who want to switch over to a straight popular vote. Candidates would spend most of their time in highly populous areas and “Fly Over” America would be largely ignored. I get the arguments for a popular vote, but I think the electoral system gives a good balance between higher and smaller population centers. Iowa only gets attention because of the primaries. In a popular vote system, I don’t think they would get a first, much less a second look. In this last election, the popular vote was pretty close up until California started reporting. That’s when it flipped, even though it was still a narrow difference in percentage points (less than 2% difference out of more than 160 million votes). To me, that’s extraordinarily close. California having control over a nationwide vote seems a bit silly and in my opinion would not represent our republic fairly.
Why do people keep saying that? No one won he popular vote. Hillary won a plurality of the popular vote, but didn’t break the 50% mark. In most races where the popular vote matters, you don’t “win” unless you win a majority. If no one wins a majority, there is usually a run-off. Even in the EC for president in the US, if no one wins a majority, it goes to the House.
How is that “California having control” and not “the majority of the people in the United States having control”? Yes, Clinton’s eight-million-plus votes in California were sufficient to flip the total popular vote count, but that wouldn’t be the case if fifty-seven million people who don’t live in California hadn’t also voted for her. (Also, more than four million people in California voted for Trump, so it’s not like California is a monolith.)
I’m absolutely not okay with it. The fact that those few people essentially set the candidates, or at least steer the primaries is not representative. Maybe they should rotate it like they do for hosting the Olympics.
In my opinion, it’s potentially both, and you could interchange New York or Illinois. In a popular vote situation, would you not agree that the urban population centers, which account for well over half of the US population, that a direct popular vote would heavily skew election results to the larger population centers which would very likely under-represent vast swaths of America?