Author Topic: US Presidential Election Tie...Possible  (Read 15431 times)

guest509

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US Presidential Election Tie...Possible
« on: October 31, 2012, 06:06:48 AM »
  And now the obligatory US Presidential Election Thread. Lol.

  I just wanted to point out, that if Obama wins the same states that John Kerry did in 2004 (highly likely) but also picks up New Mexico (nearly assured) and Ohio (50/50 chance) then we will end up with the first tie in US Presidential Election history. A 269/269 tie.

  For those unfamiliar with our system, we do not use a straight popular vote system. Each state has a certain number of electoral votes, based on how many congressmen it has which in turn is based on population at the last census, with a minimum of three. You can see how many each state gets here...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_electoral_votes_by_US_state

  Most states award their votes on a winner take all plurality system (2 states do it a bit different, awarding by region within the state or splitting things up by % the best they can, but it ends up not mattering too much).

  For example, or most populous state, California, gets 55. You get ALL 55 no matter how big you win. You don't even need over 50% to win, there are no run offs in the US. Their are 6 or so presidential candidates, but only 2 from the major parties. So oftentimes the winner has like 49% of the vote, with the next guy getting 46% and the other 5% scattered among "third party" candidates.

Third Party candidates never have a hope of winning, they exist just to shed light on an issue, hoping that the major parties adopt their views and co-opt any support they have.

It has happened several times in the past that a candidate wins the national popular vote but loses the election. This happens when the candidate is very popular in a few areas, but not all over. One can easily think of a scenario where a candidate from California gets tons and tons of votes there, but loses by a point or two most other places, so wins the popular vote but loses the election.

A winner needs to be the most popular candidate in a multitude of locations. This assures that a candidate has a wide base of support geographically, not just a high depth of support in New York and L.A.

But what happens if there is a tie? Both candidates getting 269 electoral votes? In that case, the house of representatives (popularly elected representatives apportioned by population by state) decides who the president is. They are the tie breaker, but each rep does not get a vote. Each STATE DELEGATION gets a vote.

So take California for example, they have 53 representatives in the House of Representatives. Those 53 people will get together and decide which way California will vote. Wyoming, and several other states, only have 1 Representative because they are so sparsely populated. In the event of a tie, however, their vote has the same weight because when breaking a tie each state only gets 1 vote.

This can get complex, as what if one's state voted for a Democrat, but that state's delegation to the House of Representatives is primarily Republican, or vice versa?

That won't be too much of a problem this time though. The House is currently majority Republican, most states vote Republican and most House delegations are majority Republican. So in the event of a tie the Republican candidate will win. This has been true for the last several decades as the Democrats hold a few larger population areas, while the Republicans hold the majority of the territory, but it's more sparsely populated. Even if the Democrats controlled the House (which is apportioned by population), it is normally the case that more states are controlled by Republicans and vote republican.

A good example is the 2000 election where Gore won the popular vote by .5%, lost the election 267 to 271 (super close), but only carried 20 states (out of 50).

The vice president, in an interesting twist, is decided upon by the Senate. Each state gets 2 senators, so they are not apportioned by population. They have as much power as the House to legislate. You need Senate AND House together to pass any law, and then the president can veto or sign the law. Anyway, right now the Senate is controlled by Democrats. They are opposite the House. Also, each senator gets a vote, no state delegation nonesense. Also, they are unlikely to cross party lines should their state have voted for the other candidate. So they'll vote in the Democrat, Joe Biden, as vice. It'll be the first time in well over a century that the president and vice are of different parties. This is major because right now the parties seem to literally hate each other.

Another interesting twist. The Vice President has only one power, besides taking over in the event that the president dies. That power is to break ties in the Senate. With 100 senators there could be a tie. So anyway, if there is tie in the Senate, Joe Biden could be in the position of casting the deciding vote on whether or not he becomes Vice President. Hilarious.

In the US the vice presidential candidate is voted on along with the president with the same check mark on the ballot. They call it "the ticket". They are on "the same ticket." It didn't used to be this way, it used to be that the person with the 2nd most electoral votes became the vice president. They changed it because what would happen is that the vice president was always the #1 political opponent of the president, having come in 2nd in the previous election. The vice is only there in case the president dies, so what ends up happening is that the opposing party doesn't need to win an election to get the presidency, they just have to hope (or orchestrate) the death of the sitting president.

That was lame. So now the president and vice run together. What they didn't change, however, was how a tie is broken. So you can still, in rare cases, get a split executive.

I find this all very exciting.

NOTE: You don't really need a tie for this legislative process to ensue. Any time one candidate doesn't get 270+ (over 50%) of the electoral votes then this can happen. In modern times that means a tie at 269, but over a century ago occasionally a third party candidate very popular locally would carry a few states and muck it all up, requiring the legislature to figure it out.

NOTE2: Should the Senators from each state decide to take the high ground and vote for the vice president their state voted for instead of vote along party lines, then the Republicans would win the vice presidency. But that won't happen.

TL;DR?
-In case of tie, the House will install Romney, the Senate will install Biden as VP. LOL!

Krice

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Re: US Presidential Election Tie...Possible
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2012, 11:44:46 AM »
I can't understand why the current president's party can't  have a new candidate for president. It's easier for the other party to win, because I guess people think Obama has not fulfilled expectations.

jim

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Re: US Presidential Election Tie...Possible
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2012, 04:08:17 PM »
We are a very paternal and anti-intellectual nation - it wouldn't make sense to do that. We don't have a lot of brainy heroes in our history or our popular culture; we have manly men who do badass things. Any sort of doubling back in the sense of replacing the democrat president with another democrat candidate would backfire because it would be perceived as weak. The perception of weakness is escpecially a problem for the democrats because repiblicans skew way toward machismo. It's like a nation divided between Klingon warriors and Federation social workers.

Plus, you don't change horses midstream.

guest509

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Re: US Presidential Election Tie...Possible
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2012, 09:13:44 AM »
I can't understand why the current president's party can't  have a new candidate for president. It's easier for the other party to win, because I guess people think Obama has not fulfilled expectations.

It has happened in the past. It's not up to the party though. It's up to the individual. People can run against the president if they want, no problem, it happens a lot, but they will not likely secure the nomination. The party does not really decide who runs or wins the party nomination, it's decided state by state by voters.

Also, no matter what, incumbents rarely lose. The last time it really happened was in 1980, when Reagan swept in to office. Some might count 1992, where the incumbent Bush Sr. was defeated by Clinton, but that was one of those rare instances where a 3rd party candidate siphoned off like 20% of the vote. Most of that was from right leaning voters. Clinton only won that election with like 43% of the vote.

Krice

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Re: US Presidential Election Tie...Possible
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2012, 09:26:20 AM »
Sometimes I wish US was a democratic country. There could be more interesting presidents then. Now it looks like it doesn't matter since president is a ceremonial figure of raw power (controlled by reptilian-jews of course). Republicans are only slightly more conservative than democrats. Why can't you be a democratic country like other western countries?

guest509

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Re: US Presidential Election Tie...Possible
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2012, 10:00:33 AM »
  I think it has to do with the way we finance campaigns.

wire_hall_medic

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Re: US Presidential Election Tie...Possible
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2012, 03:56:51 PM »
@Krice:
The president of the United States does have two very important powers; he is the commander-in-chief of the military, and he has veto power over new laws at the national level.

The veto power thing is INCREDIBLY important, and tremendously shapes policy.  However, he has no control over what laws Congress (the law-writing branch of government) makes.  Recently, this ability has become much more important as Congress has largely stopped working together.  The two political parties have grown increasingly uncooperative, and that's why Obama hasn't been able to do more.

That said, I wish we were democratic too.  My understanding is that the Parliamentary System is much better, though I haven't done the research to support the idea myself.  Our Constitution was supposed to be a temporary thing, that we'd come back and do over once we saw what worked and what didn't.

Holsety

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Re: US Presidential Election Tie...Possible
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2012, 06:52:55 PM »
Sometimes I wish US was a democratic country. There could be more interesting presidents then. Now it looks like it doesn't matter since president is a ceremonial figure of raw power (controlled by reptilian-jews of course).

That's one of the best things I read today. Thanks~
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XLambda

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Re: US Presidential Election Tie...Possible
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2012, 09:14:25 PM »
Sometimes I wish US was a democratic country. There could be more interesting presidents then. Now it looks like it doesn't matter since president is a ceremonial figure of raw power (controlled by reptilian-jews of course). Republicans are only slightly more conservative than democrats. Why can't you be a democratic country like other western countries?

Yeah. And I thought that by now everyone would know that Mittens Romney is a Slitheen. ;D Look it up man, the truth is out there!
« Last Edit: November 02, 2012, 09:16:05 PM by XLambda »

Krice

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Re: US Presidential Election Tie...Possible
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2012, 06:48:57 PM »
And I thought that by now everyone would know that Mittens Romney is a Slitheen.

Romney is a mormon which is basically the same thing: an alien force threatening humankind. Seriously you need more candidates. How can you choose when one of the guys is a space alien and the other is a native Hawaiian.

guest509

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Re: US Presidential Election Tie...Possible
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2012, 12:54:12 AM »
  There were tons of candidates, these are just the final two. There are primary elections throughout the states to decide who the final two are. The conservative party, the Republicans, picked Romney. He was DEFINITELY the best choice among the serious contenders, unless you count Ron Paul (a very interesting candidate). There was a minor contender, another Mormon, that seemed viable nationally but he didn't get much support.

  Technically there are 5-6 others on the ballot as well, but they are from so called 3rd parties. 3rd parties rarely stand a chance, they only exist to draw attention and get their issues co-opted by the 2 big parties. They get just a couple of percent of the total every year.

Krice

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Re: US Presidential Election Tie...Possible
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2012, 02:31:49 PM »
There were tons of candidates, these are just the final two.

If I'm right the people can't even directly vote? "They" (reptilians) select from couple of candidates that had enough power to run for president. It's so undemocratic.

Holsety

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Re: US Presidential Election Tie...Possible
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2012, 07:52:30 PM »
If I'm right the people can't even directly vote? "They" (reptilians) select from couple of candidates that had enough power to run for president. It's so undemocratic.

I'm more amused by the system that comes down to an entire state handing over all its 'president deciding power' depending on which candidate the majority of the inhabitants of that state voted.

So really, the people aren't directly voting. Oh well. I'll just enjoy my monarchy lol.
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… and it won't stop until we get to the first, unknown ignorance. And after that – well, who knows?

AgingMinotaur

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Re: US Presidential Election Tie...Possible
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2012, 08:37:42 PM »
Krice, I feel your pain, dude, but it's not as if the European democracies are that much better. The people in high positions are party-groomed politicians, lobby men, and plutocrats, here as well. The practical difference between a socialist and a conservative cabinet in, say, a Nordic country, may be bigger than the difference between having a democratic or republican president in the US. But at the end of the day, all the power mongers in the world are pulling in the same general direction. As a rule, regular bozos don't land in these posititions; that is something people do after a prolonged political career.

As always,
Minotauros
This matir, as laborintus, Dedalus hous, hath many halkes and hurnes ... wyndynges and wrynkelynges.

AgingMinotaur

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Re: US Presidential Election Tie...Possible
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2012, 08:40:00 PM »
Oh, and by the way, have a good vote on tuesday, y'all. We'll be watching and biting our nails in the rest of the world (and fuck me, what a world it is). Those who can, vote wisely now ;)

As always,
Minotauros
This matir, as laborintus, Dedalus hous, hath many halkes and hurnes ... wyndynges and wrynkelynges.