Sunday, September 16, 2007

More voters in contested presidential states in February than in November

Did you know that, thanks to Tsunami Tuesday where 20 or so states will hold presidential primary elections on February 5th, there will be more Americans who live in a contested state for the primary election than there will be in November?

Remember, voters in most states are irrelevant in presidential elections. Either they are blue and thus uncontested like Illinois are red and thus uncontested like Texas. So, irrelevant.

But with 20 states on the same primary election day, almost half the country's voters are relevant.

A little sad that the standard for success is half the country's voters are relevant, but at least it's progress.

(And of course, I'm putting in a pitch for my client, the National Popular Vote, to make all voters relevant in November....)


Respectful said...

Yet only 20 percent or so of voters in Illinois will come to the polls in the primary. Until we get the open primary, where voters don't publicly declare a party, turnouts will remain low.

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Jeff Wegerson said...

I don't have a good sense on how practical an idea it is, but it seems that it could be possible to include a kind of IRV within the National Popular Vote process. Here's my thought and you tell me whether it has much of a chance in reality.

The compact among the states could require a majority of popular votes for the winner. If no such majority exists then the votes counted towards each contestant could be cast by the contestant towards an eventual winner in an IRV fashion. So Nader in 2000 could declare his votes to Gore and Perot to Bush 41 in 1992 I suppose and so forth until their was a majority winner.

You for one can see how this would help third parties. But the question is could it be done on a practical legal level within the compact process?

I know that this is not a true IRV. I have become less comfortable with IRV (and any ranked system) because of the complexity it presents less sophisticated voters who we have enough trouble getting to the polls as is. Not to mention overcoming the hurdle of the lack of electoral process sophistication of our elected representatives who would have to implement a true IRV.

Cal Skinner said...

I was trying to find the cover of Robert Dahl's "Who Governs?" of Google images and your photo popped up on page 3 or 4.

Now we know who is in the POWER ELITE, don't we?

Dan Johnson-Weinberger said...

Cal, that's funny. Jeff, I don't think that's feasible because I don't think a candidate can ever choose how to vote for the citizens who originally voted for him or her.