Election

Reforming the Electoral College

Electoral Vote for October 29th

There’s been a lot of talk lately, between Steven Taylor, Doug Mataconis, Jazz Shaw, and other bloggers, about the Electoral College. It seems to come up every now and then, usually in pieces calling for it’s abolition. That’s Steven’s and Jazz’s take, and they do make good points. Steven mostly thinks that the EC is irrelevant, and indeed, somewhat undemocratic:

Here’s the deal:  the only southern states that are true toss-ups are Virginia and Florida, and under any plausible EC scenario President Obama can lose them both and still win the electoral vote.  Governor Romney, however, can not.

Imagine a world in which all of those extra Southern voters mattered and imagine how differently the candidates would be behaving if that were the case.  As it stands, all of that Romney support is contained almost exclusively in places where extra support has no marginal value.  Each extra voter in Alabama who decides to vote for Romney simply doesn’t matter.  An Ohio voter, however, matters an awful lot.

A grand irony here is that a standard pro-EC argument is that it protects the states against national sentiment.  However, if the Gallup poll is correct and Romney wins the popular vote by a large margin due to overwhelming support in southern states, but still loses the electoral college, the fact of the matter will be that the EC actually diminished the significance of those states.

This is also, more or less, what Jazz Shaw thinks:

Who Has The Party Delegates?

What all the GOP candidates are after, are so-called ‘delegates.’Elected officials that will broker the convention of either party this fall. Officials are parcelled by the amount of votes, the candidates receive in the primary.

During Michigan’s primary recently, for instance, there were 30 official delegates, state-wide. Two were ‘at-large’ candidates, which meant they could be assigned individually to any winning candidate. The other 28 were ‘proportional’ ones, alotted through 14 congressional districts. During the push for the nominations in Michigan last night, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum spent millions of dollars to influence the voting population; with TV ads, pamphlets, media, interviews, rallies, stickers, and much more. Michigan’s grand sum of politcal expenditure was near six million bucks.

Delegates are what really counts at the GOP convention. What looks to be happening, is that no clear winner will come out victorious. There’s a righteous number: 1444 delegates will win any nominee the victory-nod of the Republican National Committee. Nationwide, 2169 delegates are extended for contestation, until the RNC celebration in Tampa, Florida. From the RN Committee, an additional 117 delegates are added into the mix, ostensibly to keep debate lively and clear-up dead locks. So what appears, on first looks, to be a rather hot-headed and fast paced Republican rocket-launch to the RNC, is more like a jammed or misfired pistol in a duel.

Momentarily, Mitt Romney is in the lead, with 167 total delegates. Rick Santorum is second with roughly half, at 87. Newt Gingrich won only one state and has 32, while Ron Paul has 19 carefully collected delegations. The count may reshuffle at any moment, since constitutionalism and populism together, ring alarm-bells in states such as Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.

Yes, the GOP is still pro-torture and pro-war

I went into Saturday night’s debate on foreign policy fully expecting to be depressed.  Despite the party’s claims that it has learned its lessons from Bush’s mistakes, one area where the GOP is entirely unreformed is in foreign policy.  A decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan has not deterred the hawks of the party who still see aggressive military action as both viable and even desirable.  And yes, the party still wholeheartedly endorses torture.

The torture support is truly baffling from a party that claims to be about morality and traditional values.  On issues like abortion and gay marriage, we are told that the federal government needs to have an activist role that extends far beyond strict Constitutional mandates because the issues are so important.  On these matters, the moral case is simply so compelling that small-government ideas go out the door.  (As an aside, I am not necessarily against state-level action here, but the federal government has NO role.)

Yet when it comes to fighting terrorists, despite the moral weight clearly being on the side of humane treatment and the rule of law, Republicans line up and endorse treatment of prisoners that justified execution when the Japanese did it during World War II.  The only explanation I can come up with is that the average Republican voter is so terrified of terrorists that they take a pass on the moral dilemma here.  It’s sad to say the least that they have ceded the high ground on this issue, all for the illusion that brutal interrogations make us safer.

GOP Presidential Primary Wide Open

**Note** A good friend pointed out that Gary Johnson the former Governor of New Mexico is also a likely candidate and deserves a mention.  While I think Gary did an excellent job as Governor and know that he is ideologically solid, I don’t think he can win the nomination.  His stance on the legalization of marijuana would prevent him from appealing to a large segment of the Republican base.

Believers in limited government should be worried. Conservatives in general should be worried. The current crop of potential Republican presidential candidates is largely bereft of real leadership and consists mostly of a bevy of recycled candidates from 2008. All of the polls cover the same names you’ve been hearing since the end of the last presidential election—Romney, Palin, Gingrich, Huckabee, Pawlenty, et al.

Anyone who could not beat John McCain last time should automatically be disqualified from this primary cycle. If Romney wasn’t already disqualified by his failure to be beat McCain, Romneycare in Massachusetts would definitely disqualify him. Obamacare is one of the top three issues on voters’ minds. 58% of likely voters support a repeal of the 2000+ page health care overhaul. How can we have a Presidential candidate that speaks out against this federal takeover of our health care system when he passed a very similar law in Massachusetts? We can’t. That’s a deficit that Romney cannot overcome.

CNN Interview at CPAC: Dr. Paul for President 2012?

See Video

Dr. Paul takes questions from viewers and answers with his usual candor, including criticism over Obama’s policy of removing troops from Iraq to Afghanistan, claiming it’s not really different from the Bush administration plan.  When asked if he plans on running for President again in 2012, Dr. Paul does not rule out the possibility.

Election Day Decisions & Predictions

United Liberty was begun by individuals from a large variation of backgrounds, all having the same goal in mind- the maximizing of individual liberty. We are not a monolithic group, seeing everything through the same eyes, and therefore have different ideas about how to best achieve that goal. All of us began as supporters of the same candidate, but since his name will not be on the ballot in our respective states, we wanted to share who we will be voting for and who we predict will win.

Editor, B J Lawson-

I wish I had an answer, but I’m still undecided :-/

Don’t think I know until I get into the voting booth.
At least I know how I’m voting for Congress…

 

Contributor, Scott Morris-

Is the Presidential Race Over?

I monitor the national and state polls on a daily basis. While all three of the following websites have a liberal bias, the information is worth wading through the slant: Electoral Vote,Real Clear Politics, and Political Wire.

Last night, MSNBC reported on a poll where Senator Obama leads Senator McCain by fourteen points. The spin from the report of that poll was that the election is basically over and Obama is our next President.  I respond with Hold it! Not so fast! The election is almost three weeks away and much can happen in those three weeks. While the odds favor Obama, the election is not yet a sealed matter. For several reasons, this election may still be winnable by the McCain-Palin ticket.

Mitt Romney vindicates Gary Johnson’s choice of Bill Weld as running mate

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When presidential nominee Gary Johnson begged Libertarian delegates to choose his preferred running mate as the party’s vice president, his argument hinged on fundraising and media attention. Mitt Romney added a third plank to that argument on Friday - endorsements.

In an interview with CNN, the 2012 Republican nominee said that as an opponent of both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, he’s now open to supporting Gary Johnson for president in November, and Bill Weld is the reason.

“If Bill Weld were at the top of the ticket, it would be very easy for me to vote for Bill Weld for president,” Romney said. “So I’ll get to know Gary Johnson better and see if he’s someone who I could end up voting for.”

 

In case you missed it, the presidential primaries are over

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UPDATE: Trump has officially clinched the Republican nomination as of today.

It seems like it took five gruelling, facepalm-inducing years, but it was blink-and-miss-it news that the major party presidential primaries came to an all-but-official close this week. The result that we all predicted and dreaded six months ago: Trump vs Clinton vs …?

Although Bernie Sanders has not yet ended or suspended his campaign, the Democratic primary came to an arrangement this week that serves the same purpose. Hillary is less than 100 delegates away from clinching the nomination, and she seems content to coasting to victory.

dem-del

That victory will officially take place with California, New Jersey, and the final round of state primaries next month. In the meantime, the Clinton campaign has shifted ad spending from the primary battle to the general election, now focusing on Donald Trump’s lifelong parade of horribles.

Crosscheck finds 35,570 instances of alleged double-voting in North Carolina

North Carolina election officials are looking into voter fraud after a crosscheck of registration databases found that 35,570 voters who cast ballots in 2012 may have also voted in other states in the same election year:

State Board of Elections Executive Director Kim Westbrook Strach said North Carolina’s check found 765 registered North Carolina voters who appear to match registered voters in other states on their first names, last names, dates of birth and the final four digits of their Social Security numbers. Those voters appear to have voted in North Carolina in 2012 and also voted in another state in 2012.
[…]
The crosscheck also found 35,570 voters in North Carolina who voted in 2012 whose first names, last names and dates of birth match those of voters who voted in other states in 2012, but whose Social Security numbers were not matched.

“A lot of states don’t provide last four SSN, or they don’t have that information,” Strach explained.

Additionally, the analysis found 155,692 registered North Carolina voters whose first and last names, dates of birth and final four Social Security number digits match voters registered in other states but who most recently registered or voted elsewhere.

The crosscheck is limited to the 28 states that participated in the Interstate Crosscheck program, so it’s quite possible that there more instances of double-voting in North Carolina that are going unnoticed.


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