• If we just made the requirement be a plurality instead of a majority, it wouldn't be a problem.  Make the delegates forcefully tied to their candidate and you won't have any calls for pledged delegates to switch.  Get rid of all the superdelegates.  Done.

  • Some states are beginning to bypass the electoral college on their own: http://www.nationalpopularvote.com/

    They are passing a law that ties their individual electoral votes to the national popular vote.  The catch is that they don't take effect until 270 EV's worth of states enact the same law.  They are at 50 right now (MD, HI, IL, NJ).  

    I'm a bit torn on getting rid of the electoral college.  If people in the middle of nowhere (this means you Wyoming) are too lazy or incompetent to look at media coverage of the candidates, that's their own fault.  As a liberal, I'm also pretty excited about the fact that liberals do better in urban areas, meaning conservatives would need to spread out their rallies much more.  But I also think that candidates on both sides would still go to some remoter areas, knowing that it would pull in citizens from nearby areas.

    On the other hand, the electoral college does make things a bit more interesting.  I don't think this election would have been in any doubt (even less than it was) if we went by popular vote.  At the same time, I'm not sure "fun" is a good reason to keep a system.

  • I normally don't make a big deal out of posters' spelling and grammar mistakes, since I sometimes make them myself, but I'll make an exception here.  

    It's "your" comments, not "you."
    It's "they deserve" not "it deserves."
    It's "respect" not "repect."
    It's "comment" not an "email."
    It's "I" not "i."
    It's "from peers" not "for peers."
    It's "Troll" not "david."

  • on a comment on A Regional Party over 5 years ago

    I agree that the Democrats need to lead and they must do so assertively.  But I don't believe there can ever be a national permanent (or even semi-permanent) majority.  The closest was the dominance of the Democratic-Republicans in the early nineteenth century.  Even that lasted only a generation and ended with the devastating split in the 1820s.  It was a good example of what happens when a party tries to hold too many disparate ideologies together by sheer force of will.  The Republicans are facing this problem right now.

    Regional (semi)permanent majorities are possible, though, and I think we would do well to expand ours.  With the Northeast and West Coast locked up, there is no reason we can't begin to add the upper Midwest (Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin) into our "guaranteed" list.  And the Mid-Atlantics (Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina) are moving that way also.  If the Democratic Party can be the party of empathy and pull in everyone that is not bigoted, that's pretty close to a permanent majority.  Or as close as is really possible.  But it relies on the Republicans continuing to be the party of bigotry.  Even I am not sure they are that clueless.

  • Today's Republican Party does not realize that the public's ideas change, sometimes drastically and suddenly.  The shift toward gay rights is one example.  Prop 8 notwithstanding, more people now than ever before support, at the very least, a "live and let live" policy regarding homosexuality.  Not good enough yet, but light year's better than things were even a decade ago.  The Republicans don't understand this and think that trotting out the same stances as 1980 is going to win when people (particularly young people) have changed.  That's why Republicans have a HUGE youth problem.

  • Great article, and thanks for this comment.  I cringed at the use of the word "bitch."  I find that I need to be pretty conscious of how I speak about women, particularly political women, to avoid sexist words.  I'm glad others are, as well.

  • on a comment on A Regional Party over 5 years ago

    I agree that 1988 was definitely a low point for Democrats.  It is actually pretty stunning that Bill Clinton got elected 4 years later and for two terms.  Makes me more willing to understand his centrism at the time, considering where the Party was coming from just 4 years prior.

    But 2004 was very different.  Kerry had the Northeast locked up, but he also had the West Coast, and 4 populous upper "Midwest" (what is the real way to describe them?) states: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois.

    There was definitely a real danger that the Democratic Party would become a regional party if those 4 states got peeled away, but fortunately, that hasn't happened.  I think the Republicans stand on a similar precipice.  If they continue to lose support in the Southwest and the Upper Midwest (the Dakotas, Montana), they risk becoming extremely regionalized.  And that would be much worse for them than where we were after 2004.  Here's why:

    2004, the Dems had the Northeast and West Coast essentially locked up in perpetuity.  Their "guaranteed" states in terms of EVs: 55, 31, 15, 12, 11, 7, 7, 4, 4, 4, 3.  That is essentially 153 "guaranteed" without assuming PA, DE, MD, OH, MI, IL, HI.

    The Republicans right now are only "guaranteed" the deep South and a couple outliers.  Theirs are: 34, 15, 11, 11, 9, 9, 8, 8, 7, 6, 6, 6, 5, 5, 3.  That's 143 "guaranteed."  I'm not giving them Indiana, the Dakotas, Nebraska, Montana, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, or Missouri, because I don't think those can be considered "guarantees" for them any more.  Worse for the Republicans is that many of those states are getting more and more immigrants, which (hopefully) means it will be harder for them to continue to win as the "whites only" party.

  • comment on a post Joe Lieberman Scrambling For Relevance over 5 years ago

    Signed.  Sealed.  Delivered.  With some (respectful) extra comments thrown in at the end.

  • comment on a post Goodbye, Ralph Nader [UPDATED] over 5 years ago

    What an ass.  Go away Ralph Nader.

  • on a comment on A Regional Party over 5 years ago

    The difference is that Kerry had the whole West Coast and part of the upper Midwest (Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin).  Bush carried Florida, the whole South, and the whole Midwest, but many of those areas are not especially populous.  More importantly, most of those areas are losing population rather than gaining.

    Assuming that NC goes for Obama and Missouri for McCain, the Republicans are in a much worse position.  They took the Deep South (which doesn't include Florida), part of Appalachia, most of the Midwest, and part of the Mountain West.  That's all.  It sounds like a lot until you realize those stats are not very populous.  The Northeast is probably gone for them forever, serving as more than a counterbalance to their hold on the Deep South.  The Midwest is starting to turn away from them (at least the upper Midwest, Montana, the Dakotas, Iowa).  The Mountain West is almost gone, and the Southwest (well...Arizona) is trending Democratic as well.  

    I have some questions about how this map may be more a repudiation of McCain than conservatism in general, but it definitely doesn't look good for them in the long run.

  • on a comment on Governor Palin, Meet Bus over 5 years ago

    And it all makes me so excited.  I think the Palin side is going to win because they have more passion (and vitriol, to be honest).  The problem for them is that they have no money.  I hope this destroys their party for generations.  And I hope A LOT of the Romneyite Republicans become libertarians.  To paraphrase The Big Lebowski:  Dude, at least it's an ethos.

  • on a comment on Election Hangover Open Thread over 5 years ago

    "Minorities pitted against minorities is probably the most destructive force on earth."

    That, and religion.  Though the two seem to cross paths pretty often (Thanks for continuing centuries of oppression, LDS).

  • comment on a post Election Day Anecdotes Thread over 5 years ago

    Voted in Centre County, PA (where Penn State is).  I got there at 8:50 am and officially voted about 10:15.  There were dozens of people in line when I got there, and I was voter #101 in my precinct.  The line when I left was at least 25% longer than when I got there and election officials there said they expected the line to continue to grow longer throughout the day.

  • comment on a post Cell Phone Only Voters and the Electoral College over 5 years ago

    I haven't had a landline in about 3-4 years.  Nearly everyone that I know who is younger than 30 (I'm a grad student, so that's just about everyone not related to me) has only a cell phone.  What's more, the few people I know under 30 who do have landlines are all on the conservative continuum (some extremely conservative, others only slightly).  I am pretty certain that being conservative makes one more likely to have a landline because it allows one to put on the kind of public face that they tend to value somewhat more.  It could also be a matter of conservatives may be more likely to have families slightly younger than liberals and having a family might make one feel the need to have a landline?  Anyone else have some insight?

  • comment on a post Would Hillary Be Ahead Right Now? over 5 years ago

    For everyone who seems certain that Hillary will run and win in 2016, let's not get the cart ahead of the horse.  First, Obama needs to win tomorrow.  Then he needs to do a good job and win again.  By 2016, my guess is that the people who see John McCain as too old at 72 will definitely see Hillary as too old at 68.  And yes, there will be a huge(r) element of sexism that is even more unwilling to elect an aging woman than an aging man.  Regardless, I expect Hillary to be a great Senator for a long time.  

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