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Friday, November 11, 2016

The popular vote and the Electoral College

graphic credit: XaniaTube

Mr. Instapundit comments:  

THE NARRATIVE CHANGES TO FIT THE NEEDS OF THE MOMENT: “I am already seeing Democrats blaming the Electoral College, which until a few hours ago was hailed as the great protector of Democratic virtue for decades to come, and Republicans were silly for not understanding how to crack the blue ‘wall.'”

Dems were praising the Electoral College just before the 2000 election, too, back when they thought Al Gore might win the electoral vote but lose the popular vote. They turned on a dime when the reverse happened, of course.

Not all the votes are tabulated, and not all of them will be, but even if Hillary does win the popular vote, Trump won by a yuge margin in the Electoral College. I was interested to find something of a refresher course in a column (“Hillary wins the Popular Vote – Not”) at American Thinker, by Steve Feinstein. Here are some extracts:

Okay, let’s address this “Hillary might win the popular vote, isn’t that Electoral College situation just awful” thing head on.

No, it’s not awful.  It’s great, and it protects the importance of your vote.  It’s also uniquely American and demonstrates yet again the once-in-creation brilliance of the Founding Fathers.

First of all, she’s probably not going to win the actual number of votes cast.  She may win the number of votes counted, but not the votes cast.

States don’t count their absentee ballots unless the number of outstanding absentee ballots is larger than the state margin of difference.  If there is a margin of 1,000 votes counted and there are 1,300 absentee ballots outstanding, then the state tabulates those.  If the number of outstanding absentee ballots wouldn’t influence the election results, then the absentee ballots aren’t counted. [UPDATE 11/12: this paragraph proves to be incorrect. Absentee ballots ARE counted, but often not until after the Election is called. IOW, the popular vote totals will change.] 
. . .
Getting back to the “win the popular vote/lose the Electoral College” scenario: Thank G-d we have that, or else California and N.Y. would determine every election.  Every time.
. . .
That means that the vast majority of 48 states and their populations will be subject to the whim and desire of just two states.  If those two states have similar demographics and voting preferences at any particular point in time (which they do now), then those two states call the shots for the entire country.

But the Electoral College brilliantly smooths out the variances in the voting proclivities among states and regions.  Farmers in the middle of the country and importers and exporters on the shore get roughly equal say, as do Madison Ave. execs and factory workers in Tennessee.

Shortcomings?  Sure.  The E.C. can make an R vote meaningless in a very few heavily D states or vice versa.  But without the Electoral College, the country’s entire population is subject to the disproportionate voting preferences of the few most populous states.

The entire article is here.
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