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Melissa Seideman

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Direct popular vote should replace the Electoral College.

Please state your opinion here about this debate and respond to one other person.

Pro- Lindy and Miranda
Con- Claudia and Caitriona

Debate is on Thursday.

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  • Jan 3 2013: I believe that the electoral college is a fair way of choosing the president because the electoral colleges are supposed to have the people who have experience, and they should know what the economy needs and what is the best for America, and its future. The president and vice president should not be picked by the people. If it was based on populations, the less populated areas would not be looked at by the candidates. They would only go to cities with denser populations. Smaller states would never be visited, and they would be seen as not very useful parts of the election. With the Electoral system, it extends the presidential campaign to the smaller states as well as the larger states.
    • Jan 3 2013: I agree that the electoral college is a fair way to gauge the people's views of who should be elected. Particularly because the electoral college is always consistent. Every member of the college votes in every election, where the actual rate of voter turn out has been sharply decreasing over the last few elections. This could create the possibility of a single political party being factored out completely in a single election, because their supporters may not be showing up to the polls.
      • Jan 3 2013: In 2008, voter turnout in the then 15 battleground states averaged seven points higher than in the 35 non-battleground states.
        If presidential campaigns now did not ignore more than 200,000,000 of 300,000,000 Americans, one would reasonably expect that voter turnout would rise in 80% of the country that is currently ignored by presidential campaigns.

        In 2012, voter turnout was 11% higher in the battleground states than in the remainder of the country.

        Under National Popular Vote, every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election. Every vote would be included in the state counts and national count. The candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC would get the 270+ electoral votes from the enacting states. That majority of electoral votes guarantees the candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC wins the presidency.

        National Popular Vote would give a voice to the minority party voters in each state. Now their votes are counted only for the candidate they did not vote for. Now they don't matter to their candidate.

        And now votes, beyond the one needed to get the most votes in the state, for winning in a state are wasted and don't matter to candidates. Utah (5 electoral votes) alone generated a margin of 385,000 "wasted" votes for Bush in 2004. 8 small western states, with less than a third of California’s population, provided Bush with a bigger margin (1,283,076) than California provided Kerry (1,235,659).

        With National Popular Vote, elections wouldn't be about winning states. No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps. Every vote, everywhere would be counted equally for, and directly assist, the candidate for whom it was cast.

        Candidates would need to care about voters across the nation, not just undecided voters in a handful of swing states. The political reality would be that when every vote is equal, the campaign must be run in every part of the country.
    • Jan 3 2013: The electors now are dedicated party activists of the winning party who meet briefly in mid-December to cast their totally predictable rubberstamped votes in accordance with their pre-announced pledges.

      The National Popular Vote bill would end the disproportionate attention and influence of the "mob" in the current handful of closely divided battleground states, such as Florida, while the "mobs" of the vast majority of states are ignored. 9 states determined the 2012 election. 10 of the original 13 states are politically irrelevant in presidential campaigns now. Four out of five Americans were ignored in the 2012 presidential election. After being nominated, Obama visited just eight closely divided battleground states, and Romney visited only 10. These 10 states accounted for 98% of the $940 million spent on campaign advertising. In 2008, 98% of the campaign events involving a presidential or vice-presidential candidate occurred in just 15 closely divided "battleground" states. 12 of the 13 lowest population states (3-4 electoral votes), that are non-competitive are ignored, in presidential elections.

      In 2008, of the 25 smallest states (with a total of 155 electoral votes), 18 received no attention at all from presidential campaigns after the conventions. Of the seven smallest states with any post-convention visits, Only 4 of the smallest states - NH (12 events), NM (8), NV (12), and IA (7) - got the outsized attention of 39 of the 43 total events in the 25 smallest states. In contrast, Ohio (with only 20 electoral votes) was lavishly wooed with 62 of the total 300 post-convention campaign events in the whole country.

      The current system does not provide some kind of check on the "mobs." There have been 22,453 electoral votes cast since presidential elections became competitive (in 1796), and only 17 have been cast for someone other than the candidate nominated by the elector's own political party.
    • Jan 3 2013: With National Popular Vote, big cities would not get all of candidates’ attention, much less control the outcome.
      The population of the top five cities (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston and Philadelphia) is only 6% of the population of the United States and the population of the top 50 cities (going as far down as Arlington, TX) is only 15% of the population of the United States.

      Suburbs and exurbs often vote Republican.

      Any candidate who ignored, for example, the 16% of Americans who live in rural areas in favor of a “big city” approach would not likely win the national popular vote.

      If big cities controlled the outcome of elections, the governors and U.S. Senators would be Democratic in virtually every state with a significant city.

      A nationwide presidential campaign, with every vote equal, would be run the way presidential candidates campaign to win the electoral votes of closely divided battleground states, such as Ohio and Florida, under the state-by-state winner-take-all methods. The big cities in those battleground states do not receive all the attention, much less control the outcome. Cleveland and Miami do not receive all the attention or control the outcome in Ohio and Florida.

      The itineraries of presidential candidates in battleground states (and their allocation of other campaign resources in battleground states) reflect the political reality that every gubernatorial or senatorial candidate knows. When and where every vote is equal, a campaign must be run everywhere.

      With National Popular Vote, when every vote is equal, everywhere, it makes sense for presidential candidates to try and elevate their votes where they are and aren't so well liked. But, under the state-by-state winner-take-all laws, it makes no sense for a Democrat to try and do that in Vermont or Wyoming, or for a Republican to try it in Wyoming or Vermont.

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