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Allocating Electoral Votes By Congressional District Is A Bad Idea

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Virginia seems to be on the road to becoming the latest state to attempt to switch the manner in which it allocates Electoral Votes in Presidential Elections from “winner take all” to one in which the votes are allocated based on which candidate wins each of the state’s eleven Congressional District:

RICHMOND, Va. — A Republican-backed bill that would end Virginia’s winner-takes-all method of apportioning its 13 electoral votes in presidential elections cleared its first legislative hurdle Wednesday.

A Senate Privileges and Elections subcommittee recommended Sen. Bill Carrico’s bill on a 3-3 party line vote Wednesday, advancing it to consideration by the GOP-dominated full committee next week. Republicans control the Senate and House in Virginia, and Gov. Bob McDonnell is a Republican.

The bill would apportion electors by congressional district to the candidate who wins each of the state’s 11 districts. The candidate who carries a majority of the districts would also win the two electors not tied to congressional districts.

Sen. Charles W. “Bill” Carrico, R-Grayson, said the change is necessary because Virginia’s populous, urbanized areas such as the Washington, D.C., suburbs and Hampton Roads can outvote rural regions such as his, rendering their will irrelevant.

Last fall, President Barack Obama carried Virginia for the second election in a row, making him the first Democrat since Franklin D. Roosevelt to win Virginia in back-to-back presidential elections. For his victories, he received all 13 of the state’s electoral votes.

Under Carrico’s revision, Obama would have received only four Virginia electoral votes last year while Republican Mitt Romney would have received nine. Romney carried conservative rural areas while Obama dominated Virginia’s cities and fast-growing suburbs.

Virginia would be only the third state after Maine and Nebraska to apportion electors according to congressional districts, and by far the largest. Maine has only two U.S. House districts, and Nebraska has three.

Of the 3.8 million votes cast in Virginia in 2012, Barack Obama received 1,971,820 votes, or 51.16% of the vote, while Romney received 1,822,522, or 47.28% of the vote. Under the proposed law, though, President Obama would only have received 30.77% of Virginia’s Electoral Votes,, while Romney would have received 69.23% of the Electoral Votes. Much of this discrepancy can be blamed on the fact that Virginia’s most populous areas are divided between a small number of Congressional Districts — the close-in D.C. suburbs, for example, have more than a million residents but comprise only two Congressional Districts, the 8th and the 11th — while there are vast stretches of the state that consist of smaller numbers of people but which make up their own Congressional District. For example, I live in a district that stretches from Danville on the North Carolina border to just north of Warrenton, a distance of over 200 miles. Outside of the area around Charlottesville, it is a heavily Republican district. Indeed, each of Virginia’s Congressional Districts were drawn in a manner that essentially protects incumbents. Gerrymandering at it’s best, which leads me to the second problem with the proposed Virginia law.

For many years, and in many posts at my personal blog and here at OTB, I was a supporter of the District Method of allocating Electoral Votes. However, it’s become clear to me that, at least in our current political climate, this simply isn’t a viable or appropriate way to allocate votes in the Electoral College. The primary reason for that, of course, is the fact that so many of our Congressional Districts have been drawn in such a way that they are essentially noncompetitive for the opposition party. Late last month, I took note of a study that found that the number of “swing” Congressional Districts had dropped from 103 in 1992 to just 35 in 2012, while the number of “safe” seats for both parties had increased to nearly 80% of Congressional seats. While there isn’t always a correlation between how a district votes for Congress and how it votes for President, it’s becoming increasing rare for ticket splitting of the type that made Ronald Reagan’s landslides in 1980 and 1984 possible to take place. As long as Congressional District lines are drawn in a manner that protects party interests, using those lines to allocate Electoral Votes strikes me as an incredibly bad idea.

Further confirmation of just how bad the District Method actually is can be found in this study which finds that, had the method been in place in all 50 states this past November, Mitt Romney would have won the election despite losing the popular vote by some five million votes:

The congressional district plan appears reasonable at first glance. After all, why give all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate who wins statewide no matter how narrow that candidate’s margin? Awarding electoral votes by congressional district would seem to provide a fairer and more balanced alternative to the winner-take-all system. But there is a serious problem with this approach. Despite a superficial appearance of fairness, the congressional district plan would be profoundly undemocratic — skewing the results in favor of the party drawing the congressional district lines in a state and greatly increasing the chances of an Electoral College misfire (a victory by the candidate losing the national popular vote).

The congressional district system, if adopted for the entire nation, would give Republicans a major advantage in presidential elections. That’s because Republicans controlled the redistricting process after the 2010 census in far more states than Democrats as a result of the GOP’s big gains in the 2010 midterm elections. By drawing congressional districts that favored the GOP, Republican state legislatures and governors gave their party a big edge in the battle for control of the House of Representatives. The result was that in 2012, even though Democratic candidates outpolled Republican candidates by more than a million votes across the nation, Republicans kept control of the House by a margin of 234 seats to 201 seats.

The results of GOP gerrymandering were also clearly evident in the presidential election. Across the nation, Obama defeated Mitt Romney by almost four percentage points and close to five million votes. However, based on the results that are currently available we can estimate that Romney carried 228 House districts to only 207 for Obama. So despite Obama’s comfortable margin in the national popular vote, a system that awarded one electoral vote for each House district plus two votes for the statewide winner would have resulted in a Romney victory by 276 electoral votes to 262 electoral votes.

Whatever one might think about the Electoral College or the outcome of the 2012 election, this would have been a simply unacceptable situation. The 2000 Election, where Al Gore’s popular vote margin ended up being a relatively small 543,895 votes is one thing. An election where someone who lost by 5,000,000 votes and yet still went on to win the election is something that I think we can agree would simply be unacceptable. Under the Constitution, the states have the right to allocate Electoral Votes however they choose, but the path that Virginia is suggesting is not in the interests of the nation.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Geek, Esq. says:

    Virginia is still subject to a Civil Rights era consent order to get all voting laws vetted by the DOJ to ensure they aren’t trying to disenfranchise racial minorities.

    This stunt would fail the “one person one vote” test and disproportionately disenfranchise African-American voters.

    Which is exactly the GOP’s goal here. Why adopt to modern times if you can just steal the vote from black people?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 52 Thumb down 5

  2. Argon says:

    Publish that headline under the tag, “duh”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  3. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Obviously the chattering classes are going to be in high dudgeon opposition to this sort of an idea, since it’ll benefit the GOP at the expense of Democrats. Duh.

    As far as the merits of this proposal go, well, meh, there are some good features and some bad features.

    The good features are that allocating electoral votes by congressional district would obviate the effects of the worst aspects of Zombieland, i.e., politics by pure racial identity and politics by dependence upon the government, both of which at the rate we’re going ultimately will turn us not only into Europe West but even worse: Europe West with far more violent crime.

    Check out Spain. Unemployment there just hit Grapes of Wrath levels. And their fiscal and economic scenarios when they began their slide into that oblivion were not nearly as bad as our current fiscal and economic scenarios. Now imagine Spain-style unemployment with our preexisting levels of violent crime. No bueno. Elections, laws and policies all have severe consequences.

    The bad part about this proposal is that it gives further incentives to Rorschach-style gerrymandering of congressional districts. And inevitably it would turn the Census-based redistricting process into a screaming farce.

    Ultimately it’s all too late to save us, but truth be told back when we still had a chance really to turn things around the election reform that needed to get done, but wasn’t done, or even proposed, much less debated, was radically increasing the minimum voting age for federal elections. The reasons why that needed to get done are obvious, although ironically enough they’re not even scrutable to various segments of the cognescenti.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 64

  4. Blue Shark says:

    …One Person … One Vote.

    …50% plus 1 WINS.

    …Anything else is just rigging.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 35 Thumb down 1

  5. wr says:

    @Tsar Nicholas: “The good features are that allocating electoral votes by congressional district would obviate the effects of the worst aspects of Zombieland, i.e., politics by pure racial identity and politics by dependence upon the government, both of which at the rate we’re going ultimately will turn us not only into Europe West but even worse: Europe West with far more violent crime. ”

    In other words, votes from minorities, the poor, and anyone the Tsar doesn’t like shouldn’t count.

    I wonder what this country would look like on the first Wednesday in November if this was pushed through by Republicans in swing states. Since it would mean the end of the social contract that governs America, why should anyone on the losing side abide by it anymore?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 39 Thumb down 2

  6. David M says:

    Is there any reason to describe this as anything other than an attempt end the idea of the United States having an elected government? It’s no different than trying to pass laws saying only Republicans are allowed to win elections.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 40 Thumb down 0

  7. C. Clavin says:

    When you have no ideas to sell you try to rig the game.
    This is just more of what we saw this past election.
    30 years have shown us that supply-side economics is a failed theory.
    People are not interested in a handful of rich white men dictating the reproductive rights of women.
    Republicans have nothing else.
    If you cannot win it, rig it.
    It is pathetic that Tsar is one of the top thinkers in the GOP today.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 1

  8. TheColourfield says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    You’re not even trolling at this point,

    You’re just a jackass

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 32 Thumb down 3

  9. KariQ says:

    It says a lot about the current state of the Republican Party that they are spending their energy trying to come up with ways to thwart the majority of voters rather than win a majority of voters.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 42 Thumb down 0

  10. Scott says:

    This idea is so destabilizing to the very idea of democracy. If the will of the voters is so thwarted then trust in our system of government will plummet. The very legitimacy of the government will be questioned.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 28 Thumb down 0

  11. Scott says:

    @Scott: And if I may be snarky, then perhaps arms must be taken up to prevent such tyranny!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  12. michael reynolds says:

    I talked about this in a different context when the Republicans were busy trying to suppress votes in the recent election. It is an attack on democracy itself. It delegitimizes elections and is thus a threat to our country. But that’s the Republican party. In this case, it’s the Virginia GOP — the state party to which James Joyner belongs.

    As much as I appreciate Doug’s take on this, I wonder why we aren’t hearing from the Virginia Republican who owns this blog.

    What exactly does it take, James, for you to leave your despicable party? Your party knows no decency, do you?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 41 Thumb down 2

  13. PJ says:

    As a way to steal an election, this is Voting ID on steroids. As pointed out over at TPM, if this would have been in place in every state in last year’s election, Romney would have won while getting 5 million less votes than Obama.
    But Republicans aren’t pushing for this in every state, just in the blue states they control.

    Despicable.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  14. anjin-san says:

    What exactly does it take, James, for you to leave your despicable party?

    Good question.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 1

  15. Scott says:

    @michael reynolds: Probably for the same reason I haven’t: a stubborn hopefulness that things will change. Besides, I would have to down to the Motor Vehicle Dept or somewhere bureaucratically painful to change a registration.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  16. Pug says:

    Hard to believe Republicans don’t think they can win Virginia anymore. If this law was in effect in 2000, hello President Gore.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  17. superdestroyer says:

    What is the difference between this bit of stupidity and the Democrats a couple of years ago wanting to switch to popular election of president because it would benefits Democrats.

    I guess since the Democrats have realized that the changing demographics of the U.S. will give hem a huge advantage that now it is time for Democrats to become fans of the Electoral College.
    Maybe after 2016 when everyone will know who will be the next presdient sometime in February when everyone realizes who the Democrats will nominate, then maybe people will focus on changing the primary system so that states other than Iowa and New Hampsire have a chance to decide who will be president.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 32

  18. jukeboxgrad says:

    This is just another reminder that the GOP hates democracy. They wish fewer people voted:

    Many of our Christians have what I call the “goo goo” syndrome. Good Government. They want everybody to vote. I don’t want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of people. They never have been from the beginning of our country, and they are not now. As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down.

    Paul Weyrich, major conservative thinker, co-founder of the Heritage Foundation. Link, link.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  19. PJ says:

    @superdestroyer:

    What is the difference between this bit of stupidity and the Democrats a couple of years ago wanting to switch to popular election of president because it would benefits Democrats.

    Switching to a popular election would require all states to agree to it.
    This will only be done in blue states controlled by Republicans.

    Do you see the difference?

    The first one was a dream, the second is reality.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 1

  20. bk says:

    Tsar, your predictable word salad babble on every thread is really boring.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  21. jukeboxgrad says:

    This stunt would fail the “one person one vote” test and disproportionately disenfranchise African-American voters.

    Those people don’t really matter. Every now and then some people slip and say this out loud. Example:

    the president and some of his policies are significantly less popular with white Americans than with black Americans, and his sky-high ratings among African-Americans make some of his positions appear a bit more popular overall than they actually are

    Another example here:

    If President Barack Obama wins, he will be the popular choice of Hispanics, African-Americans, single women and highly educated urban whites. That’s what the polling has consistently shown in the final days of the campaign. It looks more likely than not that he will lose independents, and it’s possible he will get a lower percentage of white voters than George W. Bush got of Hispanic voters in 2000. A broad mandate this is not.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  22. michael reynolds says:

    @superdestroyer:

    The difference is obvious. In both cases the Democrats want voter’s votes to count. In both cases the Republicans want to win at all costs and the voter be damned.

    The Republican party no longer believes in elections.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 30 Thumb down 0

  23. Moosebreath says:

    @superdestroyer:

    “What is the difference between this bit of stupidity and the Democrats a couple of years ago wanting to switch to popular election of president because it would benefits Democrats.”

    Umm, because one is trying to make the winner be the one who wins the most votes and the other is trying to make the winner be the one who wins the least votes. What do I win?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 37 Thumb down 0

  24. disenfranchised says:

    The electoral college isn’t going anywhere any time soon, since it would require a constitutional amendment to send it to its rightful place in the dustbin of history. But what’s so great about state level “winner take all”? That just disenfranchises Democrats in Republican states and vice versa. And switching to district level “winner take all” just shifts the disenfranchisement around.

    The real solution, short of direct popular vote, is proportional allocation of electors at the state level. So Obama’s 51% in VA should get him 51% of the VA electors – no more, no less. Only this way will all of a state’s voters be truly represented in the electoral college.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  25. Jeremy R says:

    This is even more outrageous than it looks, as what preceded this move was a MLK-day sneak-attack, non-census redistricting, while the tie-breaking 79-year-old Dem senator was at Obama’s inauguration:

    http://www.salon.com/2013/01/22/virginia_gop_sneaks_through_gerrymandering_bill_on_mlk_day/

    While a Democratic legislator and civil rights lawyer was in Washington, D.C. celebrating inauguration day, Virginia’s state Republican party quietly pushed through a redistricting bill that Democrats say will help the GOP gain the majority in the state Senate in 2015.

    Currently, the state Senate is split evenly, 20-20, between Democrats and Republicans. But in the event of a tie, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, a Republican, gets a vote, and Republicans were not sure he would have gone their way (a spokesman for Bolling told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that the Republicans’ move “is not something that he supported.”)

    According to the official minutes, after the vote the state Senate then “adjourned in memory [of] General Thomas J. ‘Stonewall’ Jackson.”

    The VA GOP — undermining democracy and pursuing power at any cost.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 33 Thumb down 0

  26. Rafer Janders says:

    @disenfranchised:

    So Obama’s 51% in VA should get him 51% of the VA electors – no more, no less. Only this way will all of a state’s voters be truly represented in the electoral college.

    Even bettter, Obama’s 51% in of the overall popular vote in the presidential election should get him 51% of the presidency – no more, no less. Only this way will all of the country’s voters be truly represented.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 5

  27. Scott O says:

    @PJ:
    There is a way to enact a de facto popular vote system that would not require all states to agree to it. The idea is for about half of the states, enough to encompass 270 electoral college votes, to allocate their EC votes to whichever candidate wins the most votes regardless of how the vote goes in each of those states. 9 states have already agreed to do this when enough other states sign on. See here.

    @bk:
    Do people still read Tsar?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  28. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Scott O: “Do people still read Tsar? ”

    I do; the cognitive dissonance jolt is about the best head trip I get since I stopped bong hits.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  29. wr says:

    @Rafer Janders: “Even bettter, Obama’s 51% in of the overall popular vote in the presidential election should get him 51% of the presidency – no more, no less.”

    I suspect superdope and JKB and the Tsar and JT all think he should have a little less of the presidency… maybe three fifths, just like the constitution says.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  30. michael reynolds says:

    At the point when your party disavows democracy in favor of vote rigging, don’t you have to walk away from your party?

    I quit the Democrats when it became clear to me that they actively disliked the United States. There was an era of hair shirt, blame America first mentality that went beyond a reasonable appreciation of our country’s ambiguous role in the world, and morphed into active anti-Americanism.

    I came back to the Democratic party under Bill Clinton, not just attracted by Clinton’s moderation but repelled by the Republican descent into madness as the one-time party of Lincoln and Eisenhower and Everett Dirksen and Gerry Ford became the party of Rush Limbaugh.

    For the United States to remain a functioning democracy we have to be willing to follow our own paths and separate ourselves from parties which no longer represent who we are and what we believe. There has to come a time when we face a choice between country and party and choose country.

    I think we’re at one of those inflection points. It’s time for Republicans to choose: party or country.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 35 Thumb down 0

  31. de stijl says:

    Here is a real election problem that needs to be addressed:

    Analysis: 201,000 in Florida didn’t vote because of long lines

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0

  32. Ernieyeball says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker: …the cognitive dissonance jolt is about the best head trip I get since I stopped bong hits.

    That does it. No more Tsar for me. Bring on the weed…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  33. Sejanus says:

    @michael reynolds: Doug is culpable too. He voted for McDonald and said he will never vote for Democrats, so he’s effectively a Republican as well.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  34. Sejanus says:

    @Sejanus: I meant to write McDonnell, not McDonald.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  35. superdestroyer says:

    @PJ:

    They are not really “blue states” as much as purple states with a few congressional district/cities that are overwhelmingly Democratic. It is not that Penn. is a blue state as much as Philly is an overwhelmingly blue area. Remember the precincts that did have a single vote for Romney. There is no equivalent for Republicans.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 16

  36. superdestroyer says:

    @michael reynolds:

    It is hard to believe that Democrats want voters votes to really count when they are proposing to put million of illegal aliens on a pathway to quick citizenship along with a massive increase in the number of legal immigrants from the third words. The Democrats have been quite open about their desire to replace middle class white voter with poor non-white third world immigrant voters.
    See California is a state that has taught the Democrats that changing the demographics of a populace is the easiest way to become the dominant political party.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 23

  37. superdestroyer says:

    @Moosebreath:

    Both are trying to take advatange of the demographics that are in their advantage. Popular election of the president is just a means to make California, Illinois, and New YOrk more important and to make politicians pander to those states instead of Ohio.

    Everyone realizes that popular election of the president will eliminate the Republicans as a viable political party and will make the Democratic Primaries the real election for president.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 14

  38. disenfranchised says:

    @Rafer Janders: “Even bettter, Obama’s 51% in of the overall popular vote in the presidential election should get him 51% of the presidency – no more, no less.”

    There is obviously a difference between a deliberative body with multiple members (the Electoral College) and an executive office with a solitary office holder. Maximizing the representative nature of the EC is a good in itself, but also maximizes the legitimacy of the president elected by the EC. Still, it wouldn’t hurt for a president to have some humility and to strive to represent even those many millions of fellow Americans who opposed his election.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 9

  39. C. Clavin says:

    Nice to see Superdestroyer is still a racist fool.
    There is something about consistancy that is comforting.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  40. superdestroyer says:

    @C. Clavin:

    What part of noticing demographic changes in the U.S. helps the Democrats and hurts Republicans is the racist part. Do you really think that if most of the illegal aliens were white Mormons that the Democrats would be so interested in amnesty or be the dominant political party in California?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  41. humanoid.panda says:

    @superdestroyer: \
    So, what you (and, to be hones, most Republicans in Pennsylvania,) are saying is that Philadelphia is not really part of the state. Jackass.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0

  42. superdestroyer says:

    @humanoid.panda:

    No, I would state that think that a state going 52% or so for the Democratic candidate for president does not mean that 52% of the voters in all counties voted for President Obama. Phildelphia voted over 80% for Presidential Obama whereas no county in Penn vote more than 80% for Romney. In reality, most counties in PA voted in the majority for Romney but since they have smaller ppopulation and Romney wins by smaller margins that the Democrats are assured of winning in PA due to the massive margin of the win of Obama in Philly.

    In the long run, there is nothing the Republicans can do to increase their margin in Philly but there is many tings the Democrats can do to increase their margins in the rural counties such as increasing immigration, amnesty, and putting more people on the public payroll.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 16

  43. An Interested Party says:

    What part of noticing demographic changes in the U.S. helps the Democrats and hurts Republicans is the racist part.

    Here, let me help you…

    It is hard to believe that Democrats want voters votes to really count when they are proposing to put million of illegal aliens on a pathway to quick citizenship along with a massive increase in the number of legal immigrants from the third words. The Democrats have been quite open about their desire to replace middle class white voter with poor non-white third world immigrant voters.

    See how easy that was…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  44. humanoid.panda says:

    Sorry to break it to you, but I live in a rural, heavily republican and impoverished county in Pennsylvannia,, and am the husband of a social worker who receives mostly medicaid patients. Her clients are very poor, very white, usually receive public support and are very, very Republican. In fact, the reason they are republican is that they think that unlike those people in Philadelphia, they deserve the public benefits they receive, being real Americans and all. So, no worries, the GOP will always have a future here!

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 0

  45. David Anderson says:

    @superdestroyer: So in your mind, those urban voters (of which I am one as I live in a precinct that went roughly 75-25 for Obama both times around) should really only county for 3/5ths of a vote

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  46. Tony W says:

    @disenfranchised:

    Still, it wouldn’t hurt for a president to have some humility and to strive to represent even those many millions of fellow Americans who opposed his election.

    It was a few years ago now, but we used to have this arrogant cowboy in the white house who behaved far worse, the big difference is that you were on his side so you probably didn’t notice.

    @superdestroyer:

    In the long run, there is nothing the Republicans can do to increase their margin in Philly

    Actually, yes there is, and it’s super easy – they could simply embrace policies that appeal to a majority of all voters.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0

  47. Stonetools says:

    The solution? Turn Virginia blue at the state level by electing Democrats. The Democratic Party needs to get serious about winning state legislatures and governorships.
    The Virginia Deomcrats need to unite, especially around the truth that a bad Democrat is better than any Republican. They were unenthusiastic about Deeds last election, so they got Governor Transvaginal and his nutcase luitenant Cucinelli. This year it will likely be Macualiffe vs Cucinelli , and I’m already hearing Democrats wondering about supporting Macauliffe. That stuff has to stop.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  48. Rafer Janders says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Everyone realizes that popular election of the president will eliminate the Republicans as a viable political party

    Well, there’s an admission against interest — everyone realizes that letting the majority of the voters determine the outcome will mean the Republicans can’t win? So instead we should let the minority of the voters choose the President?

    Hey, here’s a way to ensure that Republicans will remain a viable political party, even with popular election of the president: come up with policies that voters actually like! Because otherwise, you’re just voting that no one will vote for you because no one likes what you’re planning to do. Which, yeah.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  49. Rafer Janders says:

    @disenfranchised:

    Still, it wouldn’t hurt for a president to have some humility and to strive to represent even those many millions of fellow Americans who opposed his election.

    Exactly, just like George W. Bush did. I think he set an example for us all.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  50. Rafer Janders says:

    @superdestroyer:

    It is not that Penn. is a blue state as much as Philly is an overwhelmingly blue area.

    So, it is not that Pennsylvania is a Democratic state, just that most of the voters in Pennsylvania are Democratic voters? Got it.

    This is all part of Republicans’ curious idea that votes should be allocated by geographical area, not by person. If a state has ten counties, and nine of those counties have one Republican each, and the tenth county has 11 Democrats, then to Republicans it’s obviously that it’s a Republican state, and should be represented by a Republican. After all, nine counties to one! Ah, but if you actually count voters, that is, actual human beings, then it’s 11 Democrats to nine Republicans. One acre, one vote should be the GOP’s new motto.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 0

  51. Moosebreath says:

    @superdestroyer:

    “Everyone realizes that popular election of the president will eliminate the Republicans as a viable political party and will make the Democratic Primaries the real election for president.”

    So your solution is to find ways for the President to be elected by the minority of the people. Fascinating.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 0

  52. C. Clavin says:

    @ Superdope…

    “….It is hard to believe that Democrats want voters votes to really count when they are proposing to put million of illegal aliens on a pathway to quick citizenship along with a massive increase in the number of legal immigrants from the third words. The Democrats have been quite open about their desire to replace middle class white voter with poor non-white third world immigrant voters…”

    The fact that you don’t realize this is a racist screed explains it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  53. Rob in CT says:

    Ah, yes. “Real America.”

    Keep banging that drum. Do it. I triple-dog dare ya.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  54. Jeremy R says:

    You’d think Republicans wouldn’t want to rock the status-quo-boat and would be quite satisfied with the massive, undemocratic tilt in electoral power that is already given to their disproportionately rural voters (by our senate & electoral college system). Hell, they should be counting their lucky stars that our system has such low participation rates, and that we don’t have compulsory voting like Australia, since if our elections actually reflected the will of all our citizens, they’d be absolutely routed in every election:

    http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/politics/story/2012-08-15/non-voters-obama-romney/57055184/1

    They could turn a too-close-to-call race into a landslide for President Obama— but by definition they probably won’t.

    Call them the unlikely voters.

    A nationwide USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll of people who are eligible to vote but aren’t likely to do so finds that these stay-at-home Americans back Obama’s re-election over Republican Mitt Romney by more than 2-1. Two-thirds of them say they are registered to vote.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  55. Ernieyeball says:

    @disenfranchised: Still, it wouldn’t hurt for a president to have some humility and to strive to represent even those many millions of fellow Americans who opposed his election.

    Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been just a collection of individuals or a collection of red states and blue states.
    We are, and always will be, the United States of America
    President Elect Barack Obama Nov. 4, 2008.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  56. Jr says:

    Lmao, you know your party is doomed when you spend more time trying to rig the voting process instead of you know adjusting your policies to the 21st century.

    I honestly favor the two-party system…….but the GOP needs to die.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  57. Coop says:

    @Jeremy R:

    According to the official minutes, after the vote the state Senate then “adjourned in memory [of] General Thomas J. ‘Stonewall’ Jackson.”

    They adjourned on MLK day in memory of a Confederate general?? What racist assholes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  58. Rob in CT says:

    They’re still pissed off there IS a “MLK day.”

    Petulant children in positions of power. Nice, huh?

    GOP DELENDA EST.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  59. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker:

    “Do people still read Tsar? ”

    Not me. Life is too short.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  60. OzarkHillbilly says:

    It would appear the scheme is DOA.

    “Virginia state Sen. Ralph Smith (R) said today that a Republican plan to rig the next presidential election by changing the way electoral votes are counted is a “bad idea” and that he would oppose it. Smith joins state Sen. Jill Holtzman Vogel (R-VA), who told ThinkProgress earlier this week that “I am generally not in favor right now of the bill and it’s very unlikely that I will vote for it in full committee or the Senate floor.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  61. Mike in DC says:

    The one thing about the Virginia plan is that there’s a chance that Republicans will realize that this could hurt them in a future election, when a Democratic candidate may not be as competitive in Virginia, but might be given some votes even if (s)he loses the popular vote.

    Also, what Stonetools said.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  62. JWH says:

    I’ve been on the other side of this. From 2000 onward, my liberal-leaning Northern Virginia vote counted for approximately nothing. More people lived in the rest of the state, and their will sent Virginia’s electoral votes elsewhere. This led me to do such things as vote for third-party candidates in protests.

    Of course, now that the shoe is on the other foot, rural Republicans are throwing a snit fit and trying to make my vote count less. I’m going to find the world’s smallest violin and play songs of sadness for them.

    That said, as a general matter, I would prefer the electoral votes to be allocated by district … but with the two-elector balance going not to who wins the most districts, but to the candidate who wins the statewide popular vote.

    But even there … if I were in the legislature, I would strongly oppose this measure, even if it used my preferred tally. Not because I want to disenfranchise rural Virginia voters, but because a) I don’t think the proposed electoral-college allocation reflects the will of the people when it is based on gerrymandered districts and b) the Republicans are hypocrites.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  63. JWH says:

    @disenfranchised:

    So Obama’s 51% in VA should get him 51% of the VA electors – no more, no less. Only this way will all of a state’s voters be truly represented in the electoral college.

    51 percent of Virginia’s 13 electoral votes is 6.63 electors. That can get grisly.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  64. PJ says:

    @JWH:

    51 percent of Virginia’s 13 electoral votes is 6.63 electors. That can get grisly.

    A sword and a scale are all that’s needed!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  65. Pharoah Narim says:

    @Michael Reynolds: I can respect that sentiment as I to have cursed and coddled both Parties as they took their respective turns at the stupid trough. I had you pegged as a kool-aid drinker–and a red kool-aid drinker is just as mentally lazy, misled and annoying as a blue kool-aid drinker in my book. I stand corrected. Respect.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  66. Franklin says:

    @JWH: I don’t have a problem with it being rounded to the closest number, if every state did this. It would likely be a more accurate representation of the overall vote. But if we’re going to change it, why not just make it the overall vote?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  67. JWH says:

    51 percent of Virginia’s 13 electoral votes is 6.63 electors. That can get grisly.

    A sword and a scale are all that’s needed!

    “Hi, Bob. Could you come over here for a minute?”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  68. Pharoah Narim says:

    I’ve got no issues with the plan as long as the electoral votes for each district are weighted by population as well. In other words the Northern Virginia and Hampton roads areas should have roughly 8 of the 13 EVs in Virginia. The other Po-Dunk counties should share the remaining five. I like it because its going to force a lower level of organization by the parties which should translate into greater responsiveness to the people. I think we are better served with Candidates wooing a few hundred swing counties rather than a dozen swing states. As districts are redrawn, parties will have to adjust and do battle in places they didn’t have to before. It leads to higher fidelity sampling of the electorate–

    That said I’ve read a lot of comments about will of the people, blah blah blah. We have a representative republic for a reason. The founders (and I) considered direct democracy mob rule and a lower form of government. As such, we have direct democracy wrapped and contained within certain structures of the Republic. Leadership and vision (like creativeness/pick your special ingrained trait) which is needed to propel a nation and culture forward are characteristics possessed by a small percentage of people–it aint in 50% +1 of the people. What needs to happen is we need to do a better job ensuring that the people with the qualities needed to be successful are the ones going into politics. As it is now, its a game attractive to socio-paths and war/moneymongerers. We can start by lowering the cost of ‘entry’ into politics by way of campaign finance and following that up with breaking Harvard stranglehold as the grooming place for future leaders. Do we really want to put the job of handicapping the nation’s future seedcorn on the Harvard admissions dept? Brilliant comes from anywhere and everywhere–often from where you least expect it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  69. David M says:

    @Pharoah Narim:

    Congressional districts are for electing people to the House of Representatives, there’s no reason to try and use them for electing the President as well.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  70. Woody says:

    Busy day yesterday/checked in just now.

    Pleased that I did: I just finished the “GOP Civil War” thread before reading this one. I feel as if it’s just one thread with two intertwined patterns.

    All of the “reformist”-speak concerning the GOP will come to naught if they continue down the path of outright rigging – Americans have shown a resilient streak of contrariness when the con gets too obvious (example: Latinos and African Americans voting in Florida after the Rick Scott Hates Democracy Initiatives).

    I watched Scarborough and Mouthpiece Mike Allen laud “Bobby” Jindal’s call for reforming the GOP this morning. Somehow, they never brought up “Bobby’s” education fiasco, nor his proposal to slash Medicaid benefits for the poor. In the GOP civil war piece, Mitch Daniels’ propensity to dutifully vote in hard right GOP initiatives as Indiana governor was somehow never mentioned, though he was presented as a GOP realist.

    If Jindal and Daniels are the examples of GOP reasonableness, the party is in much more trouble than I thought.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  71. Rick Almeida says:

    @Pharoah Narim:

    I’ve got no issues with the plan as long as the electoral votes for each district are weighted by population as well.

    Congressional districts must be approximately equal in population (one person, one vote), today that’s usually about 650,000 people / district. So 1 EV per district would effectively weight by population.

    The issue is that almost all districts are drawn to benefit 1 party over the other, so awarding EV based on districts can lead to very disproportionate outcomes, defined as a disparity between percentage of the popular vote won and percentage of the EVs won, as would be the case in Virginia, where (as Doug points out) President Obama’s 51% vote share would have netted him less than 31% of Virginia’s electoral votes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  72. C. Clavin says:

    Romney would have won under this scheme…that’s all you need to know to judge it’s merits.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  73. michael reynolds says:

    @Pharoah Narim:

    I appreciate you saying that.

    I’m pretty much incapable as a matter of core character of drinking the Kool-Aid. I’ve lived in 50 homes in 13 states plus DC, as well as France, Portugal and Italy. I attended a different school every year but one from kindergarten through 10th grade when I dropped out. I’ve held probably 30 different jobs in “careers” ranging from janitor to law library clerk to restaurant manager to fiction writer. And I’ve been everything from so poor I slept under a bridge, to wealthy. Fixed points in time/space/perspective and I do not get along well.

    Part of the reason the GOP pisses me off so much is that I’m now essentially shopping in a mall with only one store. I like choices. (See above paragraph.) I am perfectly willing to turn on the Democratic Party, and I can even tell you why it will happen: Democrats will have accomplished their mission. SS, Medicare, universal medical coverage and equal rights for all Americans. Once they’ve finished off the last of the homophobes they’ll be a party without a mission. But like all organizations they’ll look for new missions to accomplish and cast about desperately for someone else to liberate, and somewhere else to extend benign government influence.

    And then, they’ll get ridiculous. When that happens (not if, but when) I’d like to have a second choice. A third would be even better.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  74. Franklin says:

    @michael reynolds: A fascinating post, but I’m still trying to figure out what name you write under …

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  75. michael reynolds says:

    @Franklin:

    Don’t tell anyone: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Grant_(young_adult_author)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  76. Rafer Janders says:

    @Pharoah Narim:

    Brilliant comes from anywhere and everywhere–often from where you least expect it.

    If brilliant often came from where you least expect it, then by definition it wouldn’t be where you least expect it, would it? After all, it’s only from where you least expect it because brilliant doesn’t often come from there.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  77. JG says:

    The Electoral College (a dumb idea for over 200 years), was a compromise between having a truly popular vote or having Congress elect the president… It would be better to change to a truly popular vote. Obama won 51 to 49 percent in the popular vote, but this doesn’t mean a true popular vote would yield the same results. Campaigns could not ignore most states and let the election be decided in 7 or 8 states. My view is the Electoral College should be dropped (by amendment) and replaced with a popular vote. Congress has tried to change the Electoral College over 700 times in our history; to date all efforts have failed. The Electoral College really makes no sense whatsoever regardless of which party wins.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  78. bill says:

    so it’s more important for large cities to decide who wins? no wonder we never see anyone campaigning outside of the “in play” states. democrats were screaming for a change to this after bush v. gore.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  79. bill says:

    @michael reynolds: the circle of life, politically!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  80. michael reynolds says:

    @bill:
    Great. Now I’ve got that song stuck in my head.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  81. Jr says:

    @bill: Democrats wanted to scrap the EC and go with the popular vote, the GOP wants to keep the EC…..but rig it in way that it only effects Democrats in solid blue/swing states.

    It is apples and oranges.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  82. al-Ameda says:

    So the GOP wants to tke us back to the time when some people were valued at 3/5ths of a person, right? Urban voters, who happen to be Democratic will have effectively have their votes become 3/5 the value of voters in the largely Republican exurban and less populated rural districts.

    Republicans have adopted a new strategy: “Why not legally steal future elections?”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  83. wr says:

    @bill: “so it’s more important for large cities to decide who wins?”

    No, it’s more important for the majority of voters to decide. Has this concept always been so difficult for you, or just since you found yourself on Team Loser?

    “So now you’re going to say the football team with the bigger score is going to be arbitrarily called the winner? That’s not fair!!”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  84. Pharoah Narim says:

    @Rick Almeida: Thank you for that bit of clarifying information. I would now have a serious problem with this plan if they start pulling it off in more States. I already have a serious problem with the gerrymandering exercise each party goes through every 10 years. A lot of the districts in my state look like ink blots. Why can’t we just pass a law saying they have to be polygons with distinct sides an call it day?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  85. humanoid.panda says:

    @bill: Cities, large and, small don’t decide winners in elections. Neither do suburbs, exurbs, villages, hamlets, settlements, or farms. People in cities, suburbs, exurbs, etc. decide elections. A party that can’t reach the places where the largest numbers of people tend to live, the cities, has three options: to change its platform, to change the minds of the people in the cities, or keep on losing. What it can’t do in a country with a functioning system of government is to decide that the electorate had forfeited its confidence and needs to be dissolved

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  86. Pharoah Narim says:

    @Rafer Janders: My point was analogous to saying: “You often see shooting stars that glow yellow.” Meaning, the few times you DO see a shooting start its likely to glow yellow. Not meaning, you will see a yellow shooting star regularly.

    I have met several hundred brilliant people in my life out of the 10s of thousands i have met. Some came from places where we assume would produce people with extraordinary gifts–rich, prep school, ivy league, test scores, etc. The rest though, there is no rhyme or reason to how they acquired the raw intellect they did and even less rhyme or reason how they developed it. One thing I can say about them though is that they wouldn’t go anywhere near politics–anecdotal I know but one thing I can say is that these types of people are motivated by results and don’t confuse activity with achievement. The propensity of politics to yield much activity and few results lead me to conclude that the rest of the few million people in our country that truly possess special ability probably feel the same way. Hence they go off and help people if that’s their thing, invent things if that’s their thing, or make money if that’s their thing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  87. Pharoah Narim says:

    @humanoid.panda: You raise an interesting point. We have ways to sanction individuals and corporations for miscreant behavior. Why don’t we have a way to sanction political parties? Anything that can operate in its own self interest with impunity can and probably will eventually become tyrannical.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  88. Franklin says:

    @michael reynolds: Thank you … if it’s half as good as your wit here, it should be good stuff.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  89. superdestroyer says:

    @Moosebreath:

    As you should have read in my first comment, I called the idea stupid. What conservatives should have figured out by now is that there is no reason for a conservative party in the U.S. The only way for conservatives to have any effect on policy would be to start voting in the Democratic primaries and vote against the most liberal candidates. That would push the Democratic Party to the right and maybe cause the most liberal Democrats to go the crazy thing and start their own party.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  90. superdestroyer says:

    @C. Clavin:

    I guess progressives refuse to acknowledge that one of the reasons that they support amnesty, increased legal immigration, and maintenance of illegal immigration is to dilute the votes of the most loyal Republican voters. The Democrats plan on turing Texas into a blue state is not to appeal to the middle class whites who live in Texas but to just add a massive number of Hispanic voters to the rolls. It has already occurred in California and Nevada and will eventually occur in Texas and Arizona. The key statistics will be when the number of whites moving out of Texas is higher than those moving in. Such a migration change as occurred in California and will eventually happen in other states.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  91. An Interested Party says:

    The key statistics will be when the number of whites moving out of Texas is higher than those moving in. Such a migration change as occurred in California and will eventually happen in other states.

    I wonder when you will start advocating for white people to start their own country…after all, that will be the only way for them to escape the demographic bomb in this country that will make sure that the brown and black people will get all the goodies at the expense of the white people, right?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  92. Dodd says:

    However, it’s become clear to me that, at least in our current political climate, this simply isn’t a viable or appropriate way to allocate votes in the Electoral College. The primary reason for that, of course, is the fact that so many of our Congressional Districts have been drawn in such a way that they are essentially noncompetitive for the opposition party.

    That’s a problem that needs fixing in its own right. Gerrymandering undermines the very idea of representational democracy and needs to be done away with and replaced with a neutral system — we certainly have the ability to use technology to create rational, reasonably-uniform districts instead of the grotesquely distorted hodgepodges we see so often these days.

    But the fact that we need to fix gerrymandering doesn’t mean that apportioning EC votes by Congressional District is a bad idea. Both can and should be done.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  93. superdestroyer says:

    @An Interested Party:

    You may want to ask all of the whites in Portland why they are not in Los Angeles. It is just not conservative whites who are avoiding the areas with growing black or Hispanic population. White flight has been a documented phenomenon since the 1960’s and it just continues today.

    The question for policy and governance is how will it impact the U.S.

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  94. djw says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Racist loon superdestroyer can’t get his racist talking points straight.

    You may want to ask all of the whites in Portland why they are not in Los Angeles. It is just not conservative whites who are avoiding the areas with growing black or Hispanic population.

    From 2000-2010, Los Angeles added about 150,000 white people. The white population of LA grew by almost 9%, while the city as a whole grew by less than 3%. The result is that LA went from being ~47% White in 2000 to ~50% white in 2010.

    From 2000-2010, Portland OR added just over 30,000 white people, an increase of around 7%. That is lower than the city as a whole, which grew by over 10%. The result is that Portland got less white, going from ~78% white in 2000 to ~76% white in 2010.

    In sum, the implication of your assertion about demographic trends in LA and PDX are exactly wrong. White people are moving into highly diverse LA at significantly greater rates than everyone else, and moving into relatively non-diverse PDX at slightly lower rates than non-whites.

    If you’re going to try and use demographic changes to bolster your crackpot racist theories, you should probably actually check the census first.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  95. Robert J. Gonzalez says:

    Un democratic? Irrelevant since the US is not a democracy. It’s a union of 50 individual republics.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  96. Pharoah Narim says:

    @Super(jerk)Destroyer: So whites started wanting to live amongst themselves since the 60’s? Newsflash: Most ethnicities feel the same way–people feel most comfortable around people with similar interests and life experiences. You gotta quit spanking it in front of the monitor so often dude–your posts are getting to ridiculous for even me to bear.

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  97. superdestroyer says:

    @djw:

    The only way that you can claim that Los Angeles is 47% white is to count all of the Hispanics as whites. In reality, Los Angeles is

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Los_Angeles Non-Hispanic Whites: 29.4%.

    I have always thought it would be interesting to the white county that has the largest non-white percentage of the population. I suspect that in virtually every country where the public schools are less than 50% white that the county votes for Democrats.

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  98. superdestroyer says:

    @Pharoah Narim:

    the problem is that the government never anticipates what ethnic groups will do to avoid each other, what the long term consequences of forced integration, and what are the long term impacts. It is like in the 1960 no one thought what would happened when forced busing was started or academics quotas started. Look at the Department of Education databases and try to find the studies of what it is like for white students in majority non-white schools. The federal government refuses to study the topic even though it has spent decades studying the impacts of blacks and Hispanics in majority white schools. Considering that the majority of second graders and below are non-white, maybe the government should study the long term impact on academic education to the changing demographics.

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  99. al-Ameda says:

    @superdestroyer:

    I suspect that in virtually every country where the public schools are less than 50% white that the county votes for Democrats.

    After watching the latest round of Republican presidential candidates denigrate nearly every non-white ethnic group in the country, I’d also be surprised if they didn’t vote Democratic.

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  100. Rafer Janders says:

    @superdestroyer:

    The only way that you can claim that Los Angeles is 47% white is to count all of the Hispanics as whites.

    Hispanic is not a race, it’s an ethno-linguistic-cultural grouping. As I just mentioned on another thread, my girlfriend is Argentinian and therefore Hispanic. She is also blonde, blue eyed, and has pale white skin. I have other Hispanic friends whose families emigrated to Mexico and Argentina and Chile from Italy, or from Germany, or Ireland etc. and are all fairly pale.

    You can be Hispanic and white, Hispanic and black (as many Cubans and Dominicans are), Hispanic and Amero-Indian, Hispanic and Japanese (for example, Alberto Fujimori, the former president of Peru), etc.

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  101. superdestroyer says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Since Hispanics qualify for affirmative action but non-hispanic whites do not, it is appropriate to consider them to different groups. If the census bureau considers them separate demographic groups, then it is not appropriate to combine them. I would agree that more Hispanics/Latinos are moving into Los Angeles County but the number of non-hispanic whites is decreasing because there is no place in LA County for middle class whites anymore.

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  102. Janiah says:

    @PJ:

    Switching to a popular election would require all states to agree to it.

    How do you figure this?

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