Saturday, March 14, 2020

Letter to the Editor: Why the 1960 World Series is like the Electoral College

Richmond Times-Dispatch
Feb. 22

Dear Editor,

The New York Yankees outscored the Pittsburgh Pirates 55 runs to 27 (more than 2 to 1) in the 1960 World Series. But the championship banner hangs in Pittsburgh. Why is that? It is because the Pirates won more games, 4 to 3. The Yankees didn't demand that the rules be changed so that they could carry their run total over to the next game.
As far as presidential elections go, contenders should learn some things from sports. Know the rules. More importantly, play by the rules. They should broaden their support and try to win more states. They know what the rules are. A contender should need to win more than 11 states (the most populous of which total 270 electoral votes), potentially negating the other 78% (39 states). Oppose House Bill 177 and stop the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.
Tom Redfern. Petersboro


Unknown said...

My city’s daily! It’s a shame, they’ve decimated that newspaper in the 8 years I’ve lived in Richmond now.

For a city with no sports team, there is a decent sized Yankees co to gent here. Strong Yankees following in this city. I’d say the breakdown is the following -

1) Braves (the AAA team was here throughout the 90s and early 00s so they watched major ATL stars come up through here)

2) Yankees (city is full of transplants)

3) Nationals (bandwagon folks here)

4) Orioles (some people want to watch the world burn)

5) Giants (the Braves 3A team left in 2009, and not the SF Giants AA team plays here

ranger_lp said...

Some electoral college facts...

When the electoral college was implemented, Blacks were considered 3/5s of a person...

In many states, only property owners could vote...

Only men could vote...

Anonymous said...

Dear Unknown in Richmond,

The Richmond Virginians were the Yankees AAA farm team from the late 50's to the early 60's. Tom Tresh, Al Downing, and Joe Pepitone all played for the Virginians before being promoted to the bigs.

el duque said...

And Phil Rizzuto used to broadcast the annual exhibition game between the Yankees and Richmond. In compiling "O Holy Cow," we found a poem from one such game in 1961.

el duque said...

This guy DOES have a point, though.

The Yankees should have been awarded the 1960 world series.

toto said...

Because of current state-by-state statewide winner-take-all laws for Electoral College votes, not mentioned, much less endorsed, in the Constitution . . .

Politico says only five states (Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Arizona) are likely to be politically relevant in the 2020 presidential race.
“Experts generally agree that the key swing states to focus on this year are Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.” – Newsweek 3/13/20

Not a single one of the ten smallest states, or a single one of the most rural states, has hosted a major general campaign event for a presidential candidate during the last 20 years.

Almost all small and medium-sized states and almost all western, southern, and northeastern states are totally ignored after the conventions.

The number and population of battleground states is shrinking.

Our presidential selection system shrinks the sphere of public debate to only a few thousand swing voters in a few states.

The only states that have received any campaign events and any significant ad money have been where the outcome was between 45% and 51% Republican.

In 2000, the Bush campaign, spent more money in the battleground state of Florida to win by 527 popular votes, than it did in 42 other states combined,

This leads to a corrupt and toxic body politic.

toto said...

With current statewide winner-take-all laws, a presidential candidate could lose despite winning 78%+ of the popular vote and 39 smaller states.

With the current state-by-state winner-take-all system of awarding electoral votes (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but later enacted by 48 states), it could only take winning a bare plurality of popular votes in only the 11 most populous states, containing 56% of the population of the United States, for a candidate to win the Presidency with less than 22% of the nation's votes!

But the political reality is that the 11 largest states, with a majority of the U.S. population and electoral votes, rarely agree on any political candidate. In 2016, among the 11 largest states: 7 voted Republican(Texas, Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Georgia) and 4 voted Democratic (California, New York, Illinois, and New Jersey). The big states are just about as closely divided as the rest of the country. For example, among the four largest states, the two largest Republican states (Texas and Florida) generated a total margin of 2.1 million votes for Bush, while the two largest Democratic states generated a total margin of 2.1 million votes for Kerry.

With National Popular Vote, it's not the size of any given state, it's the size of their "margin" that will matter. Under a national popular vote, the margin of your loss within a state matters as much as the size of your win.

In 2004, among the 11 most populous states, in the seven non-battleground states, % of winning party, and margin of “wasted” popular votes, from among the total 122 Million votes cast nationally:
* Texas (62% R), 1,691,267
* New York (59% D), 1,192,436
* Georgia (58% R), 544,634
* North Carolina (56% R), 426,778
* California (55% D), 1,023,560
* Illinois (55% D), 513,342
* New Jersey (53% D), 211,826

To put these numbers in perspective,
Oklahoma (7 electoral votes) generated a margin of 455,000 "wasted" votes for Bush in 2004 -- larger than the margin generated by the 9th and 10th largest states, namely New Jersey and North Carolina (each with 15 electoral votes).
Utah (5 electoral votes) generated a margin of 385,000 "wasted" votes for Bush in 2004.
8 small western states, with less than a third of California’s population, provided Bush with a bigger margin (1,283,076) than California provided Kerry (1,235,659).

toto said...

In total New York state and California (84 electors in total) cast 16% of the total national popular vote

In total, Florida (29), Texas (38), and Pennsylvania (20) (87 total) cast 18% of the total national popular vote.
Trump won those states.

All the voters – 66% -- in the 45 other states and DC would matter and count equally.

toto said...

“Let’s quit pretending there is some great benefit to the national good that allows the person with [fewer] votes to win the White House. Republicans have long said that they believe in competition. Let both parties compete for votes across the nation and stop disenfranchising voters by geography. The winner should win.” – Stuart Stevens (Republican)

In Gallup polls since they started asking in 1944 until the 2016 election, only about 20% of the public supported the current system of awarding all of a state's electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but later enacted by 48 states) (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided).

When asked the simple question “Do you think the person who wins the most votes nationwide should become the president?” 74% of all Americans surveyed say yes.

Support for a national popular vote for President has been strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group in every state surveyed. In the 41 red, blue, and purple states surveyed, overall support has been in the 67-81% range - in rural states, in small states, in Southern and border states, in big states, and in other states polled.

There are several scenarios in which a candidate could win the presidency in 2020 with fewer popular votes than their opponents. It could reduce turnout more, as more voters realize their votes do not matter.

Most Americans don't ultimately care whether their presidential candidate wins or loses in their state or district. Voters want to know, that no matter where they live, even if they were on the losing side, their vote actually was equally counted and mattered to their candidate. Most Americans think it is wrong that the candidate with the most popular votes can lose. It undermines the legitimacy of the electoral system. We don't allow this in any other election in our representative republic.

toto said...

In now Blue Virginia, a Republican vote for President has not helped a Republican candidate in years..
All of Virginia's electors have been Democrats.

With National Popular Vote, every voter, in every state, for every candidate, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election.
All votes would matter and count equally in the national vote total.

The vote of every voter in the country (Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, or Green) would help his or her preferred candidate win the Presidency. Every vote in the country would become as important as a vote in a battleground state such as Pennsylvania or Michigan. The National Popular Vote bill would give voice to every voter in the country, as opposed to treating voters for candidates who did not win a plurality in the state as if they did not exist.

The National Popular Vote bill would give a voice to the minority party voters for president in each state. Now they don't matter to their candidate.

DickAllen said...

Politics? Here?


JM said...

No offense, Toto, but I thought your big hits "Rosanna" and "Africa" sucked back when they came out, and they still suck.

Thanks for the edjumacational stuff, though.

HoraceClarke66 said...

I never thought I'd hear anyone but Dorothy say this, but...Great points, toto!

HoraceClarke66 said...

To our Richmond correspondent: Yes, great point, because, who wins a major sports tournament/assuring majority role in a democracy: exactly the same!

HoraceClarke66 said...

And hey, if we're talking about the 1960 World Series, I would add this:

What's the "rules" equivalent of not being able to sweep your infield competently enough so that nobody gets seriously injured? If 10 percent of all voting machines blew up in people's faces, I think some might consider the elections a tad tainted.

toto said...

"comparing these two American institutions perfectly illustrates we why we need to get rid of the winner-take-all Electoral College rules and establish a fairer system of electing the president based on a national popular vote."

The Current Electoral College is Like the World Series (Which is Why We Need to Change It)

Anonymous said...




Unknown said...

The electoral college was put in place to protect against ill qualified candidates being elected by an "ill informed", hysterical mob. It also helps to protect against foreign conspiracies. This used to be well understood by any person coming out of HS. I find this lack of schooling in history classes to be "interesting".

HoraceClarke66 said...

Yeah, funny how it didn't work. But enough! ALL-CAPS is right. Back to baseball!

Terry said...

Why this focus on #of states won? That's like saying land or territory itself should have a vote. What's the difference between North and South Dakota? The person with the most votes should be president, and when that doesn't happen, like with W. the idiot or this current fool, it's no wonder the populace doesn't support him. I know the rules and the rules, so no one says he isn't "legally" the president, but the real politik says otherwise. PS- If not for the grounder hitting Kubek in the throat, they would have won.

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