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Mark Downing
Works at Clallam County
Attended Peninsula College
Lives in Forks
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Mark Downing

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Couldn't agree more and everyone I explain that your vote in WA doesn't change a thing just can't get past the tribal alliance.
 
I don't want to talk about U.S. politics. I want to talk about math. Or rather, I want to talk about politics through the lens of math. Don't worry, this is pretty simple math.

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?
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Thanks for sharing, Mark. Keep your eye on http://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2016-election-forecast/washington/ to see how it's shaking out as we get closer to the polls. I'd be surprised if the state would ever flip red, so Conservatives disappointed in their option this year should be able to safely vote for third parties that better represent their interest. That's how I read it from here. Again, it'll change as we get closer to the polls. Hooray, using votes intellectually vs. emotionally! :)

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Can't even begin to say how bad of an idea this is.

Yes, Russia is being aggressive, but there are better ways to address the problem.  Have Europe get off their collective asses and put through some sanctions that actually matter.  It will hurt, but not as bad as letting this whole fiasco play out.

Russia now has no option but to save face and we are marching happily towards another global conflict.
August 27, 2014 – The Guardian is reporting that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) forces are being deployed to new bases in eastern Ukraine to counter Russian military advancement.From the report:"Nato is to deploy its forces at new bases in eastern Europe for the first time, in response to the Ukraine crisis and in an attempt to deter Vladimir Putin from causing trouble in the former Soviet Baltic republics, according to its secreta...
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Absolutely brilliant.  Haven't seen satire this appropriate since Aristophanes.

Watch the video then click the link:  http://climatenamechange.org/#/petition
 
Naming hurricanes after climate change deniers.

I love this plan. I laughed nearly non-stop through the entire short video. Watch. Then go here:

http://climatenamechange.org/#/petition

(H/t to +Philip Plait for the share!)
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PeeWee Herman like you've never seen him before.  Plus a really good short story.
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Have him in circles
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Mark Downing

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Riley may only be turning three, but this will be his first car...

For Riley, of course, it wouldn't fit my butt...Honestly
Behold! Stroller and toy manufacturer Hauck has released the NERF Battle Racer, the war chariot for all your NERF battle needs. This pedal powered cart can mount two blasters on the front with a spot for spare ammo between them. But why stop with just two guns? This bad boy can store two more blasters in a holder behind the seat. You drive the cart by pedaling and use a hand brake to stop, which totally allows the cart to drift. To drift! I'd pro...
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Yes, it's Forks.
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Rain????? In Forks?????
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Pushing crowd-funding is not something I undertake lightly, but #ilovetabletop  
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Innovation and free market forces finally brought to government.  Help make it happen and be a part of history.
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I'm not usually one to forward internet links, but this one strikes very close to home in many ways.  Some lessons simply come too late while others are fortunate enough to bypass the tragedy.
We told our son that he had to choose between Jesus and his sexuality. Choosing God, practically, meant living a lifetime condemned to being alone. So, just before his 18th birthday, Ryan, depressed, suicidal and disillusioned, made a new choice.
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Have him in circles
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Tatyana Hanley's profile photo
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Joe Quirk's profile photo
Aikey Low's profile photo
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    Court Clerk, 2013 - present
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    BAS- Applied Business Management, 2012
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