The recount objection requires that the national popular vote is close enough to be altered by a recount. This would require an extremely close election, something on the order of the 200,000 votes that was Al Gore's popular vote margin. If a local candidate were to necessitate a local recount, then only recount those votes--I believe this is what is done currently, anyway.
The other objections seem more to be reasons why there is considerable institutional momentum against changing the electoral college. I say we just bundle it with the foreign-born consitutional amendment. That's another anachronistic aspect of the constitution that people are seeking to get rid of (some for nobler reasons than others), but with limited appeal.
That is much less true if the whole election comes down to one state. Then, one only needs to rig things in a couple of critical swing states. This involves messing with thousands, or hundreds of thousands of votes.
Messing with a national margin, however, would require distortions on the order of millions of votes. Unless these were statistically spread over a very large area, this would be difficult to mask. 3 million extra votes in Utah would look VERY suspicious.
If only a national election meant that the federal government could mandate national rules for the election...
That I find maddening is "the heartland". When I lived in northern Missouri, the local press would incessantly talk aboout how the weather in 'the heartland' was. The implication is, I guess, that the real core of what the United States is is centered in Iowa and non-St.L and KC Missorui, and Nebraska, etc.
Why can't the Midwest call itself the Midwest? I"m from there, and have no shyness about it. People on the coasts often have a messed up vision of it, but it's usually in the opposite direction from what these stereotype-makers would have you believe...
That the Electoral College was not meant by the founders to elect anyone. The Constitution was written in the days before parties, and it wasn't expected that ANYONE, except for a national hero like Washington, would be able to get the requisite percentage of electoral college votes in order to win election via the EC. It was thought that the electors would just vote for local favorites, there would be no majority, and Congress would elect the next president.
But you don't know whose vote is whose, except in the case of provisional ballots, and I wouldn't want it any other way, as before the days of the Australian ballot, people's votes were used as weapons against them (see the 1896 election).
The question then remains, what do you do when the system fails, and votes are lost, not to mention votes being lost in an electorally vile situation.
Also, all you FRAUD, FFAUD, FRAUD, people, this is a great situation to talk about, as it doesn't look like blatant sour grapes about Kerry's loss, and actually IS about election reform. Please talk about this more.
It helped sink him because he shied away from it, and refused to stand up and say WHY he opposed the Vietnam war upon returning to the US. Instead, he slinked around, and only brought up that phase of his life when forced, letting Drudge and Limbaugh make up whatever shit they wanted...
That jerk can be dislodged with a candidate from upstate that just consistently paints him as a sold out to special interests hard right republican from St. Louis. St. Louis certainly won't vote for a crazy right wing republican, and if someone like Joe Maxwell seems more 'authentic' to the upstaters. It's a bias that I hate, but it needs to be used here.
Nothing would make me happier than to see Jim Talent forced to go home in shame.
But I think the main problem is renominating losers agains the people that vanquished them. Nixon managed to beat Humphrey in 1968 (who knows what would have happened against RFK). I say this because I believe that Gore might have a chance in '08, if it's the Senator Gore, who runs. Though I guess a lot of it depends on what happens between now and then, and who the rep nominee is.
But what states would adopting a more national strategy flip? Colorado? Nevada? Arizona? I think an ideological campaign would resonate very well in the north Midwest, wher strong moral tones about social responsibility have their proper home. If we didn't have to worry about Wisconsin and Minnesota flipping every cycle, I think things would be much happier already.
What we really need is multimember districts, drawn along logical, semi-permanent lines. This would abolish the need for redistricting, as the number of represenatives from a district would simply reapportion with the census. Further, it would actually make it probable that someone would have a represenative from their district that represents their particular views, rather than having a geographic crap-shoot.
Combined with the Single Tranferrable Vote, a huge fraction of the nations problems would be resolved very quickly.
Talent is a St. Louisian as well--he represented the 2nd before he was a senator. He is a damn crazy wingnut, to the point that it could be used against him. He can be beaten if he scares the suburban folk, and downtown KC and StL turn out against him. This all, however, requires a strong Democratic candidate, which has been lacking since the death of former governor mel carnahan.