Electoral Math Looks Grim For Republicans In 2016 & Beyond

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in Democrats, Elections, Electoral College, Republicans

So Nate Silver is out with some more numbers today that prove how clueless the Republicans were with regards to the electoral college.

Know why?

Because Ohio isn’t the state that swung it for Obama. It was Colorado. And he took at that state by nearly 5%.

The state after that? Virginia, which he easily won by 3%.

True, Ohio and Florida were close, but that was electoral gravy.

Here are the numbers…

And here’s what’s truly scary for Republicans…

Based on a preliminary analysis of the returns, Mitt Romney may have had to win the national popular vote by three percentage points on Tuesday to be assured of winning the Electoral College. [...]

Had the popular vote been a tie – assuming that the margin in each state shifted uniformly – he would still have won re-election with 285 electoral votes, carrying Colorado and Virginia, although losing Florida and Ohio.

That’s a serious shift…and the country isn’t going to get LESS diverse. And with Obama’s GOTV machine being praised as quite possibly the best in political history, the Dems have a serious advantage going into the next election.

So, Repubs are going to have to do some serious reinvention otherwise they’re going to have a tough time in the coming years. And the Tea Party movement isn’t paving the way for success.


This entry was posted on Thursday, November 8th, 2012 and is filed under Democrats, Elections, Electoral College, Republicans. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

8 Responses to “Electoral Math Looks Grim For Republicans In 2016 & Beyond”

  1. kohler Says:

    Presidential elections don’t have to be this way.

    The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps. There would no longer be a handful of ‘battleground’ states where voters and policies are more important than those of the voters in 80% of the states that now are just ‘spectators’ and ignored after the conventions.

    When the bill is enacted by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes– enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538), all the electoral votes from the enacting states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC.

    The presidential election system that we have today was not designed, anticipated, or favored by the Founding Fathers but, instead, is the product of decades of evolutionary change precipitated by the emergence of political parties and enactment by 48 states of winner-take-all laws, not mentioned, much less endorsed, in the Constitution.

    The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for President. Historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the President, including ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote and 48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state legislative action.

    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 (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 virtually every state surveyed in recent polls in recent closely divided Battleground states: CO – 68%, FL – 78%, IA 75%, MI – 73%, MO – 70%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM– 76%, NC – 74%, OH – 70%, PA – 78%, VA – 74%, and WI – 71%; in Small states (3 to 5 electoral votes): AK – 70%, DC – 76%, DE – 75%, ID – 77%, ME – 77%, MT – 72%, NE 74%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM – 76%, OK – 81%, RI – 74%, SD – 71%, UT – 70%, VT – 75%, WV – 81%, and WY – 69%; in Southern and Border states: AR – 80%, KY- 80%, MS – 77%, MO – 70%, NC – 74%, OK – 81%, SC – 71%, TN – 83%, VA – 74%, and WV – 81%; and in other states polled: AZ – 67%, CA – 70%, CT – 74%, MA – 73%, MN – 75%, NY – 79%, OR – 76%, and WA – 77%. Americans believe that the candidate who receives the most votes should win.

    The bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers in 21 states. The bill has been enacted by 9 jurisdictions possessing 132 electoral votes – 49% of the 270 necessary to go into effect.

  2. cranky critter Says:

    If it passes, it will immediately be challenged and an injunction issued. Then it will be struck down. Supporters deny this.They all claim the method’s bulletproof, and and I refuse to waste my time arguing it further.

    I’ll be my house it gets struck down by scotus if it passes. They’ll rule that it’s each state’s duty to choose its own electors as an individual sovereign state. Wait and see.

  3. kohler Says:

    The Founding Fathers in the Constitution did not require states to allow their citizens to vote for president, much less award all their electoral votes based upon the vote of their citizens.

    The presidential election system we have today is not in the Constitution. State-by-state winner-take-all laws to award Electoral College votes, were eventually enacted by states, using their exclusive power to do so, AFTER the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution. Now our current system can be changed by state laws again.

    Unable to agree on any particular method for selecting presidential electors, the Founding Fathers left the choice of method exclusively to the states in section 1 of Article II of the U.S. Constitution– “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.”

    The constitution does not prohibit any of the methods that were debated and rejected.

  4. cranky critter Says:

    Yes, each state shall appoint a number of electors. If they make an interstate agreement, then they’re no longer appointing their own electors.

    Like I said, the folks pushing this amendment are glib in declaring this method is a bulletproof way to circumvent the electoral college by making it no more than a formality. They say the same things every time, just as you did, kohler.

    We’ll see, if it comes to that. My bet is that it goes right to the supreme court, and they say if you want to get rid of the electoral college, you’ll have to use the front door: amend the constitution.

  5. Earl T Says:

    SIMPLE COMPROMISE:

    Let every Congressional District select their own “Elector, with the popular vote winner of the whole state getting the two votes attributable to the senators.

    This keeps mob rule by the “coastal welfare” culture (look at the US county-wide electoral maps) somewhat at bay and at least gives homage to federalism.

  6. kohler Says:

    National Popular Vote does not want to get rid of the Electoral College.

    When the bill is enacted by states possessing a majority of the Electoral College votes– enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538), all the Electoral College votes from the enacting states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC.

    The enacting states would be appointing their own electors to the winner of the national popular vote.

    The presidential election system that we have today was not designed, anticipated, or favored by the Founding Fathers but, instead, is the product of decades of evolutionary change precipitated by the emergence of political parties and enactment by 48 states of winner-take-all laws, not mentioned, much less endorsed, in the Constitution.

    The Electoral College is now the set of dedicated party activists, who vote as rubberstamps for presidential candidates. In the current presidential election system, 48 states award all of their electors to the winners of their state. This is not what the Founding Fathers intended.

    The Founding Fathers in the Constitution did not require states to allow their citizens to vote for president, much less award all their electoral votes based upon the vote of their citizens.

    The presidential election system we have today is not in the Constitution, and enacting National Popular Vote would not need an amendment. State-by-state winner-take-all laws to award Electoral College votes, were eventually enacted by states, using their exclusive power to do so, AFTER the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution. Now our current system can be changed by state laws again.

    Unable to agree on any particular method for selecting presidential electors, the Founding Fathers left the choice of method exclusively to the states in section 1 of Article II of the U.S. Constitution– “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.”

    The constitution does not prohibit any of the methods that were debated and rejected. Indeed, a majority of the states appointed their presidential electors using two of the rejected methods in the nation’s first presidential election in 1789 (i.e., appointment by the legislature and by the governor and his cabinet). Presidential electors were appointed by state legislatures for almost a century.

    Neither of the two most important features of the current system of electing the President (namely, universal suffrage, and the 48 state-by-state winner-take-all method) are in the U.S. Constitution. Neither was the choice of the Founders when they went back to their states to organize the nation’s first presidential election.

    In 1789, in the nation’s first election, the people had no vote for President in most states, 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.

    The current 48 state-by-state winner-take-all method (i.e., awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in a particular state) is not entitled to any special deference based on history or the historical meaning of the words in the U.S. Constitution. It is not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, the debates of the Constitutional Convention, or the Federalist Papers. The actions taken by the Founding Fathers make it clear that they never gave their imprimatur to the winner-take-all method.

    The constitutional wording does not encourage, discourage, require, or prohibit the use of any particular method for awarding the 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 frequently have, changed their method of awarding electoral votes over the years. Maine and Nebraska do not use the winner-take-all method– a reminder that an amendment to the U.S. Constitution is not required to change the way the President is elected.

    The normal process of effecting change in the method of electing the President is specified in the U.S. Constitution, namely action by the state legislatures. This is how the current system was created, and this is the built-in method that the Constitution provides for making changes. The abnormal process is to go outside the Constitution, and amend it.

  7. Tillyosu Says:

    Are we just cutting and pasting from other websites now without attribution?

  8. cranky critter Says:

    National Popular Vote does not want to get rid of the Electoral College.

    Didn’t say it did. NPV wants to render the electoral college moot, just as you’ve described at length above.

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

    Right again. But it says that each state has to appoint electors. If they’re appointed via some interstate agreement instead of having the state do it itself, then the voters of a given state are being disenfranchised.

    [It’s a little bit like Dad telling you to mow the lawn, and you make your little brother do it, and Dad comes homes early and sees your little brother doing it, and he tells you ” I told YOU to do it.” The constitution tells a state to do it, so every state has to do it.

    Then there is the matter of Article I, Section 10 of the United States Constitution, which says that “no state shall enter into an agreement or compact with another state” without the consent of Congress. I’ll go ahead and bet that NPV has some clever explanation for why their end-around isn’t an interstate compact. The problem for NPV is that the Supreme Court isn’t likely to agree.

    What a waste of energy. Folks who want to rid us of the electoral college should use the front door and see if they can get the required majority agreement. The current effort is a lazy shortcut that won’t stand.

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