And more to the point, I want to talk to the "ANYONE BUT ____" crowd, because denizens exist on either side. If you toe the party line faithfully and feel that the nominee your preferred party has chosen is the best possible choice, you can safely skip this post.
For the disgruntled, the lesser-of-two-evils voter or those who really are sick of politics as usual, you actually can make a difference. But I need to remind you of the harsh reality of the electoral college.
I'm not going to give you a civics class refresher. I'll summarize by this: there are states where it is statistically impossible for the Democrat nominee to win. Wyoming, Oklahoma, Idaho, and West Virginia, for example. There are states where it is statistically impossible for the Republican nominee to win. DC, Hawaii, Maryland, and Massachusetts, for example.
If you're a disgruntled voter in any of those eight states (and several more) holding your nose while voting for the nominee you know will lose... you are wasting your vote.
Yes, I said it. A disgruntled vote for Clinton in WY, OK, ID, or WV will still result in 28 electoral votes for Trump. A disgruntled vote for Trump in D.C. or Hawaii will still result in 20 electoral votes for Clinton. Sorry. That's the electoral college system for you. It's how Americans actually elect a president, rather than by popular vote.
I chose those eight states as the most extreme examples. There are plenty more. And for all of them, it's miracle vs math. Statistically speaking at this point in time (which can change, so stay apprised via the link below before your voting time), your reluctant vote for a candidate you don't really like will not keep the other candidate out of the White House.
But I'm not suggesting you sit this one out. Instead, I'm suggesting you acknowledge reality and cast your vote a direction where the popular vote **does* matter*: To a third party candidate.
Again, I must state that this is only for states where it's miracle vs math. I promise you, Hawaiian small-government loving Conservative, Hillary will win 100% of the electoral college votes for your state. And bad news. social-justice loving Liberal from Wyoming; Donald will win 100% of the electoral college votes for your state. Neither of you can stop those outcomes from happening.
However, Conservatives from Hawaii and Liberals from Wyoming can safely cast their lot for a future-viable third party. I say safely because of the "winner-take-all" nature of the electoral votes in those states. No, the 3rd party candidate you vote for won't win your state or the general election (see: "electoral collage" and "this entire article"). But third parties are helped (or more properly stated will be helped) if they gain a sizable portion of the popular vote.
Since I'm talking about math, I have to be honest: The chance of any third party (Lib, Green, etc) getting enough of a percentage this year to gain the matching funds and air time they desperately need to compete in the 2020 election is quite slim. However, those chances are orders of magnitude greater than flipping a dominant "red" or "blue" state to the other color.
Vote smart, everyone. Those of you involved in close electoral college races, best of luck. Beat the drum and get as many people on your side as you can to keep the fascist (I'm sure both candidates have been called that, so I'm staying neutral) out of the white house. But for those of you voting where the outcome is a foregone conclusion... make your vote count, too. Because the graphic below is how the U.S really votes for President.
Image source and a link you should look at before you go to the polls or mail in your ballot: _http://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2016-election-forecast/ Be an informed voter. Please?