Thursday, September 25, 2008

Global electoral college

Check out this interactive map at the Economist called the "Global Electoral College". Almost every country on the map is "strong Obama." Thailand -- which I blog a lot about -- is 97% for Obama. Several other countries, such as France (90% Obama) and Canada (87% Obama) are not far behind. At this hour, only Slovakia (52% Obama) remains hotly contested.

Hat-tip Kadfly


  1. Exercise without any meaning.


  2. Yeah. Everyone knows the average Economist reader is left-leaning, and would be inclined to support the US candidate with the more skeptical view of free trade. So no meaning. Predictably, Economist's readers prefer the candidate on the left.

  3. The real issue is not how well Obama or McCain might do state-by-state or country-by-country, but that the U.S. shouldn't have battleground states and spectator states in the first place. Every vote in every state should be politically relevant in a presidential election. And, every vote should be equal. We should have a national popular vote for President in which the White House goes to the candidate who gets the most popular votes in all 50 states.

    The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC). The bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral vote -- that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). When the bill comes into effect, all the electoral votes from those states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    Because of state-by-state enacted rules for winner-take-all awarding of their electoral votes, recent candidates with limited funds have concentrated their attention on a handful of closely divided "battleground" states. In 2004 two-thirds of the visits and money were focused in just six states; 88% on 9 states, and 99% of the money went to just 16 states. Two-thirds of the states and people have been merely spectators to the presidential election.

    Another shortcoming of the current system is that a candidate can win the Presidency without winning the most popular votes nationwide.

    The National Popular Vote bill has passed 21 state legislative chambers, including one house in Arkansas, Colorado, Maine, North Carolina, and Washington, and both houses in California, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The bill has been enacted by Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, and Maryland. These four states possess 50 electoral votes-- 19% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.


  4. Is a constitutional amendment to make that happen politically possible?

    You say 99% of the money went to 16 states. The concern here is that 16/50 states is 32% or almost exactly one third of all states.

    As we know:
    An amendment to the United States Constitution must be ratified by THREE-QUARTERS of either the state legislatures, or of constitutional conventions specially elected in each of the states, before it can come into effect.

    The states getting most of the attention have more than a sufficient number of votes to block any proposed amendment to the Constitution.

    Why would it be in the interest of the states benefiting most from the present arrangement to pass the resolution? Can you really see this kind of amendment passing? If so, how?

  5. Anonymous you wrote:

    These four states possess 50 electoral votes-- 19% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.

    I think you are mistaken here. Electoral votes don't factor into the criteria used for amending the Constitution (Article V, Constitution of the United States):

    The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.

    Nothing about electoral votes.


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