Religion, Politics and World Events They make great dinner conversation, don't you think? plus Political Film

Electoral College Calculus

Old 10-27-04, 10:54 AM
  #1  
DVD Talk Hero
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Posts: 36,981
Electoral College Calculus

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...2004Oct26.html

Electoral College Calculus
Computer Analysis Shows 33 Ways To End in a Tie

By Dana Milbank
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 27, 2004; Page A01

Could one of these electoral college nightmares be our destiny?

President Bush and Sen. John F. Kerry deadlock on Tuesday with 269 electoral votes apiece -- but a single Bush elector in West Virginia defects, swinging the election to Kerry.


A computer analysis found 33 potential scenarios leading to a tie electoral vote for Sen. John F. Kerry and President Bush. If neither collects the 270 votes needed, the House will decide-with each state getting one vote. (Michael Robinson-Chavez -- The Washington Post)


Or Bush and Kerry are headed toward an electoral college tie, but the 2nd Congressional District of Maine breaks with the rest of the state, giving its one electoral vote -- and the presidency -- to Bush.

Or the Massachusetts senator wins an upset victory in Colorado and appears headed to the White House, but a Colorado ballot initiative that passes causes four of the state's nine electoral votes to go to Bush -- creating an electoral college tie that must be resolved in the U.S. House.

None of these scenarios is likely to occur next week, but neither is any of them far-fetched. Tuesday's election will probably be decided in 11 states where polls currently show the race too tight to predict a winner. And, assuming the other states go as predicted, a computer analysis finds no fewer than 33 combinations in which those 11 states could divide to produce a 269 to 269 electoral tie.

Normally, such outcomes are strictly theoretical. But not this time, with the election seemingly so close and unpredictable. "Flukey things probably happen in every election, but because most are not close nobody pays any attention," said Charles E. Cook Jr., an elections handicapper. "But when it's virtually a tied race, hell, what isn't important?" Cook says this election is on course to match 2000's distinction of having five states decided by less than half a percentage point.

It is still possible that the vote on Tuesday will produce a clear winner of both the electoral and popular votes. But if the winner's margin is small -- less than 1 percent of the popular vote is a rule of thumb -- the odds increase that the quirks of the electoral college could again decide the presidency and again raise doubts about a president's legitimacy.

"Let us hope for a wide victory by one of the two; the alternative is too awful to contemplate," said Walter Berns, an electoral college specialist at the American Enterprise Institute.

But many political strategists are preparing for a narrow -- and possibly split -- decision. Jim Jordan, former Kerry campaign manager now working on a Democratic voter-mobilization effort, puts the odds at 1 in 3 that Bush will share the fate Al Gore suffered in 2000: a popular-vote win but an electoral loss. "It's actually looking more and more plausible," he said, citing a number of polls showing a Bush lead nationally but a Kerry lead in many battleground states.

A repeat of 2000 -- Bush losing the popular vote but winning the electoral count -- is considered less likely because the president has been boosting his support in already Republican states and reducing his deficit in some safely Democratic states.

Even without a split between the electoral and popular votes, there is room for electoral mischief. To begin with, there are the 33 scenarios under which the battleground states could line up so that Kerry and Bush are in an electoral tie. Even if only the six most fiercely contested states are considered -- Florida, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio and Wisconsin -- the electoral vote would be tied if Kerry wins Florida, Minnesota and New Hampshire while Bush wins New Mexico, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Under the 12th Amendment, if one candidate does not get 270 votes, the decision goes to the House, where each state gets a vote -- a formula that would guarantee a Bush victory (the Senate picks the vice president). A House-decided election could produce even more protests than the 2000 election did. That, writes Ryan Lizza of the New Republic, who spelled out 17 scenarios under which the election could end in an electoral tie, is perhaps the only way "for a second Bush term to seem more illegitimate in the eyes of Democrats than his first term."

The possibility of a tie or near-tie in the electoral college also makes it more possible for individual electors to cause havoc. In West Virginia, one of the state's five Republican electors, South Charleston Mayor Richie Robb, has said he might not vote for Bush (although he calls it "unlikely" he would support Kerry). And in Ohio, the political publication the Hotline reports, one of Kerry's 20 electors could be disqualified because he is a congressman. Such problems and "faithless electors" have surfaced before, but the elections were not close enough for it to matter.

In Maine, the state appears to be comfortably in Kerry's column. But the state splits its electoral votes based in part on the vote in each congressional district. If Bush wins in Maine's 2nd District, where Kerry has a narrow lead, the president would take one of the state's four electoral votes, a potentially decisive difference. For example, if Bush takes New Hampshire, Ohio and Wisconsin; Kerry gets Florida, Minnesota and New Mexico; and the other 44 states follow recent polls, Kerry will win the election with 270 votes -- unless Maine's 2nd District turns against him.

Conversely, Bush is favored to win Colorado's nine electoral votes. But a ballot initiative being decided Tuesday would cause the state's electoral votes to be distributed proportionally -- almost certainly meaning five electoral votes for the winner and four for the loser. Polls show the ballot initiative is likely to fail, but if it passes, the presidential election could change with it.

If Bush were to win Colorado along with the key battlegrounds of New Hampshire, New Mexico and Ohio (and other states followed polls' predictions) he would have 273 electoral votes -- but that would become a tie at 269 votes if the ballot initiative passes. Alternatively, if Kerry were to win Colorado and claim Minnesota, New Mexico and Ohio, he would have 272 votes -- until Colorado's ballot initiative returned four votes, and the presidency, to Bush.




Fun stuff. Anyone have more info on the Ohio Elector?
Venusian is offline  
Old 10-27-04, 11:00 AM
  #2  
DVD Talk Legend
 
raven56706's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Back in the Good Ole USA
Posts: 21,762
raven56706 is offline  
Old 10-27-04, 11:16 AM
  #3  
Premium Member
 
bfrank's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: So. Cal
Posts: 20,623
www.johntitor.com maybe real

(really kind of scary )
bfrank is offline  
Old 10-27-04, 12:35 PM
  #4  
DVD Talk Hero
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Posts: 36,981
did he predict the election?
Venusian is offline  
Old 10-27-04, 02:27 PM
  #5  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 3,236
Originally posted by Venusian
did he predict the election?
Not exactly. He did predict a US civil war in 2005. This leads to a world war in 2015. Supposedly the 2004 election is the catalyst.


[tin foil hat]

Does the current relationship between Arabs and Jews have anything to do with the coming war?

(63) Real disruptions in world events begin with the destabilization of the West as a result of degrading US foreign policy and consistency.

(64) This becomes apparent around 2004 as civil unrest develops near the next presidential election.

(65) The Jewish population in Israel is not prepared for a true offensive war. They are prepared for the ultimate defense.

(66) Wavering western support for Israel is what gives Israel's neighbors the confidence to attack.

(67) The last resort for a defensive Israel and its offensive Arab neighbors is to use weapons of mass destruction.


How and why do the Arabs Jews become entangled in the civil war of the U.S.A?

(69) They are not directly involved but political situations are dependant on Western stability, which collapses in 2005.


65. The civil war in the United States will start in 2004. I would describe it as having a Waco type event every month that steadily gets worse. The conflict will consume everyone in the US by 2012 and end in 2015 with a very short WWIII.


The President or "leader" in 2005 I believe tried desperately to be the next Lincoln and hold the country together but many of their policies drove a larger wedge into the Bill of Rights. The President in 2009 was interested only in keeping his/her power base.

[/tin foil hat]
Pistol Pete is offline  
Old 10-27-04, 02:30 PM
  #6  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Nazgul's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Jayhawk Central, Kansas
Posts: 7,125
(66) Wavering western support for Israel is what gives Israel's neighbors the confidence to attack.

(67) The last resort for a defensive Israel and its offensive Arab neighbors is to use weapons of mass destruction.

I don't think those ideas are that far off.
Nazgul is offline  
Old 10-27-04, 02:43 PM
  #7  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Lake Ridge, VA
Posts: 6,288
Conversely, Bush is favored to win Colorado's nine electoral votes. But a ballot initiative being decided Tuesday would cause the state's electoral votes to be distributed proportionally -- almost certainly meaning five electoral votes for the winner and four for the loser. Polls show the ballot initiative is likely to fail, but if it passes, the presidential election could change with it.
I just heard on the news how both the governors of CO and NM didn't want this to pass. They both noted that it effectively took away the power the electoral college granted to small states, knocking their 9 votes down to 1 (with a 5-4 split during most elections). Glad to see it will likely fail.

Last edited by SunMonkey; 10-27-04 at 03:00 PM.
SunMonkey is offline  
Old 10-27-04, 02:55 PM
  #8  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: is everything
Posts: 17,990
Here's a tie scenario:



Iron Chef is offline  
Old 10-27-04, 02:58 PM
  #9  
DVD Talk Hero
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Posts: 36,981
AZ going Dem? I say that aint too likely
Venusian is offline  
Old 10-27-04, 03:04 PM
  #10  
DVD Talk God
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Directionally Challenged (for DirecTV)
Posts: 122,951
Originally posted by Iron Chef
Here's a tie scenario:




That's not very realistic.

I think the 2 most likely tie scenarios are (beyond the (42) locks for each candidate):

I.
Bush: NV, NM, WI, OH
Kerry: PA, FL, MN, NH, MI

OR

II.
Bush: NV, NH, WI, OH, ME-1 vote (from cong dist 2 via the district method)
Kerry: NM, PA, FL, MN, MI, ME-3 votes
Red Dog is offline  
Old 10-27-04, 03:05 PM
  #11  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: is everything
Posts: 17,990
I was just screwing around with the map to get a tie.
Iron Chef is offline  
Old 10-27-04, 03:16 PM
  #12  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: is everything
Posts: 17,990
how about this:

Iron Chef is offline  
Old 10-27-04, 03:18 PM
  #13  
DVD Talk Hero
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Posts: 36,981
better, but i doubt you'd get Missouri going Dem and PA going Rep.
Venusian is offline  
Old 10-27-04, 03:19 PM
  #14  
DVD Talk God
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Directionally Challenged (for DirecTV)
Posts: 122,951
Originally posted by Iron Chef
how about this:


Try again. I already gave you the most plausible scenario.
Red Dog is offline  
Old 10-27-04, 03:23 PM
  #15  
DVD Talk Hero
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Posts: 36,981
you're having iowa going rep as well i would presume
Venusian is offline  
Old 10-27-04, 03:24 PM
  #16  
DVD Talk Hero
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Posts: 36,981
make iowa stay dem along with wisconsin. but give michigan to the reps.
Venusian is offline  
Old 10-27-04, 03:26 PM
  #17  
DVD Talk God
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Directionally Challenged (for DirecTV)
Posts: 122,951
Originally posted by Venusian
make iowa stay dem along with wisconsin. but give michigan to the reps.

IA going GOP and MI going Dem is far more plausible.
Red Dog is offline  
Old 10-27-04, 03:28 PM
  #18  
DVD Talk Hero
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Posts: 36,981
give the dems mn, wi, mi, oh, pa
give bush fl, iowa and nh...and the crazy HI
Venusian is offline  
Old 10-27-04, 03:30 PM
  #19  
DVD Talk Hero
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Posts: 36,981
fine, give the dems mn, iowa, wi, michigan, nh, and WV

give bush ohio and FL and nv

that is possible
Venusian is offline  
Old 10-27-04, 06:49 PM
  #20  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 675
you guys sound like a bunch of general managers.

lets trade ohio and florida for michign, iowa and west virginia.
Stu 17 is offline  
Old 10-27-04, 06:52 PM
  #21  
DVD Talk Ruler
 
General Zod's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Santa Clarita, CA
Posts: 21,442
I'll trade you FL for Iowa and West Virginia.

Plus $500, a get out of jail free card, and you can land in my states 3 times -- no rent!
General Zod is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.