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Unclear on the Concept (Alabama Electoral Vote Edition)

Via the AP:  9 somber Alabama Republicans cast Electoral College votes for Romney

Electoral College member Terry Lathan of Mobile said the ceremony was bittersweet. "I’m proud of our state," she said. "I think we got it right. I’m sad for our country."

Another member, state Senate Republican Leader Jabo Waggoner of Vestavia Hills, said, "It’s kind of a downer."

Waggoner and Lathan said they hope the presidential election is never switched to a popular vote because candidates would ignore small states such as Alabama. As it was, all major Republican candidates visited Alabama, with some making multiple trips, Lathan said.

Ok, so 1) Alabama was, in fact, almost entirely ignored in the general election, and 2) the major Republican candidates visited the state during the nomination phase of the electoral cycled and that was because Alabama had (wisely) an early primary. 

Is it too much to ask that our elected officials/persons chosen to participate in public life have some idea as to how things work?

The true downer here is the lack of basic understanding being displayed here.

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About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor and Chair of Political Science at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. He is the author of Voting Amid Violence: Electoral Democracy in Colombia and is currently working on a comparative study of the US to 29 other democracies. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging at PoliBlog since 2003. Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. swbarnes2 says:

    Is it too much to ask that our elected officials/persons chosen to participate in public life have some idea as to how things work?

    Republicans are clearly getting the kind of quality members that their platform attracts, and their voters desire.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  2. Neil Hudelson says:

    Psssst, hey Tsar. THIS is irony. It is development portrays an intention or attitude opposite to that which is stated or assumed by the viewer.

    Please, study this.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  3. That Other Mike says:

    @Neil Hudelson: If Alabama was a stock, I’d sell it short.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  4. Anderson says:

    Steven, they’re Republican. AND Alabamian. That makes them doubly disadvantaged. I’m impressed they knew there even was an electoral college.

    (Ragging on you from next door in Mississippi, where all the men are Republican, all the women are submissive, and all the children are below average.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  5. de stijl says:

    Jabo Waggoner of Vestavia Hills

    A secondary character from As I Lay Dying?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  6. That Other Mike says:

    @de stijl: Or The Hobbit.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  7. SC_Birdflyte says:

    As I tell my many Georgia cousins when they start bad-mouthing Atlanta, “Know what Georgia would be without Atlanta? Alabama.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  8. David says:

    @That Other Mike Alabama is still a state?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  9. Andre Kenji says:

    Not that anyone would care about Alabama in a NPV.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. @Andre Kenji: I disagree (but then, you know that).

    At the moment the reasons for candidates to campaign in Alabama is zero because the result of the EV is foreordained.

    Under a popular vote the incentive to campaign here would be greater than zero.

    Greater than zero is more than zero.

    There would certainly be an incentive to spend money, and even some time, in a state with a population of over 4 million.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  11. C. Clavin says:

    I bet they said

    “Roll Tide”

    right afterwards.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. Andre Kenji says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: There would certainly be an incentive to spend money, and even some time, in a state with a population of over 4 million.

    I don´t know. New Jersey has the double of this population in an area much smaller than Alabama. And both Democratic(Black) and Republican(white) votes in Alabama are very predictable.

    Besides that, very few Presidential candidates campaign in rural areas, specially in a NPV.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  13. @Andre Kenji: I don’t consider Birmingham (or Mobile, Montgomery, or even Huntsville) as “rural.”

    There would be incentives to campaign in more places than there are now.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  14. Andre Kenji says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Not only I do consider these cities as rural areas but most campaign strategists probably would think the same. It´s hard to predict what candidates would do in a NPV, but it´s hard to imagine a scenario where a Presidential Candidate would care about Alabama.

    Maybe in a NPV a Black Democrat or a Evangelical Republican would try to use Alabama to booster turnout, but I would not bet my money on it. Specially because in most large countries areas with lower population are ignored.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  15. @Andre Kenji: This is an odd, and nonstandard, definition of “rural.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0