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Category Archives: Electoral College
This year’s elections saw a lot of unusual, unexpected, and unprecedented developments. So nobody should be shocked at any unexpected developments when the electoral college meets on Monday. Having said that, Democratic activists have been barking up the wrong tree by emphasizing the national popular vote. The reason why this strategy was guaranteed to backfire is the nature of the electoral college.
The electors are not randomly chosen people. They are local politicians and activists who are nominated by their state party. In short, they are not the people who are likely to surrender control of the White House to the other party. By the rules that are currently in place, the Republicans have won the White House. So while, the Constitution, theoretically, allows these electors to vote for Hillary, practically these electors will not vote for Hillary.
This election is a bitter pill to swallow because everybody got it wrong. Apparently even the internal polls of the RNC in the last week of the campaign showed Secretary Clinton ahead. At the end of the day, President-elect Trump managed to avoid shooting himself in the foot just long enough during the last two weeks for Republicans who were telling pollsters that they were voting for Governor Johnson or were undecided to hold their noses and come back home. Certainly, the polls with two weeks to go encouraged the Clinton campaign to dream about states that they could go into and help Democrats in down ballot races. The perception that Clinton would win in some ways gave permission for Republicans to hold their noses and vote for Trump to keep the margin down and for Democrats to cast protest votes for third party candidates.
It’s also a bitter pill because the race got very personal. Since the election, I have gotten e-mails from local activists about the issues that the party needs to address. On most of the issues, there was a plan on that issue from the Clinton campaign. The issues, however, never got aired as the campaign focused on the flaws of the two candidates. I don’t think that the choice of the Democratic candidate mattered on this aspect of the campaign. In the primary, Trump also ran a very personality based campaign, slandering his opponents and coming up with labels to characterize the rest of the Republican candidates. Certain issues that were mentioned in the DNC WikiLeaks memos were not good issues for a Democratic primary but would have proven useful tools for the Trump campaign in the general election. Trump was such a big personality and so uniquely “not ready” to be President, it is hard to see how any Democratic campaign could have avoided the temptation to focus on Trump’s flaws and gotten the media to focus on the issues rather than the personalities.
Given the closeness of this election what needs to change between now and 2020.
STOP IT! STOP NOW!
The Electoral College is a Constitutional construct. That would be Article 2 Section 1 Clause 4. the 12th Amendement and Section 1 of the 23rd Amendment.