Tag Archives: Electoral College

The Twelfth Amendment

The Twelfth Amendment, which is the Amendment that allows for an Electoral College, reads as follows.

“The Electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President, and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate; The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted;–The person having the greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice….”

When it comes to the election of a President, do you support the usage of an Electoral College or do you support a direct popular vote?

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Electoral College Results Since 1964

There are 538 available Electoral College votes in this year’s Presidential election.  That total has remained the same since 1964.  Below are the Electoral vote totals for each Presidential election since 1964.

1964:  Lyndon Johnson (D) 486, Barry Goldwater (R) 52

1968:  Richard Nixon (R) 301, Hubert Humphrey (D) 197, George Wallace (I) 40

1972:  Nixon (R) 520, George McGovern (D) 17, John Hospers (L) 1

1976:  Jimmy Carter (D) 297, Gerald Ford (R) 240

1980:  Ronald Reagan (R) 489, Carter (D) 49

1984:  Reagan (R) 525, Walter Mondale (D) 13

1988:  George H.W. Bush (R) 429, Michael Dukakis (D) 112

1992:  Bill Clinton (D) 370, Bush (R) 168

1996:  Clinton (D) 387, Bob Dole (R) 151

2000:  George W. Bush (R) 271, Al Gore (D) 266

2004:  Bush (R) 286, John Kerry (D) 251

2008:  Barack Obama (D) 365, John McCain (R) 173

What do you think this year’s Electoral vote total will be for the 2012 Presidential Election?

Give Me A Way Out

I can remember visiting my grandparents in Parlin, New Jersey for several holidays and occasions each year.  My grandpa and I would sit and watch a television show called, “The Uncle Floyd Show” which was a New Jersey institution in the form of a low-budget comedy-variety program.  The show bounced around, year after year, from low frequency channel to low budget cable channel so many times that my grandpa would tease me and say that “Uncle Floyd” was on “Channel 52 and a Half”.  Inevitably, we would talk up some baseball stories, mainly focusing on who should and shouldn’t be in the Baseball Hall of Fame.  We wouldn’t get into stats too often, but I would question him about the merits of certain ballplayers, like Steve Garvey, for instance, who I thought should be in Hall and who my grandpa thought should not.  Our selections to the Hall were based on straight up and down votes.  Either he’s allowed induction into the Hall or he’s not.

Voting for someone into the Baseball Hall of Fame is not the same as voting for the next President of the United States yet many polling companies typically give the respondent two candidates to choose from.  Either you vote for the Democrat or you vote for the Republican.  There is little middle ground.  In the United States, voters are more likely to consider themselves, Independent, than Democrat or Republican.  Furthermore, there are extremes to both the left and to the right of our two major parties.  You have your Greens, Socialists and the newly formed Justice Party to the left of the Democrats and the Libertarians and Constitution Party supporter to the right of the Republicans.  However, when asked to choose a Presidential preference, many voters are left with one or the other.  Is it going to be Barack Obama or Mitt Romney?  I know we get a chance to say, “I Don’t Know” or “Unsure” or “Other”, but I want my “other” choice to be a specific name.  When I buy a drink from the store, I have a choice of Coke, Pepsi, and other cola brands, such as RC.  The labels never read, “Other Cola”.

Why not list, Jill Stein, Gary Johnson, Virgil Goode, or Rocky Anderson as polling choices?  In Colorado, you could add the name of Roseanne Barr, who is also a third-party candidate for President in some states.  How about adding the Prohibition Party candidate to a poll in Louisiana, the only state where the party qualified this year?

Polls should list all candidates running for President, and for other offices, where applicable.  If it’s a nationwide poll, then all candidates who are running if enough states to qualify for the Electoral College should be listed.   State by state Presidential polls should include all qualified candidates from that state in the survey.  Polls for Gubernatorial, Senate, and House races should also not leave third party or Independent candidates off of their questionnaires.  It is the honest way to go to promote electoral choice in the United States.  Polling companies that offer multiple survey choices only inform the voter more about who is running for a particular office.  There is no harm in doing so.

My grandpa passed away a few years ago.  I miss those baseball discussions with him.  Looking back, it seems that our final decisions on who should be in the Baseball Hall of Fame were pretty rigid.  Making a choice for President in a poll, however, should not have to be as rigid.

What are your thoughts?  Leave a comment below.

Outside Looking In

I am pretty new to Twitter.  I am not a technophile by any stretch of the imagination, but I do enjoy the fact that I can get instant political information online through social media outlets like Twitter or Facebook.  I try to keep up with what the major two Presidential candidates, President Barack Obama (D) and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (R) are doing on the campaign trail.  I also keep up with some third party candidates are saying while on the campaign trail.  Among those candidates are former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson (Libertarian), former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson (Justice), former Virginia Congressman Virgil Goode (Constitution) and Dr. Jill Stein (Green).  Recently, I noticed that many of their “tweets” consisted of their pleas for entry into next October’s Presidential debates.  Obama and Romney will be attendance.  At the time of this writing, however, those three previously named third party candidates will be left out.  Despite the fact that all three candidates will be on enough state ballots, as an official candidate or “write-in” candidate, to achieve an Electoral College majority, the Commission on Presidential Debates has a criterion that has excluded third party candidates from the debates since Ross Perot was invited in 1992.  In order to be invited to a Presidential debate, a candidate must have a composite average of 15% of popular support from nationally administered polls. Johnson, Anderson, Goode, and Stein fail to meet that requirement.   One problem with the requirement is that most national polling companies do not include those candidates as a choice in their polls.  Another problem is how subjective the 15% requirement is.  Why not 5% as a requirement?  How about 1%?  What about ballot access requirements as a criterion?  If you are not included in a poll as a choice, then how can a candidate receive any show of public support, let alone 15%? For now, Johnson, Anderson, Goode, and Stein will have to wait for that invitation to the debates.  In the meantime, the two-man show continues on while other opinions and debates are left out.

What are your thoughts on this subject?  Would you allow other candidates to the debates?  What criteria would you create as requirements for entry into the debates?

When this blog was created, I asked you which of these candidates do you believe should be added to the Presidential debates.  You can still vote in that poll on the blog.

By the way, for more insight into this topic and others covered on this blog, follow me on Twitter @schreckphd.

Presidential Campaign Poll