Monday, August 12, 2013

Scary Electoral Math for 2016 GOP Candidates

Over at the Red State blog, a series of diary entries from Myra Adams has been raising the questions that Republicans interested in winning back the White House really need to be asking. Adams writes about the several (16 that she finds) institutional advantages a Hillary Clinton run for the White House over any other candidate, as well as the steep electoral college challenge any Republican candidate will face against any Democratic candidate.

I think the one aspect Adams didn't hit on is the concept of the "Obama coalition". President Obama's electoral success isn't something unique in what types of voters voted for him (the only notable demographic that voted for him that traditionally went Republican are Asian Americans), but the real success of the Obama coalition was driving the turnout as much as possible. So the question isn't so much if these voters are Obama voters, but if these Obama voters can be relied on to vote for other Democratic candidates for President.

During the 2012 election, Karl Rove summarized what the Romney campaign needed to do to win the election: He needed to win all three major swing states (Ohio, Virginia, Florida), win back the two red states that Obama won in 2008 (Indiana, North Carolina), and pick up one of about a dozen smaller swing states. If any of the first two didn't happen, the Romney campaign would have to pick up several of the smaller swing states to catch up on the electoral map.

As we know, that didn't work out. Not only did the Romney campaign not win, but they didn't win a single one of the big three swing states. And even if they swept all three swing states, they still would've been four electoral votes short.

And while some may be quick to point out that many blue states have Republicans in elected offices from a state wide election, many of those were won in midterm 2010 elections, which not only had a different voting electorate but was very much a GOP wave election. The GOP can't rely on that happening during a Presidential campaign.

A lot can happen between now and November, 2016. But if I was at the RNC right now, I'd be hoping that the Obama coalition leaves with Obama, and crossing my fingers that Generic Boring White Guy gets the Democratic nod rather than Hillary Clinton or Vice President Joe Biden.

1 comment:

  1. By 2016, The National Popular Vote bill could guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps. There would no longer be a handful of 'battleground' states where voters and policies are more important than those of the voters in 80% of the states that now are just 'spectators' and ignored after the conventions.

    When the bill is enacted by states with a majority of the electoral votes– enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538), all the electoral votes from the enacting states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC.

    The presidential election system that we have today was not designed, anticipated, or favored by the Founding Fathers but, instead, is the product of decades of evolutionary change precipitated by the emergence of political parties and enactment by 48 states of winner-take-all laws, not mentioned, much less endorsed, in the Constitution.

    The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for President. Historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the President, including ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote and 48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state legislative action.

    In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state's electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided). Support for a national popular vote is strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group in virtually every state surveyed in recent polls in recent closely divided Battleground states: CO – 68%, FL – 78%, IA 75%, MI – 73%, MO – 70%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM– 76%, NC – 74%, OH – 70%, PA – 78%, VA – 74%, and WI – 71%; in Small states (3 to 5 electoral votes): AK – 70%, DC – 76%, DE – 75%, ID – 77%, ME – 77%, MT – 72%, NE 74%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM – 76%, OK – 81%, RI – 74%, SD – 71%, UT – 70%, VT – 75%, WV – 81%, and WY – 69%; in Southern and Border states: AR – 80%, KY- 80%, MS – 77%, MO – 70%, NC – 74%, OK – 81%, SC – 71%, TN – 83%, VA – 74%, and WV – 81%; and in other states polled: AZ – 67%, CA – 70%, CT – 74%, MA – 73%, MN – 75%, NY – 79%, OR – 76%, and WA – 77%. Americans believe that the candidate who receives the most votes should win.

    The bill has passed 32 state legislative chambers in 21 states with 243 electoral votes. The bill has been enacted by 10 jurisdictions with 136 electoral votes – 50.4% of the 270 necessary to go into effect.

    Follow National Popular Vote on Facebook via NationalPopularVoteInc


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