Ugly weather expected on Election Day

2010 Election Day Evening Precipitation, Surface Temperature, and Wind Forecast from the NCEP GFS model

The current weather forecast for November 2, 2010 looks ugly for the middle Atlantic East Coast with easterly winds and rain chances set up between a Canadian high pressure cell and a developing SE US low.  Temperatures there are expected to be in the 40s and 50s.  The Pacific Northwest may also see considerable wet weather.

There are some old axioms that certain political parties in the USA should pray for rain or sunshine, but in early November, you never know what you will get in terms of weather.  A study a few years back by Florida State University professor Brad Gomez comprehensively analyzed the relationship between Presidential voter turnout and weather using over 20,000 individual weather stations from 1948-2000.  In their paper, Gomez et al. found empirical evidence that rain (snow) reduces voter participation by about 1% (0.5%) per inch, and may have affected the electoral outcome of the 1960 and 2000 presidential elections.

While the upcoming November 2 midterm elections have a significantly lower voter participation than Presidential years, it is likely that weather is more important to voter turnout and election outcome.  This type of study is a great way to combine social and physical sciences to model effects of weather and climate on political issues — rather than vice versa.

Abstract of paper:

The relationship between bad weather and lower levels of voter turnout is widely espoused by media, political practitioners, and, perhaps, even political scientists. Yet, there is virtually no solid empirical evidence linking weather to voter participation. This paper provides an extensive test of the claim.We examine the effect of weather on voter turnout in 14 U.S. presidential elections. Using GIS interpolations, we employ meteorological data drawn from over 22,000 U.S. weather stations to provide election day estimates of rain and snow for each U.S. county. We find that, when compared to normal conditions, rain significantly reduces voter participation by a rate of just less than 1% per inch, while an inch of snowfall decreases turnout by almost .5%. Poor weather is also shown to benefit the Republican party’s vote share. Indeed, the weather may have contributed to two Electoral College outcomes, the 1960 and 2000 presidential elections.

And conclusions:

The results of the zero precipitation scenarios reveal only two instances in which a perfectly dry election day would have changed an Electoral College outcome. Dry elections would have led Bill Clinton to win North Carolina in 1992 and Al Gore to win Florida in 2000. This latter change in the allocation of Florida’s electors would have swung the incredibly close 2000 election in Gore’s favor. Of course, the converse is that a rainier day would have increased George W. Bush’s margin and may have reduced the importance of issues with the butterfly ballot, overvotes, etc. Scholars have identified a number of other factors that may have affected the Florida outcome (see Brady et al. 2001; Imai and King 2004; Mebane 2004)—it was, after all, a very close election with only 537 votes separating Bush and Gore—but to our knowledge we are the first to find that something as simple as rainy weather in some of the Florida counties may have played a critical role in determining the outcome of a presidential election.

The partisan bias associated with weather depressed voter turnout can have meaningful repercussions for election outcomes. Our simulation results for the 1960 and 2000 presidential elections are key examples. The closeness of the 1960 race (a scant 118,000 popular votes separated Kennedy and Nixon) made several states pivotal in the Electoral College, including Illinois, where allegations of vote fraud undertaken by Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley followed

Kennedy’s 9,000 vote victory. We cannot say whether Kennedy’s victory benefited from such actions, but we can claim that Kennedy benefited from relatively good weather. In responding to the Florida debacle in the 2000 presidential election, Democrats complained incessantly about a litany of factors that stood as obstacles to a Gore victory: “butterfly ballots,” “hanging chads,” the Florida Secretary of State, the newly elected president’s brother (the Governor of Florida), and, of course, the Republican-appointed  Justices on the United States Supreme Court. Yet, our results show that the weather may have hurt their cause just as much. In close elections, the weather becomes one of many factors that can be determinative.

It is clear from our results that Republicans benefit from precipitation on election day. To offset these Republican gains,

Democrats must take action to counteract the increased cost of voting among their supporters. Otherwise, Democrats may wish to “pray for dry weather.”

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91 thoughts on “Ugly weather expected on Election Day

  1. Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail, nor heat of day will keep me from my appointed task of voting. I have been waiting for this day for so long.

  2. Ugly, cold & blustery weather in California may help Prop 23 delay the draconian AGW legislation from pouring salt into deep economic wounds.
    Employment statistics here are bad to the bone.

  3. Speaking as a Brit in London I think disenchantment with the political process is much more of an issue than weather, though cra*py weather probably doesn’t help things much.
    Spin merchants add yet another variable in the heady mix.

  4. The really ugly weather is going to be in the DNC HQ and in the West Wing.
    Really ugly. American voters are going to Cap the Obama regime and Trade his Team in for a new crew.
    Cap & Trade that might get some real support.

  5. I am praying for a record early snowfall throughout the east and midwest for next tuesday. A two-fer nail in the coffin of AGW in the US. Republicans sweep into office and declare immediate death to AGW hoax. I hope they slash and burn AGW alarmist budgets, and tighten the purse strings on the EPA to hold those idiots in check.

  6. NO one, absolutely no one wants to talk about the other factor in the Florida election of 2000 – ie. Dan Rather calling Florida for Gore one hour before the polls closed in the panhandle.

  7. LOL, the weather held up Bill Clinton and stopped Al Gore? Proof of the existence of God, imo! 🙂
    I am a Christian, by the way, but I DO think God has a sense of humour.
    That the weather can influence the outcome of an election is one clear argument for the imposition of compulsory voting. We have it in Australia, and it causes no problems at all, except in peoples’ minds.
    Cheers,
    Tim

  8. Whether the weather is wet or whether the weather is otherwise, it won’t matter to most residents of Washington State:
    38 of Washington’s 39 counties vote by mail. Pierce County (Tacoma area) still maintains poll sites.
    Our votes have been cast. Now we wait.

  9. My generic, non-partisan voting guide is as follows:
    1.) Note which party tries desperately to block all attempts to curb voter fraud.
    2.) Note which party tries desperately to enable scum of the earth (such as convicted felons) to be allowed to vote.
    3.) Note which party singles out Secretary of State positions (i.e., the referees) for targeting.
    4.) Note which party blocks all attempts to properly identify voters.
    5.) Note which party has the greatest number of Super Heroes and cartoon characters registered to vote (in multiple states).
    6.) PRAY FOR RAIN!

  10. Already voted. This is the first time in my life I voted a straight Republican ticket with the exception of one undeclared candidate running for a local county position. I knew the guy.

  11. This is counterintuitive, Anthony. One would think that rain would not significantly impact the Democrats rolls of deceased voters.

  12. “Democrats must take action to counteract the increased cost of voting among their supporters.” (How about gift cards and meals???)
    http://www.lasvegassun.com/blogs/ralstons-flash/2010/oct/26/angle-campaign-attorney-reid/
    So……the bottom line is advice only for Democrats on how to increase their vote.
    Humm……..You don’t suppose that these folks are biased, do you?
    So, explain to me why I should trust them?
    Bewildered in Texas.
    Steamboat Jack (Jon Jewett’s evil twin)

  13. From my experience in the political front-lines, I’d rather say that bad weather favors the committed. Non-commital or lack-a-daisical voters will not be bothered to turn out in bad weather. Currently, the most committed are the T-partiers, so bad weather favors the Repubs. It would have been different two years ago, according to my theory, which is mine.

  14. No matter the weather, the political climate just keeps getting uglier. No matter the outcome next week, the societal climate will continue to get uglier. Chaos theory guarantees it.

  15. Hobo says @ October 27, 2010 at 4:55 pm
    I am praying for a record early snowfall throughout the east and midwest for next tuesday. A two-fer nail in the coffin of AGW in the US. Republicans sweep into office and declare immediate death to AGW hoax. I hope they slash and burn AGW alarmist budgets
    Phew, thank goodness I waited until that last word before responding. Imagine how wrong I hope they slash and burn AGW alarmists would be.

  16. TimiBoy says:
    October 27, 2010 at 5:10 pm
    LOL, the weather held up Bill Clinton and stopped Al Gore? Proof of the existence of God, imo! 🙂
    I am a Christian, by the way, but I DO think God has a sense of humour.
    That the weather can influence the outcome of an election is one clear argument for the imposition of compulsory voting. We have it in Australia, and it causes no problems at all, except in peoples’ minds.
    Cheers,
    Tim

    “Compulsory voting?!”
    .
    Really now?
    .
    Has there never been a mass no-show at the polls in order to protest any such heinous law?
    .
    What would ‘they’ do were such an event to occur? Would ‘they’ have a mass accosting and a ‘mass punishment’ to suit?
    .
    Maybe its time for a MASS NO-SHOW to invalidate the current government in OZ …
    .
    Or do you people always dutifully obey every law, even when you know it’s just plain wrong?
    .
    Enquiring minds desire to know!

  17. If I have to walk two miles uphill in a whiteout blizzard, I will be voting. Since I prefer cold weather that probably isn’t a surprise. 🙂
    John Kehr

  18. Pamela Gray says:
    October 27, 2010 at 5:20 pm
    Already voted. This is the first time in my life I voted a straight Republican ticket…

    Ditto here, except it wasn’t the first time.

  19. Re 899
    There is no compulsory voting in Aus. There is a law that makes you attend a polling booth to get you name checked off the voters roll. There is another law that you must register as a voter. These laws were introduced to stop politicians from buying votes.
    And guess what it works!

  20. The effect of weather should be less this year than ever before. Oregon and Washington are essentially all mail-vote, California is about 70% mail-vote, and many states have set up early voting arrangements.

  21. Well it is all well and good to predcit what would have happened if what happened hadn’t happened; but it is moot.
    The problem with the Florida 200o result is that the (democrat controlled) election authorities in a key county; that wanted a recount; simply failed to abide by the clearly wordeed Florida Recount law; and the Supreme Court had nothing to do with it; other than pointing out to Florid, that they had to abide by Florida law; so it had nothing to do with who appointed the members of the Supremes. They simply said you can’t have a partial recount. The democrats wanted to recount only those ballots on which the voter indicated their intent to vote for nobody; by not punching out any chad. and everytime they handled those voter cards, votes started appearing where none had previously been; so repetitive rpartial recounts of those cherry picked ballots gradually increased Gore’s total; and he still lost.
    The Supremes simply said fi they were going to recount they had to recount them all; that is all six million ballots cast statewide. Adn if they had, Gore would have lost even bigger; because their new creative hanging chad rule would also have been applied to ballots where in addition to a hanging chad, the voter had indicated his desire to vote for somebody else by punching out a second chad; so the new chad is a vot rule would have had them toosed out as illegal double votes; and the analysis showed Gore loss would have been even bigegr.
    Then the election bosses refused to obey the Florida recount law; which simply stated that the election basses ahd to appoint sufficient recount teams to complete the recount in the allotted tiem (ten days or whatever it was). They didn’t do that. they appointed just a handful of recoutn teams; but instead of taking two seconds to look at a ballot, and put it on the gore or bush or nay piles they sepent 15 minutes on each ballot trying to cause a Maxwell’s demon or something to get another chad to fall off;
    So they would have needed 10,000 recoutn teams; instead of a handful (in just that one country); and they failed to appoint those so they failed to complete the recount in the timeframe mandated by Florida recount law. Kathleen Harris had no say in the matter; the Florida law laid down the recount conditions precisely but Gor didn’t want to follow them; and if they had he would have lost by even more because of all the extra disallowed double votes caused by his new imaginative hanging chad rule.
    So blame it on the weather if you like; but neither the waeath4er nor the Republicans; nor the US Supr3eme court had any influence on the outcome.
    You could also blame the NAACP who spent millions on betting African American Voters to polling places, and sending them brochures, and personal visits to show them how the name Albert Gore looked like on paper; they went to all that trouble to get out the “black vote” (fair enough). They spent not a dime or a whit of their time teaching any of those voters what a voting machine looked like and how to properly operate it so their vote would count. It was the NAACP who disenfrachised thousands of black voters by failing to teach them how to operate the machines; and that led to a lot of the chad problems.
    I don’t care if they personally visited each one and trained them fully on how to register a vote for Al Gore, and avoid George Bush like the plague. Get out the vote is a time honored tradition and every citizen deserves that opportunity; their own leaders failed them miserably.
    Numerous extensive studies of the Florida 2000 vote showed that Bush won it fair and square; and all this what if inuendo is just Monday morning quarterbacking. So get over it; Al Gore lost.
    And I don’t care because I’m not a citizen so it isn’t my choice. I guess if I was an illegal alien, I could vote; but since I’m legal, I’m not allowed to do that; and wouldn’t usurp that right that citizens have anyway.

  22. The article says: “To offset these Republican gains, Democrats must take action to counteract the increased cost of voting among their supporters.”
    Could someone kindly enlighten me as to what is meant by “increased cost” in this sentence? Never having lived there, I am not familiar with the specifics of voting in the USA (e.g. the proximity of polling stations to people’s homes and places of work). The term “increased cost of voting” does not mean anything to me in isolation qualification. Does it just mean “increased motivation required to go out to vote in bad weather”?
    Thanks.

  23. As wroth as the weather may be on Nov. 2, the mood of the voters will be far worse than politically imagined.
    It’s really too bad that all positions are not up at least once every 12 years or so. The voter turnout would ensure the few left sitting at the table would have real claims to leadership.

  24. John Graham,
    How did politicians buy votes? Even being forced to register or show up at a certain place or face a fine (I’m guessing) impedes my civil liberties far more than I’m willing. But I’m also against mandatory jury duty as well.

  25. I voted as soon as the polls were open for early voting — pulled the handle straight “R”. I usually take some pride in weighing the candidates, but we’re past that now, even here in Texas. We’ve got to change the regime. Our country will be sunk, or at least listing hard a’port, if we don’t.
    Go GOP. I hope it rains like there’s no tomorrow. We need it anyway — no measured rain this month.

  26. By the way; just as an aside; since I can’t vote in your election allow me to offer an opinion. (as if I was in charge of making the rules.)
    Since next Tuesday is Election day; as basically defined in law. I would require all polling places to open at 8:00 local time on next Tuesday; and close at 8:00 PM next tuesday; and that would be it. Come to your polling place in that 12 hour period or just don’t come at all. No absentee ballots; no early ballots; no late ballots; election day is election day; well I could see even making it a public holiday.
    Now absentee ballots could be used in one instance only. Any Government employee; Federal, State, Local, including military personell who is required to be out of the country on legitimate Government business on election day; such as troops in the field; would have to have a ballot from in their hands at least 24 hours before election day starts (8:00 AM) local time; and would have to turn it in to an appropriate collection authority by the 8:00 local PM election close deadline; and all ballots would have to be in the hands of the local US authorities within 48 hours after the close of the election.
    Anybody else out of the counrtry on election day; not on official government (fed/state/local) business; well tough S*** That’s your choice to make.
    This current nonsense where some people voted months ago, is just BS, and guaranteed to invite fraud. Absentee ballots are the primary tool of voter fraudsters.
    And it goes without saying that every voter would be required to present photo id and documentary proof of citizenship before their filled in ballot could be accepted; no exceptions.
    One of my daughters happens to be a manager in a registrar of voters Office in a California County (she’s an Oregonian) and I could waltz into her office and ask for a voter registration form, and fill it out, and sign under penalty of perjury, that I am a US citizen; and hand it back to her; and she must accdept it; she cannot ask me to prove I am a citizen (which I’m not) and she can’t tell anybody else that she knows I just perjured myself; along with committing a federal felony.
    That is completely insane; and serves the interest only of those bent on subverting the ballot process; to rig elections.
    So go do your thing citizens; and choose wisely; your children and granchildren will have to live with your choices.
    Don’t worry not a snowball’s chance in hell they would change to my system; it’s too obvious.

  27. It could be a tornado mixed with a tsunami where I live on Nov 2 and I’m still going to vote. And it won’t be for Pro-communist-gressives, either.

  28. OK, OK, OK!
    I’ve got Dr. Spencer’s “climate feedback” figured out. GoreBull warming means, warm dry weather….extended. Then all the left wing loonies are voted in because their supporters show up. The left wing loonies destroy the economy, and emissions go down, brining on global cooling. The weather becomes COLD, wet, snowy…and only the people who ACTUALLY ARE PRODUCTIVE show up at the polls. They vote in people who support production and “industry” (the real type, that uses FUELS) producing more CO2 to bring back the GoreBull warming.
    AN obvious feedback system which Dr. Spencer missed.
    Max

  29. Robert of Ottawa says:
    October 27, 2010 at 5:31 pm
    “From my experience in the political front-lines, I’d rather say that bad weather favors the committed. Non-commital or lack-a-daisical voters will not be bothered to turn out in bad weather.”
    ========================================================
    It is true. However, one must note the demographics of the committed voter. Yes, this year, there will be more conservatives voting than otherwise “normal”. But both sides have “committed” areas. Hence, blue state/red state. (I still believe it was a media conspiracy to designate conservative states “red”.) But look at the map above. The threat of inclement weather is on the east and left coast. Currently, the conservatives are motivated. The liberals are disillusioned. So, bad weather in the east and west equates to less libs, and the conservatives are still more likely to vote.
    Note, on the east coast, it should be stated that the further south one goes the less liberal narrative one hears. Florida being such a big swing state, as noted, a big player in the game.
    A note about Florida dynamics, which is illustrated by Rubio. Many Cubans came to the states to escape communism and Castro. While a slight majority of Hispanics(Cubans are counted as such) vote Dems, many Cubans still recall the Bay of Pigs. It is written in their history. They’ve never forgot, nor forgave.
    A personal note. My father was ordered to Florida during this event, moved to a tent camp, ready to deploy………….he was ordered back to his base a few days later. They were inplace, ready to go, ordered to stand down.

  30. Mods, my post went to the black hole again. This one took me a beer or two to write. Would you be so kind as to retrieve my labor? Thanks.
    REPLY: Don’t write such long drunken rants then 😉

  31. “REPLY: Don’t write such long drunken rants then ;-)”
    Well, I wouldn’t call it so much a rant more than a ramble, but still!!! There actually were some cognitive points in the ramble. In fact, I intentionally held back from the rant, which caused the long drunken ramble! ahahahaha
    For people wondering about the differences between libs and conservatives, I’m told this is how it started, to coin a phrase from a person that insists he doesn’t have a political persuasion, pinhead or patriot?
    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2010/10/28/guardian-thinks-13-trillion-debt-10-unemployment-and-worshipping-co2-is-sanity/#comment-7859

  32. In the olden days the political class would listen to the electorate and reflect their concerns in order to win their support. Nowadays the modern method is to rig the ballot by various means.
    In little old England land town we have immigrant block votes and postal vote fraud and the withdrawal of tamper proof boxes(purely on cost grounds yer unnerstan?).
    I believe in the land of the free(ish) the new trick in town is unchecked and unrestricted voter registration brought in by groups like ACORN/ACLU/NAACP?
    I hope the tea party/real republican alliance wins and starts the deconstruction of the budding socialist state, I am sceptical whether this can be achieved without fierce and bitter conflict but as they say in the old West ‘hope dies last’.
    RyanMaue: ACORN had to dissolve due to Andrew Breitbart’s hidden camera / prostitute expose. Hence, the victories in Mass. by Scott Brown and Chris Christie in NJ were a result of a “level playing field”.

  33. Utter interesting post! Mr. Al Gore lost by 0.0005% of the popular vote in Florida. GOSH! The difference is smaller than the co2 concentration in the atmosphere! But Mr. Gore actually won 360.000 more popular votes. That is mind blowing!
    I am very harsh with IPCC CO2 demonizing pseudoscience but not with Mr. Al Gore. I think Mr. Gore lost his mental balance by such defeat. He actually won by 360.000 popular votes, but your electoral system made him lose by 0.0005% votes in a State!
    And such state (Florida) was governed by the brother of the opposing (winning) candidate! MIND BLOWING! If I had suffered such a defeat I would have, with no doubt, lost my mental balance (supposing that I have some of it! 🙂 ). That is the reason I think one must be kind to Mr. Gore because he is a man who has suffered a lot and I hate when Saturday Night Live or other people make fun of Mr. Gore. I am libertarian and hate socialism which is a regime of bullies. When socialism can get EXTREME POWER & CONTROL , as it got under COMMUNISM, then it becomes a regime of EXTREME MASS MURDER -around 200 million (!!!) MURDERED by communists!- and it becomes too a regime of EXTREME MASS THEFT and EXTREME MASS SADISM (look at those tens millions sadistically murdered BY HUNGER in Russia, China, Ethiopia! Seek, for instance, Holodomor Ukraine ).
    I am Latin American and I am used to passionate people. In many latin american countries an electoral outcome as the USA 2000 outcome would have meant Civil War by impassioned people of one party or another . For you US citizens Latin America usually means Mexico but Latin America is essentially South America which is very different from Mexico, Mexico has a history of violence that South America does not have.
    Mainstream Media is often demonizing South America I think because here communism will never take root, we are pretty much like Italy, very “politically incorrect” and family oriented and socialists hates us because we love our families and we refuse to worship politicians and bureaucrats and put the “state” over our families, as socialism dictates. But even here such an election would have meant political unrest or even Civil War. It is amazing how such a situation in the USA ended quietly, you have an amazing trust in your institutions, that is simply awesome.
    It is pretty clear that politicians and bureaucrats, with their usual orgy of insane power & control over people and $trillions in tax an spend caused every major economic crisis. But they pretend, based on keynesian pseudoscience, that such extremely harmful orgy of power, control and $trillions instead of being the cause of crisis was “necessary” to “save” the world from itself (!!) . The same history that co2 alarmists fed us, based too on pseudoscience.
    Clearly in the USA it is the democrats who more often promote the old tired story that says we will reach paradise if we give even more exorbitant power, control & $trillions to the political class. But the contract that says that republicans will take control of US congress has today a 90% price which, according to some academics, means that the markets give a 90% probability of a republican control of the US Congress. There is too a contract that gives a very high probability of democrat control of the US Senate.
    I hope republican control of the congress happens. Republicans are no saints, but they are less promoters of more destructive power, control and $trillions to politicians and bureaucrats. Moreover having one party in the legislative branch and other party in the executive branch is one of the best ways of limiting the utter destructive power of the political class.
    It is pretty obvious that the sun is the main temperature factor, but co2 alarmists will ignore such an INCONVENIENT TRUTH. Its is pretty obvious that if you tax MORE employment & investment then you will get LESS employment & investment, that is the same reason they allege for taxing “pollutant” co2. But they ignore such INCOVENIENT -and obvious- TRUTH and go on promoting their power & control & tax & spend orgy. They deserve to lose, the USA -and the world because the USA is such a big part of the world economy- deserves and needs an economic recovery thanks to less taxes, regulations and $trillions in tax and spend.

  34. I hope the weather and results are so bad Ogabe just bags it and calls in “sick of working way too hard”, to spend more time with the beer cart gals.
    He says he’ll fight and scratch every step of the way but that’ll mean an extended guvmint shutdown. No clean mirrors? He’s got better prospects.

  35. SouthAmericanGirls says:
    October 27, 2010 at 10:23 pm
    I am very harsh with IPCC CO2 demonizing pseudoscience but not with Mr. Al Gore. I think Mr. Gore lost his mental balance by such defeat. He actually won by 360.000 popular votes, but your electoral system made him lose by 0.0005% votes in a State!
    I have given this matter a lot of thought.
    In the end, I prefer the electoral college system. First, and foremost, it compartmentalizes (and thus limits) corruption — it prevents more than one state being stolen at a time. If five million “extra” votes materialize in Chicago, that would be enough to steal any close popular national vote. But with the electoral college, all that gets stolen is Illinois (which probably would have voted democrat anyway).
    So one “soft spot” where corruption is rife can’t tilt an entire election result. At most it could throw just one state. It’s dirty and choppy, but preferable to the alternative.
    Another point is that if popular vote alone counted, the less populous states would be almost completely ignored. It wouldn’t be an effective use of campaign dollars or time. But with the electoral college system, the whole country gets to participate.
    In an ideal situation, I would prefer a straight popular vote. But things just ain’t ideal, and the EC, for all its flaws, limits the effects of corruption and discourages regionalism.
    For that matter, we don’t even know if Gore actually had more votes because many states do not go to the expense of counting absentee ballots unless there are enough possibly to change the result in that particular state. A very large number of absentee ballots were never counted, and absentee voting usually favors the GOP. The “official” count does not consider them. So we do not really know who had the most actual votes.

  36. It is amazing how such a situation in the USA ended quietly, you have an amazing trust in your institutions, that is simply awesome.
    We know that a president or congressman will step down after his term is over (assuming he is not re-elected). Therefore, even if an election is stolen, the effects are limited.
    Some damnfool klunk-head (the president of IBM, IIRC), while traveling in France, told some European heads of state that Nixon would “call off” the 1972 elections and they actually believed him. There was ZERO chance of that.
    It shows a.) how mindbendingly irresponsible some idiots with a bit of power can be, and b.) how little Europeans, even sophisticated, educated heads of state, understand the US when it comes right down to it.
    Republicans are no saints
    Mmm, yes. But I doubt I could bring myself to vote for a saint . . .
    I appreciate your post (and agree with most of it).

  37. Here in the Evergreen State we all vote in the comfort of our living rooms. Its been two years since the polls closed for the last time. I miss rainy elections, and dry ones too.
    Back before all mail elections I never missed my day of duty and I enjoyed it very much, and always felt pride – even when my pick lost. Of course now I get to vote naked (or clothed – my choice since its in my home). I couldn’t do that at the polls.

  38. Sorry if OT,
    But there is a poll running in my part of the woods regarding whether the Inconvenient Truth should be shown to children in schools, see here.
    Please cast your vote & of course no pressure.. closes in 7 hours.

  39. 899 says:
    October 27, 2010 at 5:23 pm
    The plaintive cry of the democrat/socialist/communist/librul/altruist: “Rainy days and Mondays always get me down.”
    http://www.sing365.com/music/lyric.nsf/Rainy-Days-And-Mondays-lyrics-Carpenters/18FA487F2A7A22E6482568720033B5A1
    Reply
    Dont forget the Conservative, Republican, Tea Party, Fascist and Nazi love of “Blue skies shining on me me” and the Youth wings “Tomorrow belongs to me” sung outside under summer skies!

  40. During the 2010 GOP primaries, if you remember, Rudy Giuliani waited until the Florida primary before even getting involved. By that time, it was too late because John McCain won the winner-take-all primary votes. Rudy dropped out and pretty soon the nomination question was answered just after Super Tuesday. The GOP is likely going to adopt a new system of awarding delegates based upon the percentage of votes in each primary/caucus, thus extending the primary process much later into the Spring. An alternative would be to require states that can’t resist holding primaries in January and February to award partial delegates but let the later ones be winner-take-all.
    While Operation Chaos engineered by R. Limbaugh kept the Dem primary going in Pennsylvania, the notion of open primaries will likely come up again (or the top-two system in some other states). If individual states awarded their electoral votes based upon the percentage of popular vote, then that would be an absolute catastrophe for the Democrats which really only have smatterings of blue against a very red tapestry.

  41. Republicans have expensive private transporation like limosines and Humvees to get to the voting location and back though inclement weather. Democrats have to hold a newspaper over their heads and travel by foot. I can’t think of anything else that explains it.

  42. Adam
    If the population has to vote there is no point in politicians busing in people or making promises on a very local level, most of the promises in our elections are on a regional or state base (were talking about Federal Elections here) i.e. new Hospital, road, large park etc. as for your civil rights, if you live in a democracy you have a duty to participate in picking you politicians if you don’t how can you complain! Also the people that get elected know how much support they have.

  43. I wish that I had the chance to vote for a party which is sceptical of man-made global warming. However, here in Scotland, every single party follows the ipcc line slavishly.
    The ridiculous thing is that Scotland could do with some global warming. Last winter killed several of my plants and it’s not easy to grow a lot of flowers in Scotland. The summers here could do with some serious warming too.

  44. Robert of Ottawa says: October 27, 2010 at 5:36 pm
    . . . Phew, thank goodness I waited until that last word before responding. Imagine how wrong I hope they slash and burn AGW alarmists would be.

    Well, I guess I could at least try to imagine it.
    Already struck my blow against the regime. Line was shorter this time because the bus from Chicago got tied up in the I-80 shovel-ready repaving nightmare.
    I’m pretty sure they also had compulsory voting in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and in the old Soviet Union.
    The 1960 vote totals and outcome in Illinois and Texas had nothing to do with voter turnout. I was one of the Boy Scouts whom a local radio station had at all the polling places to call in the vote totals. After I did that, we sat around and listened to all the results coming in from around Illinois. No Chicago, no Chicago, everywhere but Chicago. We laughed because the dummies up in Chicago didn’t know how to count past 10 without taking off their shoes and sox.
    After all the downstate precincts reported and Nixon was leading, then the Chicago totals came in, and Kennedy won by just enough. Guess they knew how to count after all.
    The Illinois and Texas frauds were so blatant that everyone urged Nixon to contest those results, but Nixon declined, saying the nation deserved a President without a cloud over his election. But then Nixon had class, Mr Gore.
    p.s. Dr Gomez’s study sounds like a crock.

  45. Gareth Phillips [October 28, 2010 at 12:16 am] says:

    “The plaintive cry of the democrat/socialist/communist/librul/altruist: “Rainy days and Mondays always get me down.”

    “Dont forget the Conservative, Republican, Tea Party, Fascist and Nazi love of “Blue skies shining on me me” and the Youth wings “Tomorrow belongs to me” sung outside under summer skies!”

    Hmmmmm. Let me think. Wait for it (cue Jeopardy music) … What is a group of FIVE labels where the last TWO don’t belong, Alex! (ding, ding, [audience cheering])
    Seriously though. On one hand Tea Party (actually TEA Party), Taxed Enough Already, a very loose affiliation dominated by fiscal responsibility, limited government and constitutionalism, definitely contains lots of conservatives, and many republicans (democrats, libertarians and indies too).
    On the other hand Fascist and Nazi, radical authoritarian dictatorial and national socialist. Not to mention massive overpowering controlling government with near destruction of private preoperty and individual liberty. And did I mention genocide and murder?
    Gareth, the nicest thing I could call you on this forum is a jackass, but that would be a huge insult to a very nice animal. But since that nice animal has very thick skin and can take the embarrasement of being the mascot of the party of segregation and socialism, I’ll say it anyway, you Gareth Phillips, are a certifiable jackass.
    There should be a neurological brain condition called Opposite Associative Disorder, a form of Cognitive Dissonance that allows such irrational almost childish thinking. Here is to hoping that researchers identify the gene that is responsible or for phsychiatrists to identify the childhood trauma behind this disorder. It sure would go a long way to explain the AGW cult thinking.

  46. Ryan Maue says:
    October 28, 2010 at 12:22 am
    If individual states awarded their electoral votes based upon the percentage of popular vote, then that would be an absolute catastrophe for the Democrats which really only have smatterings of blue against a very red tapestry.
    ==================================================
    If you are referring to the presidential election I think I have to disagree with you on this one. (Maybe you’re distracted watching the 3 areas of potential tropical development in the mid-Atlantic – a bit unusual for late October)
    The current system which allocates electors based on the number of representatives in congress [house + senate] favors the republicans since there are more red states than blue states. There are seven small population states with only one house rep but triple that number of electors, while a heavily populated blue state like California with 53 congressmen has 55 electors – a small percentage increase. Since there are more small population red states than big population blue states, the overall effect favors the Republicans. Another way to look at is that 438 electors are allocated to states based on population but an additional 100 electors are allocated equally amongst all states regardless of population. This amplifies any party bias that exists towards small population states – in this case for the republicans.
    If the electors for each state were allocated proportionately by popular vote, this effect would get diluted. The democrats would likely pick up more of the electors from the multitude of red states than the republicans would capture from the handful of populous blue states.
    The founding fathers knew they were creating this bias when they devised the Electoral College, but they did not want one region of the country to dominate another. If we ever went to a national popular vote system the closest someone living in the center of the country would come to a presidential candidate would be 35,000 feet – vertical.
    A strange fact: it appears that blue states almost always have a border along a large body of cold water [under 60 degrees]. In 2000, Gore got 94% of his electors from cold water states. Kerry got 98% and Obama 84%. By this measure, a rise in global temperatures would turn blue states red. Perhaps the reason democrats are more concerned with global warming than republicans is a simple matter of survival.

  47. Death is the only thing that will keep me from voting on Tuesday. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for an a lot of Democrats.

  48. It was a fascinating piece of historical research, but I believe it to be outdated. In the last few years, the following states have instituted in-person “early voting”:

    Alaska, Montana, Arizona, Nebraska, Arkansas, Nevada, California, New Mexico, Colorado, North Carolina, North Dakota, Florida, Ohio, Georgia, Oklahoma, Hawaii, South Dakota, Idaho, Tennessee, Illinois, Texas, Indiana, Utah, Iowa, Vermont, Kansas, West Virginia, Louisiana, Wisconsin, Maine, Wyoming, Maryland

    I’ve voted already, and if the Fox News text-poll they ran last night is any indication, so have half of the people who watch Fox News.

  49. WRT the latest “superstorm” reported at ClimateProgress, I left this comment which was in moderation for a while, but has now disappeared.
    ==========
    “#41
    “*If* that trend…” – indeed.
    It’s a good point, and one that more than one skeptical blog has also made on more than one occasion, so lots of common ground.
    So where is the trend? Over what timescale? What is the source of raw data? How was it processed?
    Without this information – if that trend currently does not exist – a single event remains a single event, as informative (or uninformative) as a particularly cold snap.”
    ==========
    First time I’ve been elided from a discussion in this way. I thought it was on-topic and polite – not enough evidently.

  50. evanmjones says

    I have given this matter a lot of thought.
    In the end, I prefer the electoral college system

    Thanks for reading my post, Mr evanmjones! I appreciated a lot your comments! My comment was not meant to be a critic of the US Electoral College system. My comment was on the extreme psychological strain that Mr. Gore went into. Losing by a mere 0.0005% of popular vote! That election was electrifying!
    Here tens millions of latin americans we followed every bit of the 2000 election in awe, asking ourselves if things would end in civil war up there in the USA. But the outcome was peaceful and millions of us here were utterly relieved -and amazed-.
    If tens millions of foreigners -i.e. non US citizens, non US residents- suffered such important psychological strain watching the events unfold there in the USA, one wonders how colossal was the psychological strain on the main protagonist of that drama, Mr. Al Gore. I think that a person that went through what Mr. Gore actually went through has a high probability of losing his psychological balance, that is my opinion and my central point and that is the reason I am always kind to Mr. Gore.
    Your points on the electoral college are very interesting , I had never tought of it in such a way. I think the more limited the (utter destructive) power of the political class the better and your electoral college is another limit on the (utter destructive) power of the political class so it may be another good institution that you have in the USA.
    You need a lot of votes to elect a senator in California but you can elect a senator with much fewer votes in Utah or Wyoming. I think such a thing is good since it limits the power of the political class and it limits the power of majorities.
    I think the main reason of the US greatness is that your founding fathers established a political system that actually limited the utter destructive power of the political class. The USA and Switzerland are perhaps the countries were the power of the people is the bigger and the power of the political the most limited by the power of the people. It is not a coincidence that they have always been among the most prosperous, peaceful, free and productive places on earth.
    Of course you US citizens tend to have a natural talent for technological innovation and entrepreneurship and here in Latin America we tend to be slaves of the passions of love, beauty and attractiveness but I think your political system limiting the power of the political class is the main reason you became such a technological, economic and military superpower, there is abundant research on that matter.
    Human beings are esentially libertarian. That people want socialism is another falsehoood promoted by mainstream media, academia & bureaucracy who very often promote more (utter destructive) power & control & tax & spend for the political class (but IMHO the internet and websites like WattsUpWithThat (WUWT) are writing humankind history and are changing the way things always were. But I will not bore you with a repeat of my rants on how WUWT is writing history by demolishing the politcians and academics pseudoscience )
    In socialist tax hells like France, Germany or England the political class has enormous power, the people cannot limit the power of the political class that in the way the people can in the USA and Switzerland. In those european tax hells they live under a kind of socialism serfdom. You will see often in Western Europe a demonization of the USA and Switzerland, which happens to be the superior democracies (and they happen to be too the No1 and No2 tax havens thanks to tax exemptions to foreigners that bring $trillions to USA and Switzerland).
    Socialists often hate freedom because they want to enslave us with exorbitant power & control & tax & spend for the political class and that is the reason IMHO so many in Western Europe demonize the super democracias, USA and Switzerland
    In polls the english said that Churchill was greatest englishman, the german said that Adenauer was the greatest german and the french said that De Gaulle was greatest frenchman. Those politicians are NOT socialist ones. They tend to be conservatives, i.e, they tend to be more libertarian, more against socialism which is a system where the political class has exorbitant power & control & $trillions. I think those western european polls are a sample of how even in allegedly “socialist” western european tax hells human beings are esentially freedom loving.
    The people does not want a socialism or a tax hell. Socialism and tax hells is what the political class will often establish if their power is not limited enough. Western Europe -with the remarquable exception of Switzerland, of course- always had an inferior democratic system that permitted monarchist or socialist political classes to have exorbitant power & control over the people.
    Cheers

  51. Vote early, vote often ;o)
    My polling place is about 150 yards from my kitchen table. It would take some weather event worthy of worldwide evening news to stop me from walking over to vote.
    Hey!… Do I get extra greenie-points for walking to the polls instead of driving?

  52. Bring on the mother of all storms to help rid us of the extreme agenda of the current congress. And then an even bigger storm in 2012.

  53. Did anybody else enlarge the map and click on the animate button? You can also drag your cursor over the 3 hour time segments above the map and animate it manually. I did this because I was curious about the storms (tropical?) predicted over or near the east coast. This sequence shows the bad weather hitting on Nov. 4th. It appears that the only nasty weather will be over the Pacific Northwest on election day.

  54. “”””” Marcus K says:
    October 28, 2010 at 4:27 am
    Ryan Maue says:
    October 28, 2010 at 12:22 am
    If individual states awarded their electoral votes based upon the percentage of popular vote, then that would be an absolute catastrophe for the Democrats which really only have smatterings of blue against a very red tapestry.
    ==================================================
    If you are referring to the presidential election I think I have to disagree with you on this one. (Maybe you’re distracted watching the 3 areas of potential tropical development in the mid-Atlantic – a bit unusual for late October) “””””
    Well I think the Electoral College system is misunderstood even by most Americans (citizens).
    And it is roundly condemned by the losing party when the “popular vote” goes counter to the Electoral College; and they immediately rabble rouse for its abolition.
    The “popular vote” serves to preserve the myth, that The President of the United States of America is elected by “The People”, in a democratic fashion; one man; one vote !
    Well the one man; one vote rule applies; but the President of the United States of America, is elected by the 57 “Sovereign States” of America; NOT “The People”. And the Electoral College is the mechanism for that collective decision of the States.
    Each State of course is allowed a number of “Electors” that is directly proportional (linear not logarithmic) to the number of legal voters in each State.
    But there is absolutely no requirement that any State vote ALL of its electors to the winner of a popular vote in that State. I believe that States can actually choose their electors by any means they wish; as permitted in the State Constitution. All choose to do it by popular one man one vote choice of the voters (people).
    A number of States have considered amending their State Constitutions to assign their electors to the several Candidates for President; according to the outcome of their popular vote; and they are entitled to do that if they wish; which if universally adopted, would lead to a de facto vote of the people for President. It gets a bit messy with multiple candidates; especially in the smaller States with few electors.
    The present system as adopted by all States at the moment uses the popular vote of its legal voters to reach a State Concensus, as to who the citizens of that State prefer by majority vote; and then the State tends to vote ALL of its electors for their people’s concensus choice.
    The framers must have been Clairvoyant; because I think that any other variant on the present system; would eventually lead to chaos; and certainly to disenfrachisement of some States, and some of “The People”. The two Senators per State in the Senate, also serves to add a State bias to the deliberations of the Congress; and for the same reason. That way, the State of Delaware; which can be fitted into 12 different non-overlapping places in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve of Alaska, gets the same Senatorial voice as Alaska does. The house on the other hand is representative of the People’s wishes.; not the State’s.
    How wonderful it would be if the house really did represent the People.

  55. All that heavy, muddy dirt makes it a lot harder to open up the lid of your coffin.
    —-
    This is counterintuitive, Anthony. One would think that rain would not significantly impact the Democrats rolls of deceased voters.

  56. Until, I believe, around 1984 or 1988 Democrats were traditionally the Red party on the obligatory TV map, and the Republicans blue. I’ve always been interested in cartography and propoganda, and all the MS media now use Dems as blue on a map with a blue background so as to subconciously show the Dems as more dominant than they actually are during the evening (and thus possibly skewing late votes on the west coast). This is especially necessary since republicans tend to win the large area states in the midwest. Find a county level Red/Blue map of any recent election and you’ll be stunned just how dramaticly large the red areas are. A veritable sea of red with a few blue islands in all the expected urban areas.
    —-
    (I still believe it was a media conspiracy to designate conservative states “red”.)

  57. I think the Republicans are girding their loins to fight the expected voter fraud cases that are going to be popping up all over the country, especially with Team Obamas experience in the “Chicago Way”. Already one in Berks Co., PA where a local DNC official was mailing out absentee ballots with a pre-paid return envelope that did not go to the official voting office, but to a PO Box owned by the DNC. Heads are going to roll in that one. Also several states are dragging their heels on mailing out absentee ballots to military personel overseas, even in defiance of Justice Department mandates, since the troops tend to vote pretty heavily Republican. And of course the illeagal alien vote, gotten out by La Raza, is going to be an issue in Arizona. Anyway, our elections have become a sham thanks wholly to the Democratic party.
    —-
    I hope the tea party/real republican alliance wins and starts the deconstruction of the budding socialist state, I am sceptical whether this can be achieved without fierce and bitter conflict but as they say in the old West ‘hope dies last’.

  58. I think the results of this study support what I surmised all along, the Democrats are concerned that if they get wet, their dirty deeds will come out in the wash.

  59. The current system of electing the president ensures that the candidates, after the primaries, do not reach out to all of the states and their voters. Candidates have no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, campaign, or care about the voter concerns in the dozens of states where they are safely ahead or hopelessly behind. The reason for this is the state-by-state winner-take-all rule (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but now used by 48 states), under which all of a state’s electoral votes are awarded to the candidate who gets the most votes in each separate state.
    Presidential candidates concentrate their attention on only a handful of closely divided “battleground” states and their voters. In 2008, candidates concentrated over two-thirds of their campaign events and ad money in just six states, and 98% in just 15 states (CO, FL, IN, IA, MI, MN, MO, NV, NH, NM, NC, OH, PA, VA, and WI). 19 of the 22 smallest and medium-small states (with less than 7 electoral college votes) were not among them. Over half (57%) of the events were in just four states (Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania and Virginia). In 2004, candidates concentrated over two-thirds of their money and campaign visits in five states; over 80% in nine states; and over 99% of their money in 16 states, and candidates concentrated over two-thirds of their money and campaign visits in five states and over 99% of their money in 16 states.
    Two-thirds of the states and people have been merely spectators to the presidential elections.
    Voter turnout in the “battleground” states has been 67%, while turnout in the “spectator” states was 61%.
    Policies important to the citizens of ‘flyover’ states are not as highly prioritized as policies important to ‘battleground’ states when it comes to governing.
    Because of the state-by-state winner-take-all electoral votes laws (i.e., awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in each state) in 48 states, a candidate can win the Presidency without winning the most popular votes nationwide. This has occurred in 4 of the nation’s 56 (1 in 14) presidential elections. Near misses are now frequently common. 537 popular votes won Florida and the White House for Bush in 2000 despite Gore’s lead of 537,179 popular votes nationwide. A shift of 60,000 votes in Ohio in 2004 would have defeated President Bush despite his nationwide lead of 3,500,000 votes.

  60. The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).
    Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. Elections wouldn’t be about winning states. No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps. Every vote would be counted for and directly assist the candidate for whom it was cast. Candidates would need to care about voters across the nation, not just undecided voters in a handful of swing states.
    The bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes–that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). When the bill comes into effect, all the electoral votes from those states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).
    The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for president. It does not abolish the Electoral College, which would need a constitutional amendment, and could be stopped by states with as little as 3% of the U.S. population. Historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the President, including ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote and 48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state legislative action, without federal constitutional amendments.
    The bill has been endorsed or voted for by 1,922 state legislators (in 50 states) who have sponsored and/or cast recorded votes in favor of the bill.
    In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has 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 (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided). The recent Washington Post, Kaiser Family Foundation, and Harvard University poll shows 72% support for direct nationwide election of the President. Support for a national popular vote is strong in virtually every state, partisan, and demographic group surveyed in recent polls in closely divided battleground states: Colorado– 68%, Iowa –75%, Michigan– 73%, Missouri– 70%, New Hampshire– 69%, Nevada– 72%, New Mexico– 76%, North Carolina– 74%, Ohio– 70%, Pennsylvania — 78%, Virginia — 74%, and Wisconsin — 71%; in smaller states (3 to 5 electoral votes): Alaska — 70%, DC — 76%, Delaware –75%, Maine — 77%, Nebraska — 74%, New Hampshire –69%, Nevada — 72%, New Mexico — 76%, Rhode Island — 74%, and Vermont — 75%; in Southern and border states: Arkansas –80%, Kentucky — 80%, Mississippi –77%, Missouri — 70%, North Carolina — 74%, and Virginia — 74%; and in other states polled: California — 70%, Connecticut — 74% , Massachusetts — 73%, Minnesota — 75%, New York — 79%, Washington — 77%, and West Virginia- 81%.
    Most voters don’t care whether their presidential candidate wins or loses in their state . . . they care whether he/she wins the White House. Voters want to know, that even if they were on the losing side, their vote actually was counted and mattered to their candidate.
    The National Popular Vote bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers, in 21 small, medium-small, medium, and large states, including one house in Arkansas (6), Connecticut (7), Delaware (3), The District of Columbia (3), Maine (4), Michigan (17), Nevada (5), New Mexico (5), New York (31), North Carolina (15), and Oregon (7), and both houses in California (55), Colorado (9), Hawaii (4), Illinois (21), New Jersey (15), Maryland (10), Massachusetts (12), Rhode Island (4), Vermont (3), and Washington (11). The bill has been enacted by the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Washington. These seven states possess 76 electoral votes — 28% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.
    See http://www.NationalPopularVote.com

  61. kohler says: October 28, 2010 at 12:36 pm
    The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    I think you need to reconsider what affect this would have, considering that most of the 40% of the people in this country who receive greater than 50% of their income from the government reside in 6 states.
    This bill would kill us.

  62. Paul Deacon, Christchurch, New Zealand says:
    October 27, 2010 at 6:45 pm

    The article says: “To offset these Republican gains, Democrats must take action to counteract the increased cost of voting among their supporters.”
    Could someone kindly enlighten me as to what is meant by “increased cost” in this sentence? Never having lived there, I am not familiar with the specifics of voting in the USA (e.g. the proximity of polling stations to people’s homes and places of work). The term “increased cost of voting” does not mean anything to me in isolation qualification. Does it just mean “increased motivation required to go out to vote in bad weather”?

    Paul, I think most US voters rush to their polling stations after work. They line up and wait their turn to go into a voting booth and select their choices. In rainy weather, it takes longer to get anywhere, and it makes it harder to get in, cast your vote, and get home in time to feed the family and get everyone in bed in time to make it back to work or school the next morning.
    In that scenario, there is a definite “cost” to voting, and less-committed voters may not wish to pay that cost.
    As for me, I can’t stand politicians, so I wasn’t planning to vote until I had some discussions with some Democratic “true believers” (on CAGW, Cap & Trade, and a number of political and economic issues) and realized that people who think about the consequences need to vote. I mailed my ballot yesterday.

  63. Marcus K says:
    October 28, 2010 at 4:27 am

    The current system which allocates electors based on the number of representatives in congress [house + senate] favors the republicans since there are more red states than blue states. There are seven small population states with only one house rep but triple that number of electors, while a heavily populated blue state like California with 53 congressmen has 55 electors – a small percentage increase. Since there are more small population red states than big population blue states, the overall effect favors the Republicans. Another way to look at is that 438 electors are allocated to states based on population but an additional 100 electors are allocated equally amongst all states regardless of population. This amplifies any party bias that exists towards small population states – in this case for the republicans.

    California has 58 counties. Over 40 of them regularly vote Republican. A few mostly coastal counties account for the state’s leftist lean. If we broke up California’s vote by percentage, Republicans would certain get 40 to 45% of those 55 votes, which would eliminate the excessive campaign focus here by diffusing the reward for winning here.
    If it weren’t for gerrymandering earlier this decade, California’s legislature would be a lot closer, too. See the Assembly district 59 map for <a href="http://arc.asm.ca.gov/member/59/?p=districtMap"an example. The district boundaries traverse two counties in order to prevent the Eastern part of Los Angeles County from having competitive elections. From Western to Northeast end of the district, a drive of about 75 miles. Two to three hours in traffic. Portions of three Census statistical areas.

  64. @kohler
    The reason I oppose that:
    One could win by promising voters in five states everything they ever wanted. California, Texas, Florida, Illinois, and New York. There would never be a reason to campaign in (or consider the interests of) the other forty-five states, as long as one had a big enough lead in these five states.
    I live in California, so I’d benefit. But my oldest in Kansas would not.

  65. The 11 most populous states contain 56% of the population of the United States and a candidate would win the Presidency if 100% of the voters in these 11 states voted for one candidate. However, if anyone is concerned about the this theoretical possibility, it should be pointed out that, under the current system, a candidate could win the Presidency by winning a mere 51% of the vote in these same 11 states — that is, a mere 26% of the nation’s votes.
    The political reality is that the 11 largest states rarely agree on any political question. In terms of recent presidential elections, the 11 largest states include five “red states (Texas, Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, and Georgia) and six “blue” states (California, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and New Jersey). The fact is that 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.
    Moreover, the notion that any candidate could win 100% of the vote in one group of states and 0% in another group of states is far-fetched. Indeed, among the 11 most populous states, the highest levels of popular support , hardly overwhelming, were found in the following seven non-battleground states:
    * Texas (62% Republican),
    * New York (59% Democratic),
    * Georgia (58% Republican),
    * North Carolina (56% Republican),
    * Illinois (55% Democratic),
    * California (55% Democratic), and
    * New Jersey (53% Democratic).
    In addition, the margins generated by the nation’s largest states are hardly overwhelming in relation to the 122,000,000 votes cast nationally. Among the 11 most populous states, the highest margins were the following seven non-battleground states:
    * Texas — 1,691,267 Republican
    * New York — 1,192,436 Democratic
    * Georgia — 544,634 Republican
    * North Carolina — 426,778 Republican
    * Illinois — 513,342 Democratic
    * California — 1,023,560 Democratic
    * New Jersey — 211,826 Democratic
    To put these numbers in perspective, Oklahoma (7 electoral votes) alone 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) alone 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).

  66. The National Popular Vote bill that is moving through the state legislatures is frought with peril, IMO. It states that once states representing 270 electoral votes (just over 50% of the total) pass the measure it becomes effective in those states that voted it in. Once that happens, the states that have yet to approve it may be reluctant to go along since they would now have increased clout. In an extreme example, lets say every state except California and Texas adopted the National Public Vote bill. Each state would know that if they adopted it next, the remaining state would have an undue influence on the outcome with their winner takes all format. Is a democratic California legislature going to adopt the law and risk allowing Texas to swing a close vote to the republican candidate – and visa versa. We could end up with one or two big states gaining influence by a poorly executed attempt to correct a problem.

  67. W^L+ says:
    October 28, 2010 at 2:46 pm
    If it weren’t for gerrymandering earlier this decade, California’s legislature would be a lot closer, too.
    =======================================================
    Gerrymandering is the 500-pound gorilla in the room that nobody seems to talk about. Here in California we voted in 2008 to take the authority to draw electoral districts for state offices from the legislature and give it to a transparent commission of citizens balanced by party affiliation. This year we have a ballot measure to extend this to congressional districts. Nancy Pelosi has a competing measure to undo the 2008 vote and return the whole process to the politicians. Under the current system we had over 300 consecutive elections in the past decade [for state senate, assembly and congress] with only one seat changing party hands and one incumbent loss. The idea that we have a true democracy in California (and the U.S.) is debatable.
    With district boundaries about to be redrawn for the next decade (after the 2010 census), this election is much more important than most. The politicians in many states will be picking their voters for the next ten years and the average voter has little power to do anything about it. Perhaps California can jump start a national movement for district writing reform across the country.
    As WUWT often demonstrates, one can adjust data in many ways to produce very different outcomes. The Nancy Pelosi’s and Tom Delay’s of the world have been producing political hockey sticks long before Michael Mann and with about as much transparency.

  68. SouthAmericanGirls says:
    October 28, 2010 at 6:35 am
    That election was electrifying!
    It was a long night . . .
    I think the more limited the (utter destructive) power of the political class the better and your electoral college is another limit on the (utter destructive) power of the political class so it may be another good institution that you have in the USA.
    It is a safety valve. (Ironically, the electors themselves are complete political animals.) It is also something of a protection from 100% pure democracy.
    The founders feared raw democracy more than the IPCC fears raw data.
    The founders, however, were justified. The US is a republic, and more indirect than many. Only a third of the senate is elected at any given time. This ensures a degree of continuity.
    I think you may have a point about our esteemed ex-president elect. He did seem to go rather badly ’round the twist starting about that time.

  69. evanmjones says:
    October 27, 2010 at 11:24 pm
    > We know that a president or congressman will step down after his term is over (assuming he is not re-elected). Therefore, even if an election is stolen, the effects are limited.
    One of the most impressive scenes in my personal memory of US politics was soon after President Carter’s inauguration (or was it during?) when a network’s coverage switched for a few seconds from Carter to the newly ex-President Ford. Ford was on a golf course, chipping out of a bunker with a perfect shot that rolled directly into the hole.
    Despite all the flaws, America does have a very smooth transition of power after elections.

  70. Churchill was greatest englishman, the german said that Adenauer was the greatest german and the french said that De Gaulle
    Churchill, I would have guessed, though Queen Elizabeth I (or even Victoria) or Pitt might have done as well.
    I am kinda surprised at the other two. What about Bismarck and Napoleon?
    Addie and Chuckie might (arguably) be considered better than Nap and Biz. But greater?

  71. But there is absolutely no requirement that any State vote ALL of its electors to the winner of a popular vote in that State.
    Two don’t, even today. (Maine, Nebraska.)
    (And the 1860 electoral map looks like an oversized checkerboard.)

  72. The Electoral College combined with a presidential government form ensures we don’t end up with an ineffective coalition government, such as they have in Europe. Regardless of the closeness of the popular vote, the electoral system gives us a definite winner. Neither Clinton, W, nor Kennedy had a majority of the popular vote, but there was no doubt about their wins in the Electoral College.
    Changing to a popular vote would give us a weaker, indecisive government.

  73. The Electoral College means that one side can’t win nationally merely by huge majorities in some large states while faring tepidly elsewhere.
    Now, consider the various and novel means whereby one might, over time, run up large majorities in a few big states even while not faring so well elsewhere. Consider the political incentives to both major parties.

  74. Mike McMillan says:
    Thank you -took the words right out of my mouth. In Oregon we in Nowhere-as described by our paedophile Governor-Neil Goldschmidt- we on the Red side of the
    Cascades are under a dictatorship of the majority, on the blue/purple,west side. The electoral college is fair to those who have neither the land area of the population…

  75. kohler [October 28, 2010 at 12:36 pm] says:
    … National Popular Vote … (garbage)

    NONSENSE. Complete and utter nonsense. This is nothing more than a very thinly veiled attack on the United States of America, specifically our Republic.
    But first of all, what would possess you to hijack this thread in such an off-topic way. Such a transparent spam! I see that your cut ‘n’ paste (from the link no doubt) is all formatted and spellchecked ready to be dumped into blogs and websites. What a guy! Really doin’ the hard work in the computer age huh? Of course you would spam Anthony’s ultra-highly ranked website. Don’t you think you owe him some money now? Did you hit the tip jar? If you provide your real name and address he certainly could bill you.
    Anyway, if the mods will indulge me I will comment on this pathetic tripe.

    “Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. Elections wouldn’t be about winning states. No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps. Every vote would be counted for and directly assist the candidate for whom it was cast. Candidates would need to care about voters across the nation, not just undecided voters in a handful of swing states.”

    Wrong. The states elect the President in the United *States* of America. Your pipedream is to kill that. Moreover, every one of your premises is also wrong, particularly “Candidates would need to care about voters across the nation”. Candidates would only care about masses of votes, e.g., Cities. Candidates would not care a wit about North Dakota or Rhode Island. They would actually spend even more time now in New York and California, padding the votes totals in the big states worse than before. Another thing to remember is that in presidential elections the STATES tend to go 30-20 or 28-22 (well two states already split their electors, the dopes). It is easy to see a day when only a handful of states, perhaps 10, is all that is needed to win elections. This would happen if you milked every last vote out of the 10 most populous states never setting foot in the 40 others.
    But most importantly, this is for all practical purposes, the murder of the United States of America, which is the intended purpose anyway (you even admit it: “Elections wouldn’t be about winning states. No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps.”). With a NPV, the sovereignty of the states will have finally been completely demolished, which clearly aligns the NPV idiots alongside those that have tried to snuff out the 9th and 10th Amendments. States would be relegated to 2nd tier, forever, after the federal government. States would be like counties, cities, towns, villages, neighborhoods, just a larger version. The United States of America would simply become the United Cities of America or just America. But of course you don’t care about this.

    “The bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes–that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). When the bill comes into effect, all the electoral votes from those states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).”

    This is sure as hell an illegal compact between states which is prohibited and everybody knows it (and yup, you have a group of people in NPV who have rationalized this away). Even if you invent some legal technicality all that does is show me criminal intent. Perhaps you may remember that one of the reasons for a Constitution was to supercede state compacts. Using the Constitution to undermine the Constitution is grotesque, but par for the course these days.

    “The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for president. …”

    Do me a favor and don’t use the words Founding Fathers in this discussion, it is an insult, as you are attempting to stick a knife in their backs. They gave a us mechanism for such monumental (and in this case, disastrous) changes: Amendment. This NPV idea, and your attempt to associate it with the Founders is disgusting. Furthermore, there is no problem to be solved in the first place (i.e., a close election is not a crisis), it is irrational to pursue reckless remedies to non-existant problems (hmmm, strangely enough we could be talking about AGW here, you can bet that the same people are behind this as well).
    Perhaps most importantly, the NPV is the biggest attack on the Republic ever attempted. Its effect would be to destroy it and replace it with a democracy. You minorities out there (myself included) ponder that for a minute. Think about it. This is a leftist plot, plain and simple, brought to you by the descendants of the slavery party. Coming to a theater near you: Uncle Tom’s Cabin meets American Idol.
    It is worth remembering that there is not a chance in hell that Constitution would have been ratified by the several *STATES* if it specified that they would ever become irrelevant. NO CHANCE. Make no mistake, this has been the leftist plan all along, and they will never let up. Wake up people! Even after these next few elections it won’t be over, not for our descendants. They have broken through all the firewalls and this would be the final straw. We are going to need new Amendments, perhaps a Constitutional Convention to protect ourselves from these cockroaches.
    But on the other hand, I can think of only a few ways to kick the USA situation from angry discourse to full-out civil war. One way is repeal or have the USSC severely diminish the 2nd Amendment (and we were very VERY close in the recent past, the country survives on a ledge from a 5-4 Supreme Court). I believe the other way is to kill the Electoral College which would kill what remains of the original Constitution and its safeguards for the republic (“Franklin: a republic, if you can keep it”). Keep on poking at the tiger in the cage. I dare you.

  76. State-by-state winner-take-all laws to award electoral college votes were eventually enacted by 48 states AFTER the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution.
    The Founding Fathers only said in the U.S. Constitution about presidential elections (only after debating among 60 ballots for choosing a method): “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors . . .” The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly characterized the authority of the state legislatures over the manner of awarding their electoral votes as “plenary” and “exclusive.”
    Neither of the two most important features of the current system of electing the President (namely, universal suffrage, and the 48 state-by-state winner-take-all rule) are in the U.S. Constitution. Neither was the choice of the Founders when they went back to their states to organize the nation’s first presidential election.
    In 1789, in the nation’s first election, the people had no vote for President in most states, Only men who owned a substantial amount of property could vote.
    In 1789 only three states used the state-by-state winner-take-all rule to award electoral votes.
    The winner-take-all rule is not entitled to any special deference based on history or the historical meaning of the words in the U.S. Constitution. The current 48 state-by-state winner-take-all rule (i.e., awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in a particular state) is not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, the debates of the Constitutional Convention, or the Federalist Papers. The actions taken by the Founding Fathers make it clear that they never gave their imprimatur to the winner-take-all rule.
    The constitutional wording does not encourage, discourage, require, or prohibit the use of any particular method for awarding the state’s electoral votes.
    As a result of changes in state laws enacted since 1789, the people have the right to vote for presidential electors in 100% of the states, there are no property requirements for voting in any state, and the state-by-state winner-take-all rule is used by 48 of the 50 states. Maine and Nebraska currently award electoral votes by congressional district — a reminder that an amendment to the U.S. Constitution is not required to change the way the President is elected.

  77. A “republican” form of government means that the voters do not make laws themselves but, instead, delegate the job to periodically elected officials (Congressmen, Senators, and the President). The United States has a “republican” form of government regardless of whether popular votes for presidential electors are tallied at the state-level (as has been the case in 48 states) or at district-level (as has been the case in Maine and Nebraska) or at 50-state-level (as under the National Popular Vote bill).
    If a “republican” form of government means that the presidential electors exercise independent judgment (like the College of Cardinals that elects the Pope), we have had a “democratic” method of electing presidential electors since 1796 (the first
    contested presidential election). Ever since 1796, presidential candidates have been nominated by a central authority (originally congressional caucuses, and now party conventions) and electors are reliable rubberstamps for the voters of the district or state that elected them.
    The National Popular Vote bill concerns how votes are tallied, not how much power state governments possess relative to the national government. The powers of state governments are neither increased nor decreased based on whether presidential electors are selected along the state boundary lines, along district lines (as has been the case in Maine and Nebraska), or national lines.

  78. Under National Popular Vote, when every vote counts, successful candidates will continue to find a middle ground of policies appealing to the wide mainstream of America. Instead of playing mostly to local concerns in Ohio and Florida, candidates finally would have to form broader platforms for broad national support.
    Now political clout comes from being a battleground state.
    Now with state-by-state winner-take-all laws, presidential elections ignore 12 of the 13 smallest states (3-4 electoral votes), that are almost invariably non-competitive, and ignored, in presidential elections. Six regularly vote Republican (Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, and South Dakota), and six regularly vote Democratic (Rhode Island, Delaware, Hawaii, Vermont, Maine, and DC) in presidential elections. Nine state legislative chambers in the smallest states have passed the bill. It has been enacted by the District of Columbia and Hawaii.
    Of the 22 medium-smallest states (those with 3,4,5, or 6 electoral votes), only 3 have been battleground states in recent elections– NH(4), NM (5), and NV (5). These three states contain only 14 of the 22 (8%) states’ total 166 electoral votes.
    The 11 most populous states contain 56% of the population of the United States and a candidate would win the Presidency if 100% of the voters in these 11 states voted for one candidate. However, if anyone is concerned about this theoretical possibility, it should be pointed out that, under the current system, a candidate could win the Presidency by winning a mere 51% of the vote in these same 11 states — that is, a mere 26% of the nation’s votes.
    With National Popular Vote, big states that are just about as closely divided as the rest of the country, would not get all of the candidates’ attention. In recent presidential elections, the 11 largest states have been split — five “red states (Texas, Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, and Georgia) and six “blue” states (California, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and New Jersey). 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. 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).
    With National Popular Vote, big cities would not get all of candidates’ attention, much less control the outcome.. The population of the top five cities (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston and Philadelphia) is only 6% of the population of the United States and the population of the top 50 cities (going as obscurely far down in name recognition as Arlington, TX) is only 19% of the population of the United States. Cleveland and Miami certainly did not receive all the attention or control the outcome in Ohio and Florida in 2000 and 2004. A “big city” only campaign would not win.
    For example, in California state-wide elections, candidates for governor or U.S. Senate don’t campaign just in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and those places don’t control the outcome (otherwise California wouldn’t have recently had Republican governors Reagan, Dukemejian, Wilson, and Schwarzenegger). A vote in rural Alpine county is just an important as a vote in Los Angeles.
    If the National Popular Vote bill were to become law, it would not change the need for candidates to build a winning coalition across demographics. Any candidate who yielded, for example, the 21% of Americans who live in rural areas in favor of a “big city” approach would not likely win the national popular vote. Candidates would still have to appeal to a broad range of demographics, and perhaps even more so, because the election wouldn’t be capable of coming down to just one demographic, such as voters in Ohio.

  79. If each district is individually decided, FINE. That way 10 zillion extra votes (for, gosh, I wonder which party – NOT) mysteriously appearing in one district will not upend an election, just that district (which probably would have voted that way anyway).
    “Popular Vote” is a nothing but a whitewashed clarion call for voter fraud (by I wonder which party – NOT).

  80. Under the current system of electing the President, no state requires that a presidential candidate receive anything more than the most popular votes in order to receive all of the state’s electoral votes.
    Not a single legislative bill has been introduced in any state legislature in recent decades (among the more than 100,000 bills that are introduced in every two-year period by the nation’s 7,300 state legislators) proposing to change the existing universal practice of the states to award electoral votes to the candidate who receives a plurality (as opposed to absolute majority) of the votes (statewide or district-wide). There is no evidence of any public sentiment in favor of imposing such a requirement.
    Since 1824 there have been 16 presidential elections in which a candidate was elected or reelected without gaining a majority of the popular vote. – including Lincoln (1860), Wilson (1912, and 1916), Truman (1948), Kennedy (1960), Nixon (1968), and Clinton (1992 and 1996).
    Under the National Popular Vote bill, one presidential candidate is guaranteed to get a majority of the nation’s electoral votes. Under the bill, all of the state’s electoral votes would be awarded to the presidential candidate who gets the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC. The legislation would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes (270 of 538). So, the winning candidate will always get at least 270 electoral votes, for decisive Electoral College victories.

  81. [snip]
    Enough! – you are right kohler has hijacked this thread and is off topic, but I will not allow your reply to kohler either since your comment is both OT and verging on an Ad Hom in parts. Further comments from either of you on this thread will be sniped also unless back on topic. ~jove, mod

  82. So much for the forecast. Election day has arrived and it would appear to be a pretty nice day except around the gulf. I’ve never understood why your forecasters continue to try to predict the weather 7 days out. I thought Lorenz showed that due to the chaotic nature of the weather this simply isn’t possible given the amount of data we collect. And I think it’s abundantly clear from experience that this is indeed the case.
    Time to vote…

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