Hanging Chads

This weekend I’m down in Stafford County, Va., which is a quintessential exurban county.  It’s a land of Wal-Mart’s, Chick-fil-A’s and Applebee’s and is growing at a faster pace than the infrastructure can handle, as evidenced by the construction and traffic.  Stafford’s a GOP county, and the presence of Quantico Marine Base will always ensure that it leans right, but the county is clearly going through some big changes.

I don’t have a chance to post any maps this weekend, but here are a couple of interesting  articles from the past week about the electoral map and the Electoral College.


  • The Philadelphia Daily News complains about an “anti-urban bias” and the power distribution of the College.
  • The Albany Times Union runs an interview with UVA professor Larry Sabato under the headline “Electoral College a process worth preserving.”
  • The Badger Herald reports that Wisconsin might split it’s electoral votes in 2008.
  • The Sacramento Bee reports that the group campaigning to split California’s electoral votes has have a million in the bank.


  • Amy Walter tracks Rudy Giuliani‘s effort to downplay his moderate positions while simultaneously “boasting of his blue-state credentials” and John Edwards cozying up to the left while pushing his “red-state appeal.”
  • ABC News declares “The Republican Party’s Worst Nightmare” — a scenario where Democrats capture Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico

One response to “Hanging Chads

  1. From a strict constructionist view the CA proposal is clearly unconstitutional. Sabato’s ideas are good, but they require amending the constitution. Would small states ratify a constitutional amendment that dilutes their power in the Senate? State legislatures should be encouraged to allocate their electoral votes by CD with the winner of the statewide vote getting 2 extra. I know ME does that, I think Nebraska does so as well, and that is the essence of the CA proposal, although the referendum approach is unconstitutional on its face.

    The popular vote proposal is ridiculous. They are asking states to abdicate their responsibility under the constitution and to trash the intent of the founders, which was to have a president who is chosen by a federal process, not just a popular vote. As Sabato says, the electoral college isolates fraud and the process of dealing with it. If a state chooses this option, what does it do with its electoral votes in a close election where there are allegations of Democratic fraud in Chicago and Republican fraud in Texas? In that situation you would still have the Supreme Court choosing the president.

    Democrats are rightly aggrieved by the Florida fiasco of 2000; however, they forget that Bill Clinton was twice elected president by less than a majority of voters. Allocating electoral votes by CD is a good compromise.

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