Thursday, May 10, 2018

Election Analogy

The discussion of Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote came up again over at Althouse.

The World Series is up to seven games. The first team that wins four games is the champion. They don't total up who scored the most runs from all the games put together. You could do it that way with some baseball tournament you design somewhere, I suppose. But when you had the first champion crowned which had lost six games by a run but won 11-0 in the other because one pitcher was terrible, you would decide it wasn't quite what you are looking for. It would become apparent that the concept of games had been lost, as all that would matter was the final total of runs.

It's not just the Electoral College that would be eliminated.  It would be the whole idea of a state election.  Candidates would only campaign in the biggest cities, or at least, only run on issues of interest to cities. States would not matter, and people outside the cities would not matter.

We could apply that to the UN as well. The Chinese could just tell the rest of us what to do.


Christopher B said...

I think Hillary's campaign was infected with the same groupthink that affected Al Gore in 2000. I remember articles in early November 2000 that discussed how it would be possible for Gore to win the EC but lose the popular vote. Clearly some thought people needed to be prepped for it. I heard similar commentary near the end in 2016, that Clinton was focusing resources on winning big vote totals. Whether that was intended to humiliate the GOP, show up Obama (or Bill), or make sure she didn't lose the popular vote after the Democrat's angst over W in 2000 I don't know. It does sound like they took their eye off the ball and cared more about how they won than if they did.

I find the comparison less than useful because, as many people note, campaigns would be run entirely differently and people would have an entirely different attitude if the popular vote was the determiner. I think it would probably balance out over all, however, in terms of campaigning. Republicans in California had little reason to vote under the current system but I'm sure more would if the popular vote mattered. I don't think you can say the popular vote under the EC system would point in the same direction if the EC wasn't a factor.

RichardJohnson said...

A further point against a popular vote victory is the issue of recounts. We saw what a mess recounts were in ONE STATE in the 2000 Presidential election. In close popular votes, that would involve recounting 50 states. That would be one big mess.

(BTW, the Democrats' behavior during the 2000 Florida recount- such as changing the interpretation of ballots that Democrat-controlled counties had designed- changing the rules at one's convenience does not please me- caused me to change from Third Party to unrepentant Republican.)

The classic World Series example is from 1960. The Yankees outscored the Pirates 55-27, but still lost. Hooray!

But leave it to Yogi Berra to sum it up:"We made too many wrong mistakes." While Sox fans may dislike the Yankees, even a Sox fan can admire Yogi Berra's wit and contributions to the English language.