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A National Popular Vote Won’t Fix The Electoral College, But Smaller Government Will


Reported by Sukhayl Niyazov DECEMBER 29, 2020

A National Popular Vote Won’t Fix The Electoral College, But Smaller Government Will

The most popular argument against the Electoral College is that it violates the fundamental principle underlying democratic society: political equality, or, commonly phrased as “one person, one vote.”

Indeed, because all states are assigned at least three electors regardless of their population size, the Electoral College gives small states a disproportionate number of electors per capita. As a result, a person who receives the largest number of votes does not necessarily win the election, as was the case in the presidential contests of 1876, 1888, 2000, and 2016.

In the wake of the 2020 election, there have been renewed calls to abolish the Electoral College and replace it with a national popular vote. The Washington Post editorial board, for example, writes, “The Electoral College, whatever virtues it may have had for the Founding Fathers, is no longer tenable for American democracy.”

The logic underlying this argument is the following: the actions of the president, and the federal government, directly affect millions of people, and thus citizens, not states, should choose the president.

Why does a voter in Wyoming have four times as much say over who is to lead the country in the next four years than the resident of California, if all men are created equal? Furthermore, critics usually argue the Electoral College leads candidates to focus their efforts on a few swing states — like Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin — while neglecting other regions of the country.

Yet, while it is true that in the current system presidential candidates don’t spend their energy and focus on all states equally, in a system with the popular vote, the “tyranny of the minority” would be even worse. Indeed, could well be enough to win the popular vote of highly dense, urbanized cities in states like California and New York while losing in elections in a vast majority of the country.

But as Dan McLaughlin writes in National Review, “The Electoral College, however, dilutes the influence of “hyperpartisan enclaves that are out of step with the nation,” be it California today or the American South in the 19th century. Thus, thanks to the Electoral College, candidates have to appeal to a geographically broader base that’s more politically, socially, and economically diverse.

Federalism and the Electoral College

The Electoral College is therefore a mainstay of America’s federalist system of governance, centered on the protection of certain rights reserved to the states as entities and resting on the principle of a division of power. America is a union of states, and the president is, in essence, the officer of the states rather than of the American people.

Likewise, an argument can be made that the states, and not the people per se, are sovereign. After all, the U.S. Constitution was ratified not by the American people, but by delegations from 13 states. In an electoral system with a national popular vote, the executive branch would represent the interests of a few highly populated states, disregarding the interests of all other states, shredding the federalism the Founders thought it so necessary to bestow upon the American republic.

The debate about whether the Electoral College should be abolished, however, misses a larger and more important. When the United States was founded, it was not assumed America would ever possess such a massive federal government combined with an imperial presidency, an anemic and gridlocked Congress, and eroded state rights, as we have today.

As George Will points out in a recent column in The Washington Post, “Congress is not even certain of the components of, and hence cannot meaningfully control, the agglomeration of bureaucracies it has created.” Indeed, only three executive agencies existed in 1789. By contrast, today, as the Modernization of Congress report puts it, “While there is no official inventory of federal agencies, one recent count puts the current total at 278 distinct agencies.”

If America were a truly centralized country where the federal government had vastly more power than it already does, elections by popular vote would make sense since the actions of the president would directly affect citizens. This is not the case, however, for a nation such as ours.

In a decentralized federal republic, the fact that states, and not people, elect the president does not necessarily violate the principle of equal representation because national elections do not have as much impact on the lives of the citizens as do those on local and state levels. Indeed, this is why elections on state and local levels are determined by popular vote, since, in decentralized society, they matter more for the majority of ordinary citizens than the federal ones.

Why We Must Decentralize

Unfortunately, a worrying trend is that in today’s America, as we move away from our federalist system and power becomes increasingly concentrated in Washington, D.C. and the executive branch, in particular, presidential elections matter far too much to many people. For the Electoral College to reflect the underlying social dynamics of the nation when it was established, we need more decentralization and localism, when states, and not citizens, elect the president of the union.

Through every constitutional means available, the American people must quickly begin a course to limit executive power, end the imperial presidency, reduce the size of the federal government, give more power to the states, and decentralize decision-making away from Washington. Of course, some tasks can only be performed by the president and the federal government, such as representing the states on the world stage. Otherwise, in spheres that can be managed by states and municipalities, the central government should not be involved.

The Electoral College was created for a decentralized country with a federal system. Modern America, unfortunately, has been steadily moving away from federalism as envisioned by the Founding Fathers. Abolishing the Electoral College is next to impossible in the current political climate since that would require a constitutional amendment, and initiatives like National Popular Vote Interstate Compact are probably unconstitutional.

We Need More Federalism, Not Less

More federalism, therefore, is the only way to address this growing disconnect between the Electoral College and the type of a country it was crafted for. As James Madison notes in Federalist No. 10:

By enlarging too much the number of electors, you render the representatives too little acquainted with all their local circumstances and lesser interests; as by reducing it too much, you render him unduly attached to these, and too little fit to comprehend and pursue great and national objects. The federal Constitution forms a happy combination in this respect; the great and aggregate interests being referred to the national, the local and particular to the State legislatures.

Decentralization and dispersal of power underlie the U.S. Constitution, striking a balance between the rights of states and the federal government, with the Electoral College serving as one of such compromises.

Abolishing the Electoral College would expand the power of the federal government — especially in administering elections — potentially turning states into mere administrative departments of the Washington bureaucracy. Since one of the prime rationales for the existence of the Electoral College is state representation, if the Electoral College is abolished in the name of direct democracy, consistency would require that the Senate, and thus states’ representation, are removed too, with disastrous consequences.

To make the Electoral College relevant again, we need to decentralize federal power and localize the process of decision-making, making politicians closer and thus more accountable to their constituents. Instead of changing the Constitution to abolish the Electoral College, it would be much easier — and much better for the health of our republic — to reduce the size of the federal government so that the Electoral College operates in the environment it was designed for.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Sukhayl Niyazov is an independent author whose work has appeared in The National Interest, Human Events, Global Policy, Law and Liberty, Areo, and Merion West.

5 More Ways Joe Biden Magically Outperformed Election Norms


Reported By NOVEMBER 23, 2020

In all the excitement among objective journalists for Joe Biden’s declared victory, reporters are missing how extraordinary the Democrat’s performance was in the 2020 election. It’s not just that the former vice president is on track to become the oldest president in American history, it’s what he managed to accomplish at the polls this year.

Candidate Joe Biden was so effective at animating voters in 2020 that he received a record number of votes, more than 15 million more than Barack Obama received in his re-election of 2012. Amazingly, he managed to secure victory while also losing in almost every bellwether county across the country. No presidential candidate has been capable of such electoral jujitsu until now.

While Biden underperformed Hillary Clinton’s 2016 totals in every urban county in the United States, he outperformed her in the metropolitan areas of Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. Even more surprising, the former VP put up a record haul of votes, despite Democrats’ general failures in local House and state legislative seats across the nation.

He accomplished all this after receiving a record low share of the primary vote compared to his Republican opponent heading into the general election. Clearly, these are tremendous and unexpected achievements that would normally receive sophisticated analysis from the journalist class but have somehow gone mostly unmentioned during the celebrations at news studios in New York City and Washington, D.C.

The massive national political realignment now taking place may be one source of these surprising upsets. Yet still, to have pulled so many rabbits out of his hat like this, nobody can deny that Biden is a first-rate campaigner and politician, the likes of which America has never before seen. Let’s break down just how unique his political voodoo has been in 2020.

1. 80 Million Votes

Holy moly! A lot of Americans turned out for a Washington politician who’s been in office for nearly 50 years. Consider this: no incumbent president in nearly a century and a half has gained votes in a re-election campaign and still lost.

President Trump gained more than ten million votes since his 2016 victory, but Biden’s appeal was so substantial that it overcame President Trump’s record support among minority voters. Biden also shattered Barack Obama’s own popular vote totals, really calling into question whether it was not perhaps Biden who pulled Obama across the finish lines in 2008 and 2012.

Proving how sharp his political instincts are, the former VP managed to gather a record number of votes while consistently trailing President Trump in measures of voter enthusiasm. Biden was so savvy that he motivated voters unenthusiastic about his campaign to vote for him in record numbers.

2. Winning Despite Losing Most Bellwether Counties

Biden is set to become the first president in 60 years to lose the states of Ohio and Florida on his way to election. For a century, these states have consistently predicted the national outcome, and they have been considered roughly representative of the American melting pot as a whole. Despite national polling giving Biden a lead in both states, he lost Ohio by eight points and Florida by more than three.

For Biden to lose these key bellwethers by notable margins and still win the national election is newsworthy. Not since the Mafia allegedly aided John F. Kennedy in winning Illinois over Richard Nixon in 1960 has an American president pulled off this neat trick.

Even more unbelievably, Biden is on his way to winning the White House after having lost almost every historic bellwether county across the country. The Wall Street Journal and The Epoch Times independently analyzed the results of 19 counties around the United States that have nearly perfect presidential voting records over the last 40 years. President Trump won every single bellwether county, except Clallam County in Washington.

Whereas the former VP picked up Clallam by about three points, President Trump’s margin of victory in the other 18 counties averaged over 16 points. In a larger list of 58 bellwether counties that have correctly picked the president since 2000, Trump won 51 of them by an average of 15 points, while the other seven went to Biden by around four points. Bellwether counties overwhelmingly chose President Trump, but Biden found a path to victory anyway.

3. Biden Trailed Clinton Except in a Select Few Cities

Patrick Basham, a pollster with an accurate track record and the director of the Democracy Institute in D.C., highlighted two observations made by fellow colleagues, polling guru Richard Baris of Big Data Poll and Washington Post election analyst Robert Barnes. Baris noted a statistical oddity from 2020’s election returns: “Biden underperformed Hillary Clinton in every major metro area around the country, save for Milwaukee, Detroit, Atlanta and Philadelphia.”

Barnes added that in those “big cities in swing states run by Democrats…the vote even exceeded the number of registered voters.” In the states that mattered most, so many mail-in ballots poured in for Biden from the cities that he put up record-breaking numbers and overturned state totals that looked like comfortable leads for President Trump.

If Democrats succeed in eliminating the Electoral College, Biden’s magic formula for churning out overwhelming vote totals in a handful of cities should make the Democrats unbeatable.

4. Biden Won Despite Democrat Losses Everywhere Else

Randy DeSoto noted in The Western Journal that “Donald Trump was pretty much the only incumbent president in U.S. history to lose his re-election while his own party gained seats in the House of Representatives.” Now that’s a Biden miracle!

In 2020, The Cook Political Report and The New York Times rated 27 House seats as toss-ups going into Election Day. Right now, Republicans appear to have won all 27. Democrats failed to flip a single state house chamber, while Republicans flipped both the House and Senate in New Hampshire and expanded their dominance of state legislatures across the country.

Christina Polizzi, a spokesperson for the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, went so far as to state: “It’s clear that Trump isn’t an anchor for the Republican legislative candidates. He’s a buoy.” Amazingly, Biden beat the guy who lifted all other Republicans to victory. Now that’s historic!

5. Biden Overcame Trump’s Commanding Primary Vote

In the past, primary vote totals have been remarkably accurate in predicting general election winners. Political analyst David Chapman highlighted three historical facts before the election.

First, no incumbent who has received 75 percent of the total primary vote has lost re-election. Second, President Trump received 94 percent of the primary vote, which is the fourth highest of all time (higher than Dwight Eisenhower, Nixon, Clinton, or Obama). In fact, Trump is only one of five incumbents since 1912 to receive more than 90 percent of the primary vote.

Third, Trump set a record for most primary votes received by an incumbent when more than 18 million people turned out for him in 2020 (the previous record, held by Bill Clinton, was half that number). For Biden to prevail in the general election, despite Trump’s historic support in the primaries, turns a century’s worth of prior election data on its head.

Joe Biden achieved the impossible. It’s interesting that many more journalists aren’t pointing that out.

J.B. Shurk is a proud American from Daniel Boone country.

New National Poll of Likely Voters Shows Donald Trump Leading Joe Biden, 46%-45%


Published By 

new poll from the Democracy Institute and the UK’s Daily Express reveals that President Donald Trump is leading Democrat Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election, with a lead of 46% to 45% over the former Vice President.

The poll was conducted after the news of President Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis was revealed. 68% of voters said the disease would not effect their vote. 19% said that it made them more likely to support the President, and 13% of voters said it would make them less likely to do so.

The Democracy Institute poll differs from surveys conducted by corporate mainstream media outlets in that it seeks to query what it defines as “likely voters,” as opposed to all registered voters, some of whom simply don’t end up voting in the election. The poll also accounts for what it describes as ‘shy voters-‘ revealing that 77% of Trump supporters are not inclined to admit their political preferences to some of their friends and family members.

Winning the popular vote would almost assuredly deliver President Trump a whopping electoral college victory, with the poll estimating he would capture 320 electoral college votes if the poll results were concisely accurate. Many conservative voters in reliably blue states such as New York and California don’t vote.

Curiously, “law and order” is the most pressing political issue in the minds of voters in the poll, with 32% of Americans identifying it as the most important issue in the election. This would certainly bode well for Trump’s electoral prospects, as Joe Biden has consistently refused to condemn the criminal ANTIFA and Black Lives Matter riot movements.

NBC also released a methodologically slanted poll on Sunday, sampling a whopping 45% Democrats to claim that Biden was leading Trump by 14%. The electorate of the 2016 voting population was just above 30% Democrat, suggesting NBC’s poll is little more than political fantasy.

READ MORE AT https://bigleaguepolitics.com/new-national-poll-of-likely-voters-shows-donald-trump-leading-joe-biden-46-45/

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