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If Trump wins re-election while losing by 5 million votes.

aeolist

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,924
I'll take a crack at this.

So we have a system called the Electoral College. In a real sense, the president is not determined by who got the most citizen votes nationwide - the popular vote. Instead, it's decided by who got the most 'elector' votes from the Electoral College.

Here's how the Electoral College works:

Any given state in the USA has a number of electors, determined mathematically by the population, which itself is determined by the census. North Dakota has 3 electors, whereas California has 55. My home state of South Carolina has 9. Every state looks at which candidate won the popular vote in their own state, and then ALL of the electors for that state will vote for that candidate. There are a couple states that work a little differently and there are some historical and legal asterisks to this, but for the sake of keeping it simple, that's basically how it works.

Here's the 2016 map of electoral college votes:


So, if you win the popular vote in texas by 4 million votes, you get 36 electors. If you win the popular vote in texas by 13 votes, you get...36 electors. So you can start to see how the electoral votes in any given state doesn't necessarily represent how the popular vote came down in that state.

So we have a situation currently where a significant number of democratic voters are more concentrated in certain states. States like California, Oregon, Washington and others tend to vote overwhelmingly blue, but they'd get the same number of electoral college votes even if hundreds of thousands of blue voters stayed home, as long as they still technically got the most votes.
there's also the fact that electoral college votes are not proportional to population. texas has 48 times the population of wyoming but only gets 12 times the number of votes in the EC.

votes in a low-population state literally count for more than higher density states.
 

Heshinsi

Member
Oct 25, 2017
10,328
If Trump carries the same handful of states that put him over the last time, they really need to ditch the electoral college and it’s ability to let a small group of nutters hold a whole country hostage.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,207
there's also the fact that electoral college votes are not proportional to population. texas has 48 times the population of wyoming but only gets 12 times the number of votes in the EC.

votes in a low-population state literally count for more than higher density states.
Um... it is proportional... just not linearly proportional.
 

Tawpgun

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,835
I get why it exists but I feel in a modern and interconnected world it makes no sense.


The purpose was to give a voice to areas of the country with less population. I have seen people on the left have very anti-rural sentiments, saying that part of the country shouldn't be listened to because there are so few of them. This is hugely dumb.

But I'd also argue the current system is worse. They feared a popular vote would mean candidates would skip areas of the country and not care about their needs. You can argue this already happens anyway but along party lines.

If you are a left leaning person in Kansas... forget about it. Your voice is not heard.

If you are a conservative in Washington, lmao you might as well not vote.

This also works the other way around. If you are a left leaning person in Washington... I mean why bother voting. You know theres not a chance in hell your state will ever turn red. So why go through the trouble of voting?

There are maybe 5 or so truly key states in presidential elections. The rest will always vote along their established party lines.

Maybe we should move to a popular vote so everyone feels like their vote matters. Or to compromise, a representative vote. Tally up the votes in each state and proportionally distribute the electors.

Shit, anything is better than a system where losing by 5 million popular votes can still win you the election.
 

Lord Fagan

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,595
You mean, the third time in a span of 20 years where the electoral college failed, to the benefit of the same team?

Doesn't take a political scientist to see that as uprising fuel waiting for a spark.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,207
If you are a left leaning person in Kansas... forget about it. Your voice is not heard.

If you are a conservative in Washington, lmao you might as well not vote.

This also works the other way around. If you are a left leaning person in Washington... I mean why bother voting. You know theres not a chance in hell your state will ever turn red. So why go through the trouble of voting?

There are maybe 5 or so truly key states in presidential elections. The rest will always vote along their established party lines.

Maybe we should move to a popular vote so everyone feels like their vote matters. Or to compromise, a representative vote. Tally up the votes in each state and proportionally distribute the electors.
I get where you're coming from, but it's based on a myth of vote efficacy... the idea that your vote/voice matters/counts/is heard. It's a great idea spouted by 8th grade civics teachers to get kids feeling important, but statistically it's just ludicrous. My one vote wouldn't have even mattered if I voted in Florida in 2000. I live in a swing state right now, but my vote still doesn't matter one hill of red, blue, or purple beans.

The weird thing is... the Electoral College actually increases the efficacy of an individual's vote - even an individual living in a state where the EC is skewed against them (as in the TX example mentioned above) - over a national popular vote.
 

Version 3.0

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,514
There's nothing inherently wrong with having 50+ elections and adding them up. We are the United States, after all.

The problem is that the distribution of states' votes - the Electoral Votes - is completely out-of-whack. The Electoral College was designed at a time when the difference between the most populous and lease populous states was tiny, compared to what it is now.
 

Tawpgun

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,835
I get where you're coming from, but it's based on a myth of vote efficacy... the idea that your vote/voice matters/counts/is heard. It's a great idea spouted by 8th grade civics teachers to get kids feeling important, but statistically it's just ludicrous. My one vote wouldn't have even mattered if I voted in Florida in 2000. I live in a swing state right now, but my vote still doesn't matter one hill of red, blue, or purple beans.

The weird thing is... the Electoral College actually increases the efficacy of an individual's vote - even an individual living in a state where the EC is skewed against them (as in the TX example mentioned above) - over a national popular vote.
Can you give an explanation as to why that is because it makes no sense to me.

How is me voting for a dem in a red state a more “voiced” vote than a popular vote?
 

jeelybeans

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,061
The electoral college is an anti-city, anti-minority, and anti-progressive gerrymander.

Abolish it or riot.
 

dapperbandit

Member
Oct 30, 2017
629
Everytime I hear people whining about Trump not winning the popular vote I roll my eyes. He did a ton of campaign rallies in swing states, Hillary did less of that. The swing states came out for him. If he needed the popular vote to win he probably wouldn't have done it that way.

People want to abolish the electoral college because that would be be bad for republicans then complain about the system being rigged, fucking hypocrites would rig it so hard in their favour if they could.

I dunno maybe flyover country doesn't want to be powerless and dictated to by the shit stained, electricity deprived inferno of homelessness that is Utopian California.

If we had a popular vote instead of electoral vote, the agricultural states with small populations would simply be ignored because it wouldn't be necessary to listen to their concerns. Very democratic.

Also worth pointing out that winning the electoral vote but losing the popular vote has happened a whopping 4 times in the last 2 centuries and that even if 2016 was a popular vote election, Clinton would not have had a plurality of votes
 

GillianSeed79

Member
Oct 27, 2017
657
Basically Dems will have to have historic Obama-like turnout in every presidential election going forward to even have a chance of winning the electoral college. I thought this was common knowledge. Gerrymandering and GOP voter suppression efforts have rigged the game in the GOP's favor and corporate Dems are the gatekeepers for the Democratic party nomination. Our electoral system barely resembles a Democracy. The sooner people wake up to this fact the sooner we can actually elect people into power who that will change things. Sadly, I don't have much hope, because it will basically take revolutionary legislative efforts from the ground up from the state level to the federal level. We'll suffer the status quo I'm sure.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,207
Can you give an explanation as to why that is because it makes no sense to me.

How is me voting for a dem in a red state a more “voiced” vote than a popular vote?
Essentially, it's easier* for an individual's vote to sway one of 51 smaller elections and have that one election sway the overall outcome than it is for an individual's vote to sway a single giant election.

As a practical example, 537 voters in Florida came closer to swaying the ultimate outcome of the 2000 presidential election than any voter ever would have hoped to come in a straight popular vote.

It's still statistically impossible.
 

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Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
3,700
Because Presidential elections arent won by popular votes here. States get their own votes and those are the only votes that matter. So if the entire population of the United States minus 49 people lived in New York and voted for the Democrat, New York would then have 29 electoral college votes for the Democrats. If the remaining 49 people were evenly distributed amongst all the other 49 states (1 in each state) and they voted Republican, the states would award their electoral votes to the Republican and thus the republican would win in a landslide.
Ahhhh thank you.

Edit: thanks to everyone who responded. American political systems are fucked lol.
 

Malakai

Member
Oct 27, 2017
432
The big issue is the Permanent Apportionment Act of 1929 which limits the House to 435 members when the upper limit of House Representatives(Reps) that we can have is 1 Rep per 30,000 people via the Constitution which is about 10,800 Reps. The formula of EC is out of whack due to legislation that passed in 1929.
 

ChippyTurtle

Member
Oct 13, 2018
881
In my opinion, if Trump gets his 2nd term, the end of it will be like what happened with Obama's term ending. The swing from Trump to the Democrat winner will be so extreme, it'll make Republicans kill themselves, and they rightly deserve it. Remember, Trump's popularity will end in 8 years, and I doubt it will endure beyond, once those 8 years end, thats it, the cult of trump is dead.
 
OP
OP
BackLogJoe

BackLogJoe

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
677
In my opinion, if Trump gets his 2nd term, the end of it will be like what happened with Obama's term ending. The swing from Trump to the Democrat winner will be so extreme, it'll make Republicans kill themselves, and they rightly deserve it. Remember, Trump's popularity will end in 8 years, and I doubt it will endure beyond, once those 8 years end, thats it, the cult of trump is dead.
You dont think someone from the Trump family would run?
 

Richiek

Member
Nov 2, 2017
2,837
Basically Dems will have to have historic Obama-like turnout in every presidential election going forward to even have a chance of winning the electoral college. I thought this was common knowledge. Gerrymandering and GOP voter suppression efforts have rigged the game in the GOP's favor and corporate Dems are the gatekeepers for the Democratic party nomination. Our electoral system barely resembles a Democracy. The sooner people wake up to this fact the sooner we can actually elect people into power who that will change things. Sadly, I don't have much hope, because it will basically take revolutionary legislative efforts from the ground up from the state level to the federal level. We'll suffer the status quo I'm sure.
Experts have been predicting for years that Texas would blue due to the growing Hispanic population. If this did happen, the Republicans would be pretty screwed.
 
Oct 26, 2017
3,127
That still doesn't explain how someone can lose by 5mil votes and still win, that's what I'm not getting.
The electoral college is a terrible system. I honestly don't know how anyone can study basic us civics and come out with any kind of pride or sense of duty. It's been a disgusting rigged shit system from pretty much day one
 

Cow Mengde

Member
Oct 26, 2017
4,871
Bu-bu-but Resetera told me Trump can't win!!! That Trump was losing support even from his base!
 

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Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
3,700

onyx

Member
Dec 25, 2017
309
Anything can happen, which is the same thing I said back in 2016. I don't think Trump is winning reelection though. The Dem base wasn't motivated to elect Hilary so hopefully they will be motivated to vote next year.

The Dems have actually been reaching out to minorities (aka their actual base) this time around and focusing on the rust belt so they can turn those states back to blue. Getting higher Black turnout as well as other minorities is their key to winning the White House. I think Biden and Bernie are the best bet for the Dems. I think Warren can beat him too but I think a lot of sexism could make it a much harder race. Would love to be wrong about that, because she is my favorite.

Trump lost a lot of moderate support that he had the last time. I don't see him getting that back. His base isn't going anywhere, but he is not going to have all the voters he had last time. Even if the GOP base turns out for him because of impeachment ( don't think that will happen) he would still lose if the Dems can get their base to turn out.

But again, anything can happen.
 

supra

Member
Oct 30, 2017
100
Are there actual people in the world who think these people existed in any significant quantity and were the problem in 2016? Not the Comey letter, not Russian interference, not racism, not the media's Trump obsession, not the electoral college -- Bernie?

Really, seriously? That's what you think?
Gary Johnson took more votes from Trump than Stein took from Clinton but these people tend to forget about that.

It's a clever way to deflect blame without looking inward about who the real reason for failure was.
 

jfkgoblue

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,415
A legitimate reason for the electoral college is that in the event of a close election(like 5m voter margin of victory) that every single vote will have to be recounted in the US, and when you 140m+ votes to recount that would get expensive and it would take far too long to get a result. It’s be like 2000 almost every election only on a scale of 10x that.
 

Isaac Tea

Member
Oct 30, 2017
73
Not sure if this an “if” kind of situation. This is what I think will actually happen, maybe just not by 5 million votes.
 

Voyager

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,125
Gary Johnson took more votes from Trump than Stein took from Clinton but these people tend to forget about that.

It's a clever way to deflect blame without looking inward about who the real reason for failure was.
Any data to back this up? Specifically in WI, PA, and MI?
 

Joco

Member
Oct 29, 2017
497
The breakup of the US into blue states vs red states is coming. This is unsustainable.

What you're seeing is a nation outgrowing representative democracy.
I've been thinking of this more and would like to see a serious discussion here about the possibility of the dissolution of the U.S. happening. At first thought I know it's basically unthinkable, but I have to wonder if certain scenarios play out, if it's actually within the realm of possibility. Something like this where Trump loses the popular vote by a huge margin but still wins the election thanks to the electoral college and people have had enough, or obvious electoral fraud which leads to a coalition of states refusing to accept the election results.

I mean, is this just some absurd hypothetical or could we see a breakup of the states?
 

Freakzilla

Member
Oct 31, 2017
4,088
Everytime I hear people whining about Trump not winning the popular vote I roll my eyes. He did a ton of campaign rallies in swing states, Hillary did less of that. The swing states came out for him. If he needed the popular vote to win he probably wouldn't have done it that way.

People want to abolish the electoral college because that would be be bad for republicans then complain about the system being rigged, fucking hypocrites would rig it so hard in their favour if they could.

I dunno maybe flyover country doesn't want to be powerless and dictated to by the shit stained, electricity deprived inferno of homelessness that is Utopian California.

If we had a popular vote instead of electoral vote, the agricultural states with small populations would simply be ignored because it wouldn't be necessary to listen to their concerns. Very democratic.

Also worth pointing out that winning the electoral vote but losing the popular vote has happened a whopping 4 times in the last 2 centuries and that even if 2016 was a popular vote election, Clinton would not have had a plurality of votes
I don't see anything wrong with the scenarios you describe.