October 24, 2012

The distinct possibility of a 269 to 269 tie in the Electoral College.

Yesterday, I clicked my best guesses on the "Create Your Own" Electoral College map, and it came up 269 to 269! (In case you're wondering: I gave Obama Ohio, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, and I gave Romney Iowa, Colorado, Nevada, and Florida.) I was shocked!

We talked about this topic 3 weeks ago, when Nate Silver speculated about it (and noted that the constitutional method for producing an outcome is quite likely to give the election to Romney). At the time, Silver said it was "quite unlikely":
Of the 25,001 simulations that we ran on Monday, a 269-269 tie came up in 152 model runs, or about 0.6 percent of the time.

Still, this probability has roughly doubled from a few weeks ago, when the chances had been hovering at about 0.3 percent instead.
I have no idea what the probability is now, but I'm sure Silver could run thousands of simulations and wow us with a very specific number. I'll just note that last night, using my intuition, it was the most likely outcome.

Here's what the 12th Amendment says about determining the winner:
The person having the greatest Number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote...

297 comments:

1 – 200 of 297   Newer›   Newest»
Tim said...

#ThankGodforaRepublicanHouse

Christy said...

What happens if, Heaven forbid, Biden has a heart attack Jan 30th? Who picks the replacement VP?

traditionalguy said...

Tea Party uber alles.

I bet the Wisconsin vote will go for Romney and young what's his name. Romney will ride Tommy Thompson's coattails.

chickelit said...

...the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote...

Very countermajoritarian. Me likey.

Irene said...

The judiciary already stole one election. Now a legislature will achieve the same result.

Thump, thump, thump.

"This is what democracy looks like."

Seeing Red said...

Each state gets 1 vote, more red than blue. CA NY & IL neutralized.

Marshal said...

I'll just note that last night, using my intuition, it was the most likely outcome.

Romney's more likely to win Ohio than he is Nevada. The order of Romney preference among the states you note is:

Florida
New Hampshire
Colorado
Ohio
Wisconsin
Iowa
Nevada
Pennsylvania

The chances of Romney winning Nevada but losing New Hampshire are remote.

Seeing Red said...

Maine will probably give 1 electoral vote to Romney, Barry gets 3.

Pastafarian said...

That sounds close to my latest prediction too.

I think PA is lost because they put a hold on voter ID. I think FL has been in the bag all along, it was never in doubt. CO is trending for Romney.

But Althouse -- you didn't mention that stray district in ME. I gave that to Romney.

So that leaves:

OH
NH
WI
IA
NV

I'm inclined to think that OH will pull through for Romney, and then it's all over. If Romney loses OH, he can still win, but he'd have to have NV+IA, or WI+(any of the remaining 3, NV, IA, or NH).

NH has been trending Romney lately; let's give it to him.

Then Romney must have either WI, or (NV+IA).

Romney really needs to put everything he can into Ohio for the next two weeks. I think at this point it's the easiest path. At least this year, we won't have a Democrat secretary of state certifying 200,000 ballots from Superman and Daffy Duck.

Seeing Red said...

There are Mormons in NV, but are there enough?

EMD said...

will ride Tommy Thompson's coattails.

I thought this said Tommy Thompson's cocktails.

Which is apropros, too.

Kylos said...

I don't know; I think the odds of Romney winning Ohio if he sweeps your target states is quite high.

Conversely, I think his odds for winning Ohio without sweeping those states is about 50/50.

So, it's possible, but I think a sweep of the states you listed would likely result in a significant electoral margin for Romney.

Seven Machos said...

It seems to me that Congress could easily muster support for a Constitution amendment making the number of Electoral College votes odd.

There's probably some way that could still end in a tie (math is hilarious), but the odds become far lower.

Mattman26 said...

The next fun fact is that in the event of an EC tie, the Vice President gets selected by a simple majority vote in the Senate. So if the Dems hold on to their majority in the Senate, and assuming no major defections, it will be a Romney/Biden administration!

Fr Martin Fox said...

I haven't read the 12th Amendment in awhile. Just reading it, I noticed something. It specifies that the necessary quorum, for the House to elect a President, and the Senate to elect a VP, is two thirds of the members present.

So here's a scenario: the Republicans control enough delegations to tip the election to Romney; however, the Democrats have enough members to absent themselves to prevent a quorum.

Same thing in the Senate.

If the Dems keep control of the Senate, they could pick Biden to be VP, and he is able to "act as President" if the House doesn't choose.

Another question: does that mean he is only temporary president, until the House chooses? (So I assume.)

The Amendment seems to say they must pick from the top three vote-getters for President, top two for VP. So a Democratic-controlled Senate couldn't elect Obama as VP, while deadlocking the House.

Also, the Speaker of the House can compel the presence of members of the House, even by arresting them. This might be the time to take that very seriously.

After all, the Speaker is 3rd in line. No vote for Pres or VP, you get President Boehner, or whoever the new House might elect.

tacotaco said...

Well, your intuition is terrible, so the scenario not likely. When I say your intuition is terrible, I mean you have a distinct ability to distill a terrible analysis from a given set of facts and think you're being clever.

chickelit said...

So if the Dems hold on to their majority in the Senate, and assuming no major defections, it will be a Romney/Biden administration!

Riden-Bomney sound very Dr. Strangelove!

Seven Machos said...

Martin -- That's fascinating. I have to think that either side would be responsible enough to abide by the Constitution during a potential constitutional crisis.

We aren't talking about pensions for teachers here. We're talking about the Republic.

gerry said...

All it would take in your scenario is one elector in the college to crap on the elector's state's citizens.

A bribe? It's the Chicago way!

Seven Machos said...

Wow, Taco. What fun you must be at dinner parties!

David said...

Each state gets one vote, regardless of how many people live there?

Isn't that unconstitutional? Wasn't that implicitly repealed by the equal protection clause or some penumbra? Call in the law professors! We need a new penumbra. Now!

gerry said...

Well, your intuition is terrible

Hell, she voted for Obama because he seemed so hopey-changy an' smart an' all.

Right?

Seven Machos said...

And, Gerry: you and so many other people don't understand who the electors are. Each candidate has a slate, and these people are ultra-loyal -- that's the reason they are selected -- and it's all public record what they do.

I'll never forget we had someone here a few years back claiming to have talked to "electors" who would switch their vote from Obama in 2012.

gerry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Drill SGT said...

won't happen. There are too many folks in blue/purple states telling the shop steward or the pollster that they are gonna vote Obama, who won't vote or pull the Romney lever.

Romney @ 300

Paulio said...

Althouse never offers a serious critique of Silver, she just makes smarmy remarks as if his whole process is voodoo. He lays his assumptions out such that its pretty easy to argue with them specficially. Instead from Althouse all we get is vague aspersions about his "prestidigtiation". Math isn't magic. Or is it just that's it's too hard?

David said...

Matman, why would the Senate select Biden?

How about Romney-Obama? Romney-Clinton? Romney-Emmanuel? (Romney-Rahm.)

gerry said...

We need a new penumbra.

I love the look of your penumbrum. The left one.

Patrick said...

Funny, I came up with that result also, noodling around at RCP. To be fair, I was sort of looking at whether there was a realistic shot that it could happen, but I do think that the chances have to be over .6%.

Also, as a caveat, I think Maine and NE vote their EV's by district, so they can divided among the candidates.

Seven Machos said...

Paulio never offers a serious critique of Althouse.

gerry said...

Each candidate has a slate, and these people are ultra-loyal

What if one still has loved ones in the old country?

I understand what you said, but it has always bugged me that a switch is not illegal.

garage mahal said...

This morning I thought it was apparent that Obama would lose. Now we're tied!

SteveR said...

Romney would be president since of the 57 states. I mean 50 states, republicans have the majority of congressional seats in, I think 30 of them, in any case, enough to elect Romney. VP by the senate which means Slow Joe. I think if Romney doesn't win Ohio, that would mean the other states needed for the tie wouldn't happen.

Steven said...

It seems to me that Congress could easily muster support for a Constitution amendment making the number of Electoral College votes odd.

It would be easy enough. Repeal the 23rd Amendment. The Electoral College immediately falls to 535 members.

Paul said...

Romny will win and it won't even be close.

Way to many Obama supporters are so luke warm they just won't come to the polls.

furious_a said...

7: I have to think that either side would be responsible enough to abide by the Constitution during a potential constitutional crisis.

Harry Reid's Senate has not voted out a budget in almost four years, that's how seriously they abide by the Constitution.

Matt: So if the Dems hold on to their majority in the Senate, and assuming no major defections, it will be a Romney/Biden administration!

Joey Plugs would then be both more useless and more entertaining than he is now.

Seven Machos said...

Why should a switch be illegal? If you as a major-party presidential candidate can't find 400 or so loyal people who will vote for you in a routine, rubber-stamp process, you completely deserve to lose.

Moreover, you (and others) are the one spinning fantasies about electors changing their votes for money or what have you.

It's not going to happen.

AF said...

"(In case you're wondering: I gave Obama Ohio, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, and I gave Romney Iowa, Colorado, Nevada, and Florida.)"

Very unlikely that Obama wins New Hampshire and loses Nevada. The polls show him running much stronger in Nevada than New Hampshire, and Democrats in Nevada have been outperforming polls the last couple of elections, presumably because of the Las Vegas union GOTV and the Hispanic vote. Whoever wins Ohio is going to win the election.

Paulio said...

Seven Machos said...
Paulio never offers a serious critique of Althouse.

My critique is her lack of one. His assumptions seem pretty reasonable to me and his track record is good. The statistical models he uses are standard fare in many fields of science, particularly those with large data sets (like biology, some parts of physics etc). I know he's an Obama-partisan, but it didn't seem to stop him from calling 2010 accurately.

Since Althouse seems like a smart cookie, I'm not inclined to think the "math is hard" reason is the right one. Rather, I wonder if folks in the legal profession have a bias against worldviews that tell us people and people-driven situations are actually somewhat predictable. Mid-afternoon armchair psychology (full disclosure, I'm neither in an armchair nor a psychologist). Do lawyers reject quantification? The more things that can be objectively analyzed, the less we might need subjective arbiters of meaning or original intent....

Eustace Chilke said...

Electors in:

Alabama
Arkansas
Delaware
Georgia
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Minnesota
Missouri
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New York
North Dakota
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah and
West Virgina

are not bound by state law to cast their ballots for a specific candidate.

That's a lot of Electors and a lot of opportunities to entice one off the reservation. The Elector need not defect in favor of the Democrat. One Ron Paul vote could elect Obama.

The stakes being what they are, expect the days between election day and the Electoral College ballot to be spent by one side trying to figure how to arrange this and keep it secret and by the other side deciding what to do about it.

It would be difficult but not impossible to pull off and, once done, I can't see what anyone could do about it. I doubt the Supreme Court would even take a hand in it. It's not as complicated as when results in Florida were contested.

Seven Machos said...

...And Eustace and the conspiracy theorists come out of the woodwork.

Hilarious.

Shawn Levasseur said...

"The judiciary already stole one election. Now a legislature will achieve the same result."

It's not stealing, it's a legitimate method to resolve a lack of set into the constitution.

As to denying a quorum? Well, the new Congress has to be sworn in at some point. So if the members don't show up it could be argued that a quorum is met as the no-shows haven't been sworn in yet.

Realistically, I doubt the Congress will play games like that with the Presidency itself. A vote would be held as per constitutional rules if this comes up. Some will call the House selecting the President a "constitutional crisis" although it will be no such thing, as it would be following rules as set in the constitution itself.

Now if the vote tallies in any of the states are close calling the electoral vote count into question, THAT will be a shitstorm. Election Y2K part 2.

Original Mike said...

"Of the 25,001 simulations that we ran on Monday,..."

I can not imagine what he is "simulating". This is pseudeoscience.

John said...

Ohio is going to Romney. Even with the expected massive Obama voter fraud, Romney wins Ohio. Ohio is nothing like Wisconsin and even Wisconsin is going to choose Romney.

Autolycus said...

Fr Martin... the Republicans in the Senate would simply pull the same stunt as you're suggesting the Dems in the House would pull. that would result in Acting President Boehner until the impasse could be resolved.

I think the order of likely Romney states that other people have shared is correct. If Romney wins Nevada, he will have already won Ohio, New Hampshire, one of the ME districts, and possibly even PA and WI, giving him well over 300 electoral votes. That'd be a clear sign that the Republicans have a VERY strong small government, budget-reducing mandate, between the 2010 and 2012 elections.

Eustace Chilke said...

Electors in:

Alabama
Arkansas
Delaware
Georgia
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Minnesota
Missouri
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New York
North Dakota
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah and
West Virgina

are not bound by state law to cast their ballots for a specific candidate.

That's a lot of Electors and a lot of opportunities to entice one off the reservation. The Elector need not defect in favor of the Democrat. One Ron Paul vote could elect Obama.

The stakes being what they are, expect the days between election day and the Electoral College ballot to be spent by one side trying to figure how to arrange this and keep it secret and by the other side deciding what to do about it.

It would be difficult but not impossible to pull off and, once done, I can't see what anyone could do about it. I doubt the Supreme Court would even take a hand in it. It's not as complicated as when results in Florida were contested.

Irene said...

"It's not stealing, it's a legitimate method to resolve a lack of set into the constitution."

Shawn, my comment was snark; I agree with you.

furious_a said...

While 269-269 is possible, Romney flipping IA and NV is improbable for the sweep. He has a better chance of flipping WI, which tells one what his chances with IA+NV are.

Romney's gotta win Ohio and then one more of the toss-ups.

Patrick said...

Nate Silver had a column (blog post?) yesterday in which he made the claim:

Ohio has a 50% chance of affecting the outcome of the election.

Really? He gets paid for writing something everyone knows?

dreams said...

Romney wins Florida, New Hampshire, Colorado, Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nevada, Pennsylvania. Would you believe Michigan?

Romney by a landslide

Roger J. said...

Eustace Chilke and others talk about the "faithless elector" problem. And it is not illegal for a "pledged" elector to vote for whomever he or she chooses. That said, I dont think it will an issue. Time, as always, will tell.

BTW, Professor: shouldnt you be grading mid terms and not playing with electoral map possibilities? :)

Mitch H. said...

And that's why Nate Silver is a deluded, self-infatuated fool who is far too in love with his own displaced ego, projected upon an array of complex and visionary models and algorithms. He's your classic technocratic goof, a Bishop Ussher for our times.

What is it about soft-science and humanities types that they so easily can delude themselves into thinking that statistical shit stacks like bricks?

I hate to bring this up in the hot season, but there were mutterings about potential faithless electors in some of the Romney slates in a couple states - Ron Paul types whose compatriots gamed the state conventions to stack the decks while nobody was looking. If it's a landslide, it won't matter - three or four faithless electors from Nevada are a political curiosity in a proper wave election. If it's 273-265? That's a mess in the making.

dreams said...

"Romney's gotta win Ohio and then one more of the toss-ups."

Romney doesn't have to win Ohio but he will.

Seven Machos said...

Post it again, Eustace! But make sure to mention the Trilateral Commission's role. I don't think you are being fair unless you do.

We've got to take free will away from these electors! Otherwise, the Illuminati and the 12th Son of the Mahdi will surely destroy us all.

furious_a said...

...are not bound by state law to cast their ballots for a specific candidate.

That's a lot of Electors and a lot of opportunities to entice one off the reservation. The Elector need not defect in favor of the Democrat. One Ron Paul vote could elect Obama.


It nearly came to that in 2000, when the Democrats hired Bob Beckel to sway Republican electors while Florida's EVs were tied up in court.

Democrats are poised to sell Republican electors on the idea of voting for Vice President Al Gore instead of Texas Gov. George W. Bush. And GOP leaders are examining prospects for rejecting what they view as any tainted electoral votes when Congress certifies them in early January.

garage mahal said...

Whoever wins Ohio is going to win the election.

O is up 5 in a TIME poll from today. 20% have voted early, and O leads 60%-30%.

Obama's firewall has always been OH, WI and NV. I don't think Romney has led in a poll in those states this entire campaign.

Paulio said...

Original Mike said...
I can not imagine what he is "simulating". This is pseudeoscience.


It's actually totally standard statistical modeling. Used by ecologists, weatherman, biologists and physicists. It's part of how they are finding the Higgs Boson, it's how they determine which old flu virus a new flu virus is related to and what temperature it will be outside tomorrow. It's very easy to argue with the premises and assumptions in the model including with the assumptions about error that the model uses to make predictions.

But it's "pseudoscience" and the fact that you can't "imagine" what he is simulating just reveals your own ignorance. Math isn't magic.

Peter Hoh said...

It's a fairly simple question: Are you for or against the Electoral College?

I would like the various talking heads be asked that question now, rather than after an event in which a candidate wins the popular vote but loses the Electoral College.



Seven Machos said...

Paulio -- Statistics and subsequent modeling are representations of assumed facts, and only as good as those assumed facts.

Sorry you fail to understand this. It's pretty sad, though.

The actual, physical world is not magic. Think about it. You'll get it.

Original Mike said...

Paulio - I understand Monte Carlo simulations; I perform them. Tell me what variables Silver is varying. This doesn't make sense.

dreams said...

So now we conservatives have to worry about a November surprise.

Robert said...

Start worrying because I came up with exactly the same outcome yesterday. It seems like it's not so impossible.

Seven Machos said...

a candidate wins the popular vote but loses the Electoral College

This is the whole point of the Electoral College. If the popular vote winner always wins the Electoral College, the Electoral College is wholly useless.

The issue here is obvious: do smaller states deserve to have a say in who is president? With the Electoral College, they have it. Without the Electoral College, a few big states decide who is president.

Further: anyone who wants the Electoral College abolished must -- must! -- want the Senate abolished as well. After all, how can we possibly have Rhode Island having as much say in federal law as California in one of our legislative bodies? That's not democracy.

Bring me some statistics, Paulio. On a platter.

Chuck said...

The simulation scenario that I found fascinating, most particularly for my friends in Wisconsin, was this one:

First; Obama takes Ohio and Pennsylvania, narrowly. (Not a huge surprise.)

Second; (and this also not a surprise) Romney takes Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, New Hampshire, Colorado and Nevada.

Now, with Obama winning Ohio and Pennsylvania, most pundits would have predicted it would be all over. But in the scenario above, Wisconsin then becomes the state that decides the Presidency.

dreams said...

The electoral college is a good thing, if for no other reason than we don't want a 2000 Florida type situation all across the USA.

EMD said...

O is up 5 in a TIME poll from today. 20% have voted early, and O leads 60%-30%.

D+9 sample. Maybe that's the truth, but I'm not sure Obama is going to outdo his 2008 turnout in Ohio.

garage mahal said...

Second; (and this also not a surprise) Romney takes Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, New Hampshire, Colorado and Nevada.

Except it doesn't look likely Romney will take NV.

EMD said...

20% have voted early, and O leads 60%-30%.

I see news sources have no problem relaying this information, but won't dare call a race too early on election night.

Lem said...

Lets get Dick Cheney to break the tie vote.

Paulio said...

Paulio -- Statistics and subsequent modeling are representations of assumed facts, and only as good as those assumed facts.

Sorry you fail to understand this. It's pretty sad, though.

The actual, physical world is not magic. Think about it. You'll get it.


Maybe there's a typo in my early post. I didn't say the actual physical world was magic. I also said (three times now?) that his models are clearly only as good as his assumptions and the data in. If you want to argue the data, by all means do! He does, he weights the polls differently as a result. You can argue with that too! If you want to argue that all polls are useless--or that aggregating polls are worse than looking at a single poll--that would be fatal to his methodology. But that seems like an odd argument that no one here is making (i.e. that ALL polls are wrong or that averaging polls in some way makes them worse than this one particular pollster who is totally awesome and right all the time).

I get annoyed, though, when people seem to say that because he's using "fancy math" he's playing a trick. He's using a modestly fancier version of the RCP average that a lot of people around here seem to like jsut fine. Just a few additional arithmetic steps.

As for Original Mike's question--he's using the error associated with each poll and his aggregates of them to generate distributions from which to draw his simulations. The only thing he doesn't really provide you with is ALL the poll data, because some of it is paywalled subscriptions and he would probably be sued if he publisehd it. So you can't exactly repeat all his methods, but you could come pretty close with the public polls.

Peter Hoh said...

Seven, I favor the Electoral College. But I fully expect that if Romney wins the popular vote without winning the Electoral College, there will be more wailing from the right than there was from the left in 2000.

Romney winning the popular vote without the Electoral College is probably a more likely outcome than an Electoral College tie.

An unfaithful elector seems like a remote possibility, and would probably trigger a significant crisis if it were to change the outcome of the election. It is not a pleasant thought.

furious_a said...

Garage: I don't think Romney has led in a poll in those states this entire campaign.

(RCP Electoral Map for October)

OH: three ties.
WI: never led.
NV: never led.
///

dreams said...

Nate Silver will be a little less naive after this election though he will still be a liberal.

Seven Machos said...

I didn't say the actual physical world was magic.

No shit. I did. To point out your silliness.

This is a blog comment thread, dude. It's not a graduate seminar. For you to come here and demand that people argue the data -- it's very humorous, in the way that 14-year-old know-it-all girls are humorous, but it's also really annoying.

When you make the freshman-level charge that ordinary people don't understand statistics the way you do, though, well, that's the coup de grace of hilariousness.

Lance said...

There are Mormons in NV, but are there enough?

Harry Reid is a Nevada Mormon. Think he'll be voting for Romney?

Peter Hoh said...

It would not surprise me much if the polls were off this year. In the past 4 years, I suspect more people have gone "cell only," and I'm not sure if the pollsters know how to calibrate for that.

Perhaps this would be a good topic for an Althouse poll: how many of us have dropped our landlines in the last 4 years?

Althouse readers in swing states: were you contacted by a pollster 4 years ago? What about this year?

exhelodrvr1 said...

Seven Machos,
'The issue here is obvious: do smaller states deserve to have a say in who is president? With the Electoral College, they have it. Without the Electoral College, a few big states decide who is president."

Actually, since most states have a winner-take-all with their electoral votes, the opposite is true.

bagoh20 said...

"The distinct possibility of a 269 to 269 tie..."

I think you misspelled "distant".

Lem said...

I cant think of anything worst/harming that doing away with the Electoral College.

Its even worst, imo, than a SCOTUS packing scheme.

trumpetdaddy said...

That is a D+9 poll. Ohio electorate was D+5 on election day in 2008. D+1 on election day in 2010.

Secondly, 20% of Ohio voters HAVE NOT already voted. A visit to the Ohio SoS website would quickly disabuse you of that false notion. Requesting an absentee ballot is NOT the same thing as actually having voted yet.

People telling pollsters they've already voted to get them to stop calling is not the same thing as actually having mailed your absentee ballot back in and having your county board of elections report it to the SoS's office as having been received.

Could you be a little more lame in your shilling for Obama?

BTW, I heard that Gov. Walker was going to be indicted "any day now." Is there any truth to that? Thanks!

Comanche Voter said...

An interesting question. If I read Ann right each State's lower house congressional delegation gets one vote.

How will the good Representatives from say California vote? Well that's easy Obama.

But what happens out in the states where the Congressional delegation is split with maybe 50-50 Dem Repub congressmen? Will they look to who won their state's electoral votes and cast their single vote that way?

If so, I expect Romney would wind up with a significant majority--since the big vote states like Illinois, California and New York will have gone for The Bamster, and the smaller vote states will have gone for Romney.

But if they don't do that--i.e. decide to negotiate amongst themselves for control of that single vote---you're going to see some horse trading and political favor swapping that would do justice to the bazaar in Benghazi.

Seven Machos said...

Peter -- You are wrong. If Romney wins the popular vote but loses the electoral college, conservatives will be disappointed but that's it. No wailing whatsoever.

You are projecting the left upon the right.

To wail would be to be ironically hoisted on our own petard. The petards being order, tradition, rule of law.

furious_a said...

Romney winning the popular vote without the Electoral College is probably a more likely outcome than an Electoral College tie.

Hard to credit that as more likely seeing as:
(a)in all probability Romney will likely carry more *states* than Obama(he's already leans/likely/solid in 24 not counting FL or VA, and...
(b) Obama will carry four of the six states w/20 or more EVs.

Seven Machos said...

So Ex: you assert that in the absence of the Electoral College, Rhode Island would have more power in national presidential elections and California would have less.

This is your argument?

Are you sure?

Rabel said...

Fr. Martin,

"a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states"

It would only take one republican member from 2/3's of the states.

Peter Hoh said...

Seven, you really think that Sean Hannity is not going to flip out over the Electoral College if Romney were to win the popular vote and lose the EC?

He will be calling on electors to "deliver the will of the people."

Der Hahn said...

Political junkie onanistic fantasy, yes. Distinct possibility, I recon not so much.

The figure I've seen most often is that if the spread in the popular vote is 2% or more it is almost impossible to conceive of a scenario that creates a mismatch between the popular vote and the EC. The Gore v W spread was .5%.

The current RCP average shows Romney up less than a percent but every poll that shows him leading (save one) gives him an edge of at least 2%. Obama has not cracked 47% approval for months. Romney is regularly getting 50% in national polls. Could the race tighten? Sure but given the steadiness of Obama's approval rating and the fact that he's started to hemmorage support (take a look at the EV movement over the last 30 days at RCP) it's hard to see where he's going to come up with the numbers to make this a real nail-biter.

This kind of speculation has come up in every election I've been aware of, and has always been wrong. Remember that in 2000 the speculation was that Gore was going to eek out narrow wins in big EV states vs W's huge margins in low EV states to make him the popular vote loser but EC winner.

Seven Machos said...

Lance -- Harry Reid should be out of a job and would have been had the Republicans in Nevada been responsible instead of nominating that hilariously bad candidate they put up last time.

dreams said...

"Seven, I favor the Electoral College. But I fully expect that if Romney wins the popular vote without winning the Electoral College, there will be more wailing from the right than there was from the left in 2000."

I don't see how you can believe that.
In the 2000 election John Ashcroft lost his Missouri senate seat bid to a candidate that had already been killed in a plane crash during the campaign. The state law says that a candidate must reside in the state. You can't reside and be dead too. Ashcroft knew that he didn't have a chance making that case given the liberal media and so he didn't object and the widow became senator.

Lem said...

BTW.. I know Cheney as VP was the president of the Senate... were he broke tie votes... this is diff...

I was just trying to make a joke.

Levity.

Tim said...

Inside of three hours for first pitch.

#OrangeOctober

#RallyZito

Can't wait.

Lance said...

That's a lot of Electors and a lot of opportunities to entice one off the reservation. The Elector need not defect in favor of the Democrat. One Ron Paul vote could elect Obama.

Nope, doesn't work. To win, a candidate has to reach 270. In a 269-269 tie, unless the faithless elector switches their vote to the other major candidate, the election will be decided in the House.

exhelodrvr1 said...

The difference is that in the absence of the electoral college, an individual vote in California would count the same as an individual vote in Florida.

Currently that is not the case; individual votes in states that are significantly Republican or significantly Democrat don't matter in the national picture.

Tim said...

Levity.

No. Zeets needs to keep his pitches down tonight.

EMD said...

I'm still not sure what our moderate Dem friends here have to worry about a potential Romney Administration.

Outside of abortion being fear numero uno for some, what would one expect of a Romney White House?

(I know there will be plenty of snark, but I'm asking an earnest question.)

Peter Hoh said...

Furious, I expect that Romney will win most of his states by wider margins than Obama wins his states.

Nate Silver says that the chance that Romney wins popular vote but loses electoral college is 6.5%

Lem said...

Good one.

Seven Machos said...

Peter -- Sean Hannity's radio show may be crude, unlistenable tripe, but in no way does that mean the man will argue that we should not abide by the Constitution so a moderate Republican can be president.

I see you as very reasonable. You know that. But here you show a fundamental misunderstanding of the conservative mindset and the right generally. You project in the worst way.

Raging rhetoric about the will of "the people" is the domain of the American left. And Pol Pot.

Patrick said...

Serious question here: For the Time poll cited, they are using a D +9 sample. Is there a reason for that? I've seen all of the skewed.com stuff, which (to the extent that I've read it) just seems to use a lower D sample, still arbitrarily.

What reason does the actual pollster give? To me, that seems high, but I'm not well acquainted with the Ohio electorate.

edutcher said...

A tie is unlikely, but having the House vote for POTUS would drive the Lefties up the freaking wall.

Pastafarian said...

That sounds close to my latest prediction too.

I think PA is lost because they put a hold on voter ID.


Disagree.

One word.

Coal.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Go Giants!!

Lem said...

The odds makers are giving the edge to Verlander.

furious_a said...

...do smaller states deserve to have a say in who is president?

The Founders thought so. There's not much of an argument beyond residual Sore-Loserman rebutting them.

And the Blue states have more to lose w/out the EC: Of the thirteen states (and DC) with four or fewer EVs, seven (HI, VT, NH, ME, DE, RI, DC) are Blue.

garage mahal said...

Secondly, 20% of Ohio voters HAVE NOT already voted.

Didn't say they did. 20% of those polled did however.

Lem said...

Its not that cold in PA right now.

Patrick said...

Predictions Tim? I pulled for the Giants in the NLCS due to a grudge against the Cardinals that I've held since October 1982.

Now, I'm just happy to watch what I hope will be a decent series.

Peter Hoh said...

Seven, notice that I didn't use the word "conservative" to describe where the wailing would come from.

Hannity is a right-wing populist, not a conservative.

Seven Machos said...

For the Time poll cited, they are using a D +9 sample. Is there a reason for that?

To attempt to depress turnout by Romney voters.

Polls are purely propaganda. They are not science, despite what our stats-loving sophomore Paulio says.

EMD said...

Serious question here: For the Time poll cited, they are using a D +9 sample. Is there a reason for that? I've seen all of the skewed.com stuff, which (to the extent that I've read it) just seems to use a lower D sample, still arbitrarily.


Split apart the 4 independent pollsters at RCP and the traditional five news media pollsters.

Look at the difference in the +D samples. CBS is an outlier with a D+0 sample which gives Romney a 2 point edge.

The indy pollsters have lower D+x samples tp start with. which are more reflective of the electorate than 2008.

MadisonMan said...

We dropped our landline. It may have been more than 4 years ago, not sure.

I'm not happy with cell reception at home, so I only text at home. If I have to call someone, I call from work.

Baron Zemo said...

The fact of the matter is that conservatives will be the ones who will have a bigger problem with Romney than the Democrats. He is the rhinoest of rhino's and is only conservative in the simple minds of Obama and his minions.

Calypso Facto said...

I don't think Romney has led in a poll in those states this entire campaign.

In my very unofficial driving-around-Wisconsin poll results (correct ever since I started in 2000), Romney will win Wisconsin. I saw 3 "I'm Catholic and I vote" bumper stickers while driving into Madison vs. only 1 Obama sticker, for instance. You know who else is Catholic and votes? The Eastern half of Wisconsin (including half of Milwaukee).

Ron Kind (D) will be re-elected to the House in the 3rd District, if it's any consolation, garage.

MadisonMan said...

Its not that cold in PA right now.

Wait 'til next week!

Seven Machos said...

Peter! Semantics now! So I win, right?

Hannity is a populist, certainly, but he's also a conservative.

None of this will come to pass, thankfully, but I would bet my house that you will see apoplectic conservatives or conservative right-wing populist radio hosts yelling about the will of the people in the hypothetical we have set forth.

Seven Machos said...

will NOT see

Peter Hoh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peter Hoh said...

Seven, my swipe at the populist right aside, wouldn't it be worth it for someone to ask the blowhards -- on both ends of the political spectrum -- to make a statement about the Electoral College before we know exactly how the EC affects the outcome of this election?

And I'm not suggesting that the right will call for the installation of their candidate just because he won the popular vote. Rather, I'm saying that calls to reform the Electoral College will start coming from the right were Romney to win the popular vote and lose the EC.

I think the Nebraska reform is a decent development. I do not favor the reform that would have electors affirm the popular vote winner.

Paulio said...

Seven Machos said...
I didn't say the actual physical world was magic.

"No shit. I did. To point out your silliness.

This is a blog comment thread, dude. It's not a graduate seminar. For you to come here and demand that people argue the data -- it's very humorous, in the way that 14-year-old know-it-all girls are humorous, but it's also really annoying.

When you make the freshman-level charge that ordinary people don't understand statistics the way you do, though, well, that's the coup de grace of hilariousness."


I guess I didn't get the joke. Hilarious, I'm sure. For the record though, I didn't make the charge-of any level-that ordinary people don't understand statistics the way I do. I just asked that people argue with the specifics of it if they want to criticize. Blog thread or no, there's plenty of data arguing going on in other comments here.

Or you can just keep making snide remarks that use "coup de grace" inappropriately.

damikesc said...

And, Gerry: you and so many other people don't understand who the electors are. Each candidate has a slate, and these people are ultra-loyal -- that's the reason they are selected -- and it's all public record what they do.

Indeed. I think that an elector changed their vote once, but that was an irrelevant change at that point. Electors aren't going to switch sides.

I still say Romney wins...comfortably.

richlb said...

Well, since the Electoral college election takes place after the popular, and people will have already done the math, look for an unfaithful elector to save us from such a dire situation. One electoral vote for Paul Ryan instead of Mitt Romney should cure that problem.

Lem said...

If its a tie the rules says we play extra innings... College rules are the same as in the majors... I dont know what Althouse is talking about.

Seven Machos said...

Peter -- Yes, it would. But I would think we know the answer.

Conservatives would support the Electoral College for factors such as tradition, equalizing the power of rural areas, diffusing power, etc.

Leftists would oppose the Electoral College primarily because they think it would be easier to win national elections by drumming up huge support in populated urban areas that already tend to vote with the left.

That's the rational analysis. Not that people are typically rational.

garage mahal said...

In my very unofficial driving-around-Wisconsin poll results (correct ever since I started in 2000), Romney will win Wisconsin.

So you think despite not leading in one poll taken all year Romney will prevail? It's definitely possible, I don't think it'll happen though. Obama was polling strong even during the Walker recall.

Seven Machos said...

I just asked that people argue with the specifics of it if they want to criticize.

Okay, Professor. We'll keep all this in mind for our next papers.

Sorry I did not use coup de grace to your satisfaction also. I'll try harder next time.

Tim said...

Patrick said...

"Predictions Tim? I pulled for the Giants in the NLCS due to a grudge against the Cardinals that I've held since October 1982."

I think these teams strengths are fairly balance, so that leads one to think "anything can happen."

Having said that, I think the Giants, in six (which falls on Oct. 31, btw way, noting the Giants' colors).

Also, don't be surprised if the Giants do to Verlander what they did to Roy Halladay in the NLCS and Cliff Lee in the Series two years ago.

This team is gutty.

Tigers beat a Yankees team that just plain quit. They haven't played a real team since they beat the A's.

Paulio said...

"Seven Machos said...
Peter -- Yes, it would. But I would think we know the answer.

Conservatives would support the Electoral College for factors such as tradition, equalizing the power of rural areas, diffusing power, etc.

Leftists would oppose the Electoral College primarily because they think it would be easier to win national elections by drumming up huge support in populated urban areas that already tend to vote with the left.

That's the rational analysis. Not that people are typically rational."

In the abstract you are probably right--there's been a push for states to adopt a state amendment to bind the electors to the winner of the popular vote and it's done very well in blue states. However,on the eve of the 2000 election, when many polls suggested Gore would lose the popular vote but win the electoral college, many folks on the left were arguing the "constitutional principle".

Tim said...

Lem said...

"The odds makers are giving the edge to Verlander."

Yes.

That's the safest bet.

But that's why we have upsets, eh?

Rabel said...

Anybody here from Iowa?

Looking at the swing states lists, the one that I can't figure out is Iowa. Republican governor, until recently a republican majority in the house, split senate, 3% black, minimal union membership, stoic farmer/heartland ethos.

I don't get it.

Eustace Chilke said...

Seven Machos is exactly on point about the value and purpose of the Electoral College.

Even a blind pig finds an acorn now and then. I need an example of someting that rages more than a blind pig but I'm too lazy to think of it.

Tom L said...

That would be fun especially since we know what the outcome would be. In addition, it would be a lot of fun to watch the contortions the Democrats would go through to nullify the constitutional process.

That said, I just don't see it. In a state that should be screaming for change, Nevada, it just doesn't look like NV is going Romney's way. CO - yes, IA - yes, FL - yes, but I just don't see NV. That said, I think Romney is going to win NH and don't trust the OH polls. SurveyUSA has a D+7 split and the new Time poll is even worse, D+9. The race in OH is dead even. Turnout is the key. If we want it, we have to go get it....PERIOD!

damikesc said...

Nate Silver had a column (blog post?) yesterday in which he made the claim:

Ohio has a 50% chance of affecting the outcome of the election.

Really? He gets paid for writing something everyone knows?


Few people have less interesting opinions on anything than Silver. His entire system seems to be laughable.

Obama still a large favorite for him? Is he on crack?

Know who thinks he's in trouble? Obama.

It isn't Romney who keeps slicing down his firewall more and more.

Lem said...

In other countries they vote again and again... until the steal is clear.

Sometimes I think we have no idea how good the system we have really is.

furious_a said...

...it's done very well in blue states.

The Blue States always think with their d*cks: (1)locking in ruinous pension escalators (2)forgetting that some day they may need the filibuster and (3)forgetting that they may lose the popular vote but win the EV.

Seven Machos said...

The Electoral College will never go away because of the methods for changing the Constitution. All would require people or politicians from less populated states to cede power to denser ones. This is one reason why you see politicians and talking heads blather about the issue. They know what they say is truly futile.

As far as states doing the split-the-electors thing, I am all for it if that's what the states want. I do agree that it's dumb, but freedom from a single, central authority is good and should be encouraged whenever possible.

Tim said...

So Lem, who is your team?

Lem said...

But that's why we have upsets, eh?..

Some of the most exiting world series ever have been upsets.

Calypso Facto said...

So you think despite not leading in one poll taken all year Romney will prevail?

Yep. I know it's contrary to all polling to date. I'm just going by what I see.

Lem said...

So Lem, who is your team?

I like Scutaro.

Tom L said...

If it is a tie and Romney wins the presidency and Biden the VP, I would hope Romney stations Biden in Alaska to keep watch of the Russians.

Hagar said...

It happened before.

Think what our history might have been if Aaron Burr had been elected in 1800!

Lem said...

He's on fire.

MadisonMan said...

The possibility may be distinct, but the probability is vanishingly low.

I'd rather talk about the possibility of a storm of historic proportions in the northeast on Tuesday. Keep an eye out everyone!

Emil Blatz said...

I think we should cross this fork in the road when we come to it.

furious_a said...

In a state that should be screaming for change, Nevada, it just doesn't look like NV is going Romney's way.

Union vote in Clark Co, Harry Reid's political operation, and all those former Californians bringing their bad habits with them.

Tim said...

"I like Scutaro."

Yes, who doesn't?

And he is on fire.

But who do you root for during the regular season?

Can't possibly be a state secret, lol...

Lem said...

I'm a Red Sox.

bagoh20 said...

"So you think despite not leading in one poll taken all year Romney will prevail?"

Yes. Obama has been ahead most of the year in a lot of states he will clearly lose.

And could you please be right about something for a change, just once?

Romney has been ahead in three WI polls since June: once in June (Rasmusen +3), and twice in August (Rasmusen +1 & PPP +1), also a tie in May.

Cedarford said...

Seven Machos said...
a candidate wins the popular vote but loses the Electoral College

This is the whole point of the Electoral College. If the popular vote winner always wins the Electoral College, the Electoral College is wholly useless.

The issue here is obvious: do smaller states deserve to have a say in who is president? With the Electoral College, they have it. Without the Electoral College, a few big states decide who is president.


====================
UNfortunately, that is not reality.

The reality is that most small and large states do not count, because they are already "in" the Republican or Democrat column. Only the half dozen swing states are in contention and voters there courted as if their opinions matter.

As things stand as well, the minority vote (and I don't mean races or gays) doesn't matter at all unless someone lives in a close Swing State.

What would make it a true 50 state contest where votes in each of the 50 States matter is if they did allocations based in votes as they do in the Primary process. Not strict allocation by percent vote, not winner take al - but some percent that still rewards a win, really rewards a landslide and maintains a minimum threshold to get any electoral votes.
Say, you get 70% or above of that states vote you get all the electoral votes, 60% or higher you get 80% of the electoral votes, 55% you get 70%, and if you win 50.1% to 49.9% you get 60% of electoral votes.

We need a better system, but it is all just daydreaming, as the process for Amending the Constitution on anything controversial has been broken for 50 years.,


We should move, if only in our daydreams to a Presidential election system that still has inducements to win, but still rewards good margins forcing Presidential candidates to weigh were they will campaign. An extra 10% in Georgia may be worth more than scraping and bowing to a group of Iowa housewives begging them to help him go from 49% in the polls to 50.1 %

Eustace Chilke said...

Seven Machos misusing "coup de grace"? Shameful. Next he'll make the dreaded "begs the question" mistake. Or misspell accommodate or maybe use a preposition at the end of a sentence.

Will Cate said...

Ann - what about Virginia? I think Romney will win Virginia.

Tim said...

Red Sox.

Lots of teams have red socks...

Anyway, may the best team win - I surely hope it's mine.

Tim said...

Will Cate said...

"Ann - what about Virginia? I think Romney will win Virginia."

Yes, Romney will win Virginia.

garage mahal said...

Nachos, you are correct. I even checked before I posted. Ugh. Here is a poll tracker on WI for what it's worth.

Lem said...

We did make a great find this year... Cody Ross.

Eustace Chilke said...

Lance had a good point about 270. That's what I get for not reading the ammendment first. Makes getting a cross over Elector extremely unlikely.

bagoh20 said...

The truth is that both the EC and the popular vote have big negatives. As a CA voter I'm not pleased about the EV making my vote almost valueless, but I also don't want the election decided only by city dwellers with with a singular narrow experience and perspective. Something like what C4 suggests would be better.

Wikitorix said...

I haven't read the 12th Amendment in awhile. Just reading it, I noticed something. It specifies that the necessary quorum, for the House to elect a President, and the Senate to elect a VP, is two thirds of the members present.

Not quite. A quorum in the Senate is indeed two-thirds of the members. However, a quorum for this purpose in the House is "a member or members from two-thirds of the states." Thirty-four representatives are sufficient to elect the President, so long as twenty-six of them vote the same way.

That's a lot of Electors and a lot of opportunities to entice one off the reservation. The Elector need not defect in favor of the Democrat. One Ron Paul vote could elect Obama.

Also wrong. 269 Obama, 268 Romney, 1 Paul means that nobody wins, and the election is tossed to the House. The 12th Amendment requires a majority of Electors, not just a plurality.

Tim said...

"And could you please be right about something for a change, just once?"

Still believe in Santa Claus? Because there isn't a bag of Christmas presents big enough to carry "impossible."

Anyway, here is a basic fact that should be edifying: No incumbent president polling under 50% has ever won reelection.

That's not determinative, of course. It could be different, this time.

But Obama has consistently polled under 50% for 19 months now.

The voters now know Romney just about as well as they do Obama (if not better), and almost all polls show movement, in some cases significant movement, for Romney.

Shorter version: Obama's numbers aren't moving, or are moving in the wrong direction.

De... er, defeated President Walking.

Consolation Prize: Face on the nation's first $1 Trillion Bill, to commemorate his Administration for being first with a $1 trillion deficit.

You think I'm joking?

Patrick said...

Giants, but it will take all 7.

But what do I know? I'm a Brewer fan.

Tim said...

Lem said...

"We did make a great find this year... Cody Ross"

LOVE Cody Ross.

'10 NLCS MVP. Made that year for us.

He ran out of gas the following season. I don't know why - career suggests he's prone to streaks.

Anyway, everything I read (and saw) indicated he was a great teammate and solid, professional player. Giants fans wanted him back once Melky was suspended. I heard the Giants inquired, but were turned down.

Hope he finds continued success for your guys.

PS: Thanks for trading away your toxic assets to the Dodgers. LOVE those contracts hanging around their necks, as well as the calming influence of Josh Beckett in their clubhouse. That's just outstanding stuff.

Tim said...

Patrick said...

"Giants, but it will take all 7.

But what do I know? I'm a Brewer fan."


Believe me, I'll take it. "Giants in X" works for me!

David said...

The little wiggly line that is Obama moved slightly closer to the little wiggly line that is Romney on today's Gallup graph.

SteveR said...

Looking at the swing states lists, the one that I can't figure out is Iowa

Based, in large part on its early primary situation, its been corrupted by political handouts, e.g. corn/ethanol subsidies. Really fine tuned to feeding at the trough, all other characteristics aside. Arguably in the 47%.

Lem said...

Google knows all... so I asked Google "Romney is going to"...

And I got an answer...

Google is all over the map.

elkh1 said...

Let's see, instead of 52 electoral votes, California will cast its one vote for Obama. One vote from Illionis... one from Maine,...

Oh boy, how many tiny states that have only one representative? Most probably all Republicans, and all for Romney. One Wyoming = one California, one Alaska = one Illinois. Nice.

Lem said...

In that Google response all you got to do is take the first and last return and throw out the middle returns.

Romney wins.

Crunchy Frog said...

edutcher said...

One word.

Coal


Another word.

Guns.

Bob Ellison said...

I think, but I haven't been able to verify, even with Wikipedia, that the following statement is true:

No re-elected POTUS since FDR has received fewer electoral votes upon his second election than upon his first.

The Nate Silvers of the world, and the people who follow them, are trying very hard to believe that Obama will squeak it out. Obama beat McCain by 192 votes, 365 to 173. George barely squeaked by in 2000, and trounced Kerry in 2004. Ditto Clinton in 1992 and then 1996; ditto Reagan in 1980 and then 1984.

If Obama squeaks out >270 votes this time, it ain't gonna be by 192 votes. Imagine the headline: President loses millions of votes, but lazy electorate keeps him anyway!

Not gonna happen.

furious_a said...

Most probably all Republicans, and all for Romney. One Wyoming = one California, one Alaska = one Illinois. Nice.

Well, except for 1 DC = 1 TX, 1 VT = 1 FL, 1 HI = 1 VA, 1 DE = 1 GA. So except fo the magnitude between CA+NY+IL+PA vs. TX+FL, it kind of balances out.

furious_a said...

bagoh: As a CA voter I'm not pleased about the EV making my vote almost valueless...

Not valueless (55?!) and not because of the EC or the small states, but because by about on hour before your polls close Dan Rather has already called Florida for Gore or Brit Hume Ohio for Bush, or whatever.

All the small states do is offset the 2 EVs you get for your Senators, that still leaves you 53 to their 1 or 2.

Lance said...

Seven Machos said...
Harry Reid should be out of a job and would have been had the Republicans in Nevada been responsible instead of nominating that hilariously bad candidate they put up last time.

I agree, on both points. I was responding to Seeing Red, who apparently thinks all Mormons will vote Romney.

Penny said...

Swing state voters are CLEARLY "Too big for their britches"?

Or is that "Too big for their bras and britches"?

Ha ha

We KNOW way too many Americans have "body envy" issues ...

Now, "body politic" issues too?

By ALL means ... Find a new plastic surgeon or change our Constitution!



Tom L said...

Maybe I'm really missing something here, but I don't think the national vote is going to be all that close. The electoral vote will be very close but I expect Romney to win the national vote by 3-4 points. The problem for Obama is he can't seem to consistently crack 47% in the polls. At RCP since Oct 1 there is one poll that shows Obama at 50 (Zogby nuff said). The most recent 10 polls at RCP none have Obama above 48 and six of them are 47 and below. 47 - 48 seems to be his cap right now. Absent an Oct surprise (nice to see Gloria Allred look foolish once again) I expect the late deciders to break for Romney. Another thing I am taking comfort in is the polls most favorable to Obama have huge Democrat partisan advantages. For example IDB has O up +3 but it has D+7 advantage. The Time poll today in OH that shows O up +5 has a D+9 split. NO WAY on either account.

My take on this is Romney need only win OH or WI and he wins. Obama needs both. Now if the late deciders break totally for Romney then look for a 300+ electoral total for Romney. If someone wins big it will be Romney.

Amartel said...

New post, please. This one's a nightmare.

garage mahal said...

Interesting:

RCP: Obama job approval @ 49.8. His approve/disapprove spread (+3.5%) is at highest point since June 2011.

Dante said...

Not worth thinking about.

Ann Althouse said...

I gave Romney Virginia, just didn't think it was necessary to say it.

Patrick said...

Funny, I just got a phone call asking me to do a focus group tomorrow, from the Luntz group. At least now I know that they do call people.

I can't do it because of the great MN Homeless study (which my wife and I have volunteered for since we got married), but would have loved to. I'm not sure I'm there target though. I'm a lot of things, but "undecided" is not one of them.

Patrick said...

The whole "undecided" thing reminds me of the move from a few years back where the whole election came down to one guy's vote in NV (never saw it). Those guys are probably saying "at this point, I'm with whoever will give me the most."

Democracy!!

chickelit said...

Tom L observes... The problem for Obama is he can't seem to consistently crack 47% in the polls.

That's his bain, isn't it?

Penny said...

"Google is all over the map."

For now, Lem.

Zuckerberg took a giant leap of faith when he went from being a private company to being a public oompany and selling shares to his business to people like you and me, and to pension plans like the ones teachers have.

DISASTROUS for Zuckerberg and his investors!

For the rest of us who continue to count on Google to be free?

So far, so good!

Revenant said...

No re-elected POTUS since FDR

That's only five data points. Not much of a basis for generalization.

Chip Ahoy said...

gerry said...
...

Hell, she voted for Obama because he seemed so hopey-changy an' smart an' all.

Right?


No SeƱor, no es verdadero. This is gone over many times here but maybe another review is helpful. That catchphrase had no juice in these parts. McCain was a worse choice as a Republican. McCain was a terrible Republican, insufficiently Republican, so little distinction. Obama on the other hand more distinctly liberal even with scant record. By way of personal experiment, maybe it is better for the country to have a dose of distinct liberalism than a wishy-washy aisle crossing. That's how the thinking went at the time iirc. And now we do know what happens.

It reminds me of the grooming device, a huge implement dragged by a tractor, the tractor itself enclosed, air conditioned, cd player, gps, etc., must stop, the operator climb down a ladder, step into the field, sink into the exceedingly overly groomed field, the whole filed is perfect dust that smells alive, and step through past the implement and remove a large weed, the type that would turn into tumbleweed if allowed to grow and dry. Everything must stop and the weed removed from the implement or it would drag the weed through the field and spread it's seeds.

Incidentally, the farmer wondered if he was getting enough exercise just sitting there in his airconditioned cab and I'm all, what? what? are you kidding me? Do that 20 times and ask again if it's not exercise.

That's what happened with D legislative along with a D executive branches, they dragged along with them the seeds of their own destruction and scattered them across the whole filed. They're right in identifying the t party and other right wing groups as their greatest nearest existential threat and not any foreign group like Al Qaeda.

And another thing. I firmly believe all Qs should have a U follow them so that in any given crossword you can automatically fill them in. Got a Q? Automatically fill in two Us. And this conflicts with Arabs having the coolest names ever.

Penny said...

Wow.

All of a sudden, I feel like I'm one of Zuckerberg's 47%.

And I've been renamed, Julia.

Lem said...

I gave Romney Virginia, just didn't think it was necessary to say it.

What Hasbro boardgame are we onto now?

Nostalgia Althouse.

chickelit said...

Neil Young wrote a wistful song about "Zuckerberg" aka Sugar Mountain.

Lem said...

Oh there is an idea..

An Electoral College Boardgame?

Penny said...

OMG there's Chip Ahoy!

Do you think he notices me as "Julia"?

Chip Ahoy said...

I'm thinking about that farmer because he wrote me an email this morning responding to something I sent a few weeks ago. I saw a video of a Canadian farm family that reminded me of him. I caught the video on MetaFilter and I liked it. Canada Grain Harvest 2 Go Pro

I was uncertain he'd like the video as much as I did. He's a bit of a strange fellow.

Here's what he wrote back. Nothing personal. I do not know if "this vid" refers to the link I sent or the related link he's sending back. Here's Dean.

I never tire of farm related videos, I always enjoy them. This vid has the first combine I remember as a child since my dad bought one in 1955, it was the Massey Harris model 27, a vast improvement over the 1949 Massey Harris model 21B (which had a round grain tank instead of the new/improved square one. The model 27 was always breaking down & very hard to work on, he actually had to cut a hole with a welding torch to be able to access a "dry bearing (ungreaseable)" that was constantly going out that ran the grain elevator to the tank. He sold it in 1959 & we never again harvested our own grain, always had it customed harvested by combine crews. My custom harvest bill came to $110,000 this year. Chip, the newly planted 2013 wheat crop DID NOT come up. That has never happened before in the history of the farm, it's very scary. It's all insured under Federal Crop Insurance so not really a financial loss, however, the soil erosion this winter due to blowing dirt will be severe. I'm worried to death over it. Dean

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nq_gNXDLek&feature=related



Bob Ellison said...

Revenant, you're right: small data set. I think, though, that it probably goes way back, maybe all the way back, and the 22nd Amendment only goes back to 1951.

My general point, of course, is that it seems exceedingly unlikely that a President can lose support right and left and then be re-elected. The electorate tends to fire losers.

Lem said...

Apparently it's been done.

Landslide (board game)

Landslide is the name of two board games about the U.S. presidential elections, where players compete to become the president of the United States.

caseym54 said...

It would be interesting if Biden had to break a 50-50 tie. Since only Biden and Ryan could be candidates (assuming no faithless elector casts a stray vote) I wonder which he'd choose.

Of course, if a faithless elector voted for, say, Michael Moore, that would be a third option...

Penny said...

I don't think so either!

hummmmmmmmmmmmmmm
hummmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Michael K said...

Romney will have well over 300 electoral votes.

Patrick said...

An Electoral College Boardgame?

For geeks, 12 and up.

Methadras said...

Steven said...

It seems to me that Congress could easily muster support for a Constitution amendment making the number of Electoral College votes odd.

It would be easy enough. Repeal the 23rd Amendment. The Electoral College immediately falls to 535 members.


Then we'll see how fast red and blue change.

Patrick said...

Oh good grief. Every other @#$!! commercial on Pandora is Morgan Freeman "Our heroes are coming home...our assembly lines are humming again.

It's enough to make a guy pay the annual fee. Maybe that's their strategy.

mccullough said...

An electoral tie would be cool. It has only happened once, in 1800. As a result, we got the 12th amendment. This would not be an improvement if we end up with Romney and Biden. The pressure for Biden to resign would be enormous.

miss j said...

I made that prediction back in a previous election; mine included a split in the Maine votes. Ever since, I've thought it would be interesting.

Methadras said...

Wow, they ran 25001 simulations. Why 25001? Was 25000 not good enough or did the permutations end up coming out to that number of total simulations? Either way, that's way more simulations than it took WOPR in War Games to decide there can never be a winner at tic tac toe and nuclear war. Things that make you go hmmmm.

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