Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Explain it to me- politics

I was just watching CNN and they said the popular vote doesn't matter. (assuming this is YOUR votes- am I right?) The one's that matter are the electoral college. So, what's all the hoopla about get out and vote if you're not part of the electoral college? Seriously, this has me baffled. Is it just to make you feel like you've done your part? Put in your two cents? I'm just confused so forgive me if I sound silly. Anyone care to shed some light?

Ok, after searching a little harder I found this. It explains it a little better than the guy on CNN.


A couple of things I found interesting though:

1.So we will all go vote on Tuesday, and before the sun sets in California at least one of the TV networks will have declared a winner. By midnight, one of the candidates will have probably claimed victory and some will have conceded defeat. But not until the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December, when the electors of the Electoral College meet in their state capitals and cast their votes will we really have a new president and vice president elect.

2.Critics of the Electoral College system, of which there are more than a few, point out that the system allows the possibility of a candidate actually losing the nationwide popular vote, but being elected president by the electoral vote. Can that happen? Yes, and it has.

Has it Ever Happened?
Has a presidential candidate ever lost the nationwide popular vote but been elected president in the Electoral College? Yes, three times:

In 1876 there were a total of 369 electoral votes available with 185 needed to win. Republican Rutherford B. Hayes, with 4,036,298 popular votes won 185 electoral votes. His main opponent, Democrat Samuel J. Tilden, won the popular vote with 4,300,590 votes, but won only 184 electoral votes. Hayes was elected president.

In 1888 there were a total of 401 electoral votes available with 201 needed to win. Republican Benjamin Harrison, with 5,439,853 popular votes won 233 electoral votes. His main opponent, Democrat Grover Cleveland, won the popular vote with 5,540,309 votes, but won only 168 electoral votes. Harrison was elected president.

In 2000 there were a total of 538 electoral votes available with 270 needed to win. Republican George W. Bush, with 50,456,002 popular votes won 271 electoral votes. His Democratic opponent, Al Gore, won the popular vote with 50,999,897 votes, but won only 266 electoral votes. Bush was elected president.

I'm glad I cleared that up for myself. Hope that I helped others of you who didn't know what all that CNN stuff was about.

1 comment:

Angelique said...

I'm with you on this one...I've never understood why we still have the electorial college. ESPECIALLY after the Bush/Gore election. I actually cried after that went down. What a shame, and what a slap in American faces.

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