States are awarded electoral votes based on the number of congressional representatives they have. That means each state gets two, because every state gets two senators, plus the number of representatives they have, which is based on the size of the state (DC gets the same amount as the smallest state, which is 3, bringing the total electoral votes to 538). So already you can see that by giving each state two electoral votes, which aren't based on the size of the state, the results are being skewed so that the number of electoral votes a state gets are not proportional to its size.
So what happens if we only gave each state electoral votes based on its size? Well we could see what that looks like by subtracting two electoral votes from each state (I'm going to ignore DC in this). Trump won 30 states (assuming Arizona and Michigan go entirely to him) which would be 306 electoral votes. Subtracting two votes for each state he won is 60 votes, which would give him 246. Clinton won 20 states (assuming New Hampshire is called for her) which would be 232 electoral votes. Subtracting two for each gives you 192 electoral votes. This brings Clinton a little closer to Trump, but barely (she would go from 43.1 to 43.8 percent of the electoral vote). The remaining difference between the electoral votes and the popular vote has to do with the winner take all rules in the states. Even if you win a state with 51% of the vote, you get all of the electoral vote from that state (with the exception of a couple states with different rules).
So should we change it? We could get rid of the electoral votes for senators in each state, but part of the way this country was established was to give states a say in our national government. That's why we have the senate instead of just having the house of representatives. The senate gives the states equal representation in a portion of our government. If you think that our democracy should be run by popular vote only, would you also feel comfortable getting rid of the senate and only having the house of representatives?
Another way it could be changed is to get rid of the winner-take-all rule and distribute electoral votes within a state based on the outcome of smaller districts within that state. But if winner-take-all isn't okay at a statewide level, why is it okay at a district wide level? You're still ignoring the votes of the minority within that district. And if you keep breaking it down further you end up with the same thing as going by the popular vote, so why bother? Winner-take-all seems to be another way that the states receive representation in the federal government.
I think getting rid of the electoral college is more than the simple task people make it out to be. The entire framework of our country is based on a compromise between direct democracy and equal representation of states. This gives rural people living in less populous states a voice, and balances that with the will of the majority. States were given representation in our constitution for a reason, and I think any discussion of getting rid of the electoral college should examine why our country was set up this way and whether changing that is really a good idea.
I see what you're saying about the original reason for state representation in the electoral system being slavery. But I think if you look at the root cause of why states have representation it's because of population differences and the recognition that states should have representation. The concern with the difference in slavery policy was that some states would have larger voting populations than others, and could effectively control the outcome of the elections. The system was set up to balance popular vote with state representation. That's why the Senate was created in the very beginning, because part of the foundation of the country is that states have a say. So yes slavery may have been the catalyst for the way the electoral college is today, but I don't think their argument would have worked if there was no basis for letting states have representation.
-Colin has pledged 1 million dollars of his money to organizations working on these issues
-So have the San Fransisco 49ers
-The protest is spreading and a conversation is happening
In other words, it's working.
I'd also like to address some of the unrealistic expectations I've seen about the upcoming presidential term. I know some of us are distressed right now, and we have reason to be, but unrealistic and exaggerated expectations don't do anyone any favors. I don't think President Trump will lead us into war. I can't guarantee that, but it doesn't seem likely. Even though the house and Senate are in his favor the Republicans still oppose some of his more extreme ideas. Things we don't like will probably happen, like repeal of the ACA, weakening of the EPA and the fight against climate change, and conservative justices on the supreme court. But Trump can not push a magic button and turn the country into an unrecognizable place.
On a similar note, I hope conservatives have realistic expectations of what Trump can accomplish. His own party will oppose a decent chunk of his platform. I predict that Trump will accomplish some of the things he promised, like repealing the ACA, possibly backing out of the Paris climate change agreement, appointing conservative justices, and weakening the EPA. But I also think that many of his promises will go unfulfilled. I'll be a little surprised if the wall happens. He may ban immigration from largely Muslim countries, but I'm a little skeptical of that too. He probably won't bring back manufacturing jobs, he won't hit his GDP goal, the economy will continue its slow recovery that Obama had created, ISIS will continue to be slowly pushed back and Trump will probably try to claim that he has defeated them. If he manages to impose tariffs or renegotiate trade deals it probably won't do anything except increase the prices of the goods we buy more than they would have increased otherwise. Race relations won't improve, because he has no plan to improve them. His tax plans will probably be heavily revised and unrecognizable by the time they get passed. Our national debt will continue to increase. Healthcare costs will too, even without the ACA.
But I hope he can accomplish some common sense things that everyone wants, like increasing infrastructure funding, and if any of his plans do improve the country I'll be happy. I'm pessimistic about the next term, but I hope we can all recognize good things when they happen.
Also, I'm disappointed in Hillary for not giving a concession speech, leaving her supporters hanging around. That's something I would have expected out of Trump, not her, and I think that was very poor form.
- Movies and TV: I love all sorts of movies, especially Star Wars and Marvel movies, as well as TV shows like The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, and Agents of Shield.
- Comics: I'm a big Marvel fan and a big fan of comic books and characters in general.
- Animation: I really enjoy animating and making videos. This is time consuming so I don't come out with them too often, but I'll post some occasionally and you can check out my previous ones on my YouTube channel.
- Crafts: I like to make things, whether it be building 3D HeroClix maps or any other random project.
- Video Games: Assassin's Creed is my favorite series, and I enjoy several other games as well.
- Programming: I'm a novice programmer but I have a few projects I like to work on for fun.
- Politics and Environment: I've recently realized that to fix the problems with the government that everyone likes to complain about, we all need to get involved. I'm a big believer in caring for our environment and the power of a few people to make a difference.
- Iowa State UniversityStructural Engineering, 2012 - 2014
- Iowa State UniversityCivil Engineering, 2009 - 2012
- HDRBridge EIT, 2015 - present
- LeMar IndustriesStructural Engineer, 2014 - 2015
- Iowa State UniversityResearch Assistant, 2012 - 2014
- Iowa DOTInspection Intern, 2012 - 2012
- Council Bluffs Public WorksFlood Worker, 2011 - 2011
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